… you ignorant ass.

National Geographic has an interesting story about a recently discovered elephant massacre. The elephants had wandered out of a preserve during the rainy season where bands of poachers with high-powered rifles were waiting. Go here to see some pictures. Watch the fifth photo for a few seconds while it automatically zooms in on what appears to be a very happy poacher.

As you may recall, it is illegal to trade in ivory. The fact that elephants are still being slaughtered is all the evidence you need to know that someone is paying for it. Did you know that there are 10,000 businesses in Japan that legally sell and manufacture goods made from “legally obtained” ivory? Now isn’t that interesting?

Where can you buy raw ivory stock? Why, the Internet of course. I was in a jewelry store recently that had a carved tusk for sale. I asked the clerk about it and was told that the ivory had been obtained before the ban. Which, as it turns out, is what everyone tells you about the ivory they have for sale. The truth, of course, is that they have no idea how old the ivory is, or where it originally came from. Rule of thumb: never buy anything from any company that even stocks ivory items of any kind. Ivory is clearly a status symbol, and the more it costs, the more status it has.

We need to make possession of ivory art into a shameful, embarrassing thing, a symbol of shallow thoughtlessness and ignorance. People who own this art don’t even know what biodiversity means. Spread the meme. This is not a battle that will one day be won. This is a battle that will never end until the last elephant is killed. I look at African game preserves as banks of biodiversity. Thanks to some aspects of human nature, all banks must have armed guards.