Born Free USA Blog
Got arthritis? Try tiger bones. Suffer from delirium? Get hold of some rhinoceros horn. Sexually stymied? Ingest a seahorse.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM, but various forms are practiced throughout Asia) has been around for thousands of years, and likely has helped millions of people feel better, but it cries out for updating in terms of compassion to all living things. Whereas at one time wild animals employed in the TCM pharmacopoeia were abundant and humans’ pharmaceutical use of them limited, today creatures are savagely and systematically exploited for dubious — if not demonstrably false — medicinal purposes, as well as non-medical applications.
Illustrating the Hypocrisy of Wildlife Management
We had elk. They were once found throughout much of eastern North America. Scientists at the time considered the eastern elk to be a form distinct from other elk in other parts of the continent. But, as is true of so many eastern species that bore the brunt of European settlement that moved from east to west across the continent, they were wiped out. The eastern elk is extinct, not seen in Ontario since the last one was recorded in 1893.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that a “foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” But there is nothing foolish about consistent ethics with respect to our treatment of animals. The beaver, cow, dog, eagle, fin whale — you get the idea — they all deserve to live free from cruelty, suffering, abuse and distress.
Veteran filmmaker Chris Palmer has written a tell-all book asserting that many wondrous things we see on nature documentaries — animal births, scorpions mating, lemmings plunging to their deaths in Disney’s “White Wilderness” from 1958, signature scenes in 2001’s critically acclaimed film “Winged Migration” — are staged. According to an article by Daniel de Vise last week in the Washington Post, Palmer says it’s common for wildlife TV shows and movies to include footage of captive animals who were used as stand-ins, predator vs. prey confrontations that were set-ups, and animal noises that were generated artificially, in sound studios.
Don’t Count on Hunters or Zoos To Save Endangered Wild Cat Species
A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the fact that 80 percent of the world’s wild cat species are at some level of risk of endangerment, including many species unknown to most people. But two species that are very well known, the African lion and the spotted leopard, are the subjects of a scientific paper just published in the journal Conservation Biology. The title of the paper is “Effects of Trophy Hunting on Lion and Leopard Populations in Tanzania.”
Truth Matters Not At All to a Very Large Minority
Have you heard of Snopes.com? It’s a website dedicated to putting the lie to “urban myths” and misinformation, and sorting out, among the countless allegations making the electronic communications rounds, which are false, which are true, and which are a mountain of fabrication built on a molehill of fact. The site also provides information on where rumors originated. Many have a multitude of variations and have been around for ages.
File Casinos’ Latest Lion Attack Under ‘Asking for Trouble'
The Mirage has a garden and dolphin “habitat.” Mandalay Bay has a shark reef. MGM Grand has a lion exhibit.
Las Vegas has a problem, clearly, with animal exploitation.
A Longtime Born Free Blogger Signs Off
We who love animals often dedicate our lives to reshaping humanity’s view of the animal kingdom. We fight a very difficult battle. Not only must we constantly challenge the status quo, but often we grow weary of humanity’s inability to recognize animal cruelty, exploitation and suffering.