At the beginning of the 20th century there were 500,000 rhinos across Africa and Asia, in 1970 this figure had dropped to 70,000 and today there are fewer than 29,000 – and no you won’t find any in Wales.
The destiny of these magnificent creatures is under the microscope like never before, and yet it is thought that a record 800 rhinos will be slaughtered by the year-end. Poachers have already killed 230 so far this year, and 70% of these were killed in the sanctity of the Kruger National Park in South Africa. Now that’s something you don’t want to see during your safari.
In 2012, 668 rhinos were slaughtered for their horns, which are said to have more trade value in the US than cocaine. Now this is your classic case of habitual behaviour based on societal conditioning, a truly classic idiocy that seems to plague our world today. Rhino horn is more expensive than gold and yet it does nothing for the person who is buying it. It is thought to cure cancer, make you slim and to ward of demons and spirits. Even if these ridiculous statements were true, don’t you think there are alternatives in the world? Since when did a person suffering from a little bit of visceral fat decide that they need to ingest some rhino horn? Since when did buying rhino horn on the black market become easier than eating fruit and veg? I have purchased an eye mask and I never see demons anymore.
Now I don’t believe in God, but for those that do there is a belief that the great man (or woman) provided everything needed for survival on this planet within reach of mankind. Why would he then stick a valuable source of medicine on the head of one of the most dangerous animals in the planet? It’s a classic case of the rolling boulder in Indiana Jones. Once it starts it just keeps gathering pace. You see it everywhere in life, from what we eat to what we wear and what we drink. It goes on and on and on. I was once in a hotel in Bratislava when I drank the world’s most expensive coffee and it tasted like cigarette butts. I also sat in one of the most prestigious restaurants in the UK – Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck – and drank tea that cost over £30 a pot – it tasted like watery piss. People believe that it must be nice because of the elitism of it. The same goes for caviar and all the other food products sold for thousands of pounds that never taste as nice as a bunch of grapes worth £1 from the local grocer.
By the time I leave this great planet there will be no rhinos left. It’s simple mathematics, and I for one hold my hand up and accept responsibility for their extinction. The poachers don’t have a business if there is nobody buying. We are creating the market through our behaviours. Instead of being individual we insist on following the pack. There is no difference between killing a rhino for its horn and making cats eat coffee beans and then using their shit as coffee. It’s the same old nonsense fuelled by the same human traits to believe what everyone wants us to believe.
The dust of rhino horn is underneath all of our fingernails.