Ever wonder why warthog fur coats never caught on? Infinitesimal progress is being made to control the illegal wildlife trade (outpaced only by the illegal drug and weapon trades). According to this article in the Independent, 250 “shahtoosh” shawls and four tons of ivory were intercepted just this summer. Some elements in Japan are starting to irritate me no end. In addition to undermining whaling bans and paying $50K for a tuna, they now want to resume the ivory trade.
You can’t argue that the Japanese depend on wildlife for sustenance. That argument is harder to make for some Africans. Speaking of which, for a very interesting slide show of roasted African wildlife, click on the link called “Africa’s Appetite” at this MSN site. Local people can get most of their protein requirements from goats, pigs, cattle, and chickens. Bushmeat is primarily a moneymaking enterprise.
Unlike a python, we human beings are not programmed to just stop once we have enough to eat and a roof over our heads. We then begin seeking personal gain in its many varied forms until we hit some physical or economic limit. It is our nature, and we need to find ways to satiate those drives in environmentally benign ways.