Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What's more valuable than diamonds, gold, or cocaine?

Did you know that rhino horns sell for $60,000 per kilogram on the black market? That makes them more valuable than diamonds, gold, and cocaine. Why? Well, for one thing, they're becoming rarer and rarer. But why would people pay that kind of money for them? There are two reasons: one involves the wealthy and the other involves the sick.

The wealthy want them as luxury status symbols

The sick want them for their medicinal properties. It is believed that crushed rhino horn can work wonders -- from curing hangovers (now that's important) to curing gout to reducing fevers. Whatever.

Photo courtesy of Yathin S Krishnappa

Sadly, as a result of extreme greed, the number of African black rhinos in the wild has fallen from close to a half a million 100 years ago to a mere 4,000 or so now. Every year, more than 1,000 rhinos are killed for their horns. And rhino calves are unable to survive without their mothers until they are 3 years old. That means, many young rhinos are dying due to the senseless slaughter of their mothers. For what? A luxury status symbol. That makes me want to puke. I seriously could not carry on a civil conversation with someone who owned such a thing.

The black rhinos in Africa are facing extinction. Why should that matter? I like what Billy Graham said about it: "To drive to extinction something He has created is wrong. He has a purpose for everything..." When we cause the extinction of a species of animals due to our greed and selfishness, there must be environmental consequences of some kind. The eco-system is disrupted. 

What can we do about it? I'm not sure. But I wanted to make you aware of the issue so you can voice your opinion if the subject arises.

Keeping your informed,

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