Yesterday was World Animal Day around the globe. Concerned citizens of our fragile planet marched in cities world wide to raise the profile of the plight of our wildlife, the state of the planet and showed solidarity with all those trying to do something about changing our inevitable man made downfall.
I heard many slogans yesterday, chants from the voices of those trying to save our very biosphere.
Extinction is forever…….
I was enthralled with the passion of the speakers in Parliament Square, London. Dominic Dyer, Simon Jones, Sir Ian Redmond OBE and Nicky Campbell all spoke with wisdom, compassion and fire. A fire that started a long while ago but one which is spreading throughout the world, a fire of caring, urging our governments and political leaders to do something about the Ivory Trade, about Canned Lion Hunting, about the state of our oceans.
With the stroke of a pen this could all be resolved. A big statement yes, but the reality is that by sliding that biro across a bill in parliaments around the world we can actually ban the trade in ivory, ban the import of lion parts into Europe, the United States and the rest of the world. It truly IS that SIMPLE.
Ian Redmond spoke of Elephants being the gigantic keepers of the forest. Essentially, without elephants pruning trees, depositing a weekly ton of dung filled with seeds for new life the actual fabric of the forest, of the bush veld, will change and be lost forever. Every species on this planet is here for a reason, yes, even the apex predator the Lion. They are top of the food chain, they control population in the wild, they are our planets gate keepers. If we stand by idly watching a species disappear from the planet, our very planet will be at risk. The make up of it, the equilibrium, the ecosystem will change forever.
I call on all governments across the globe to step up and prove your worth. Sign off the bill to ban ivory trade in every form. Sign off every bill that is put to your government that aids the protection of our wildlife, our heritage, our future. If you can find billions every year for international aid efforts, many more billions for war, make a stance and set aside a few billion to educate those who think rhino horns, tiger bones or shark fins are good for your libido. Step up and utilise social media to get the message across to the youth in China. They are the biggest non violent highly effective movement in the world at the moment. Use them to educate those who think a lion carcass or an elephant tusk looks good on the floor in their offices or as a carved trinket for sale. Use these same harbingers of change to help educate those who hunt whales, endanger dolphins and the list goes on and on.
I call on YOU, China, to sign into law the banning of ivory trade with severe custodial consequences for those caught dealing in this material, close the ivory carving factories, re-appropriate the staff there to doing good for your and my environment.
South Africa, President Zuma, I call on you to finally outlaw canned hunting, and to ensure that you set aside sufficient funding to have those 8,000 lions in captivity sent to protective custody on game farms and sanctuaries, for them to live out their days on this planet. Sign into law the ban on hunting any wildlife species, particularly this that are endangered. I implore you to stand up and actually do the most effective thing you can do for your country, support the ban on canned hunting, support having the lion listed on the CITIES endangered species list at the convention in South Africa next year. Stand up and employ thousands of your unemployed citizens, train them, develop them and use them to help conserve your heritage, your environment and your reputation. You cannot be a puppet all your life, man up and make a stance.
To all those in the United States I call on you to make the changes in your laws that will help protect our wildlife. Just because you’re a big country does not give you the right to go kill endangered animals on another continent. How would you like it if the rest of the world came to the USA and shot your buffalo? (Have you got any buffalo left?) You can make the biggest difference to the plight of the lion by changing one simple law. The import law that allows you to bring lion trophies into the United States as personal items, not as an import. Goodness me, you confuse me. I cannot even bring an apple into your country when I visit, how the hell do you let a lions head trophy in with no regard?
I further call upon all those fantastic organisations around the world all working in the interests of conservation, preserving our wildlife, to actually support one another, stand by our common goals and present a united front. The barrier would be far easier to pull down together then individually. United we must stand.
Despite all this, I am in a happier place today. Happier because i witnessed the people who will no longer stand for this. They are not government officials or radical activists, they are normal compassionate human beings who are making a stand for our wildlife, for our environment and for our very existence and for that, I salute you all.