Ivory: What Price Beauty?
When we lived in Hawaii, ivory jewelry, along with pearls and coral, were quite fashionable to wear in the 50s. For special occasions, my father would buy my mother, sister, and me jewelry and as young girls, we thought we were just “hot stuff” having been given such grown-up gifts.
Through the years, my jewelry box began to overflow with ivory as my mother handed down some pieces to my sister and me. I have since given some away or lost some.
I also had a supervisor, Ruthie, whose sister lived in Hawaii and sent her ivory not knowing that she didn’t care for it, so she passed it on to me.
At the time, I used to think to myself, “Lucky, lucky me!”
So here’s my dilemma: I am well aware of the elephant‘s plight. Their suffering, their slaughter, their endangered status. According to Robert Hormats, a senior State Department official for the New York Times, “China is the epicenter of [ivory] demand” (Gettelman, NYT, September 2012). it seems that China’s increasing wealth incites their lust for luxury items.
I know there are many organizations taking up the cause, for the gentle giants cannot speak for themselves. Even Hillary Clinton has agreed to take up the cause to help combat elephant poaching (J. Eilperin, Post Politics, 2/16/13). But what can I/we do?
I admit that I am a little anxious about owning ivory— I want to sell my ivory and donate the money to an elephant conservation group like WWF. But is it right to sell the ivory to those who covet the jewelry? How do buyers know that this is ivory purchased before the ban? How do buyers know that any ivory sold on the market was purchased before the ban? I somehow feel that the selling of ivory, even mine, is ethically wrong.
So what do I do with it all?
Daily Gratitude: entering year two of retirement; standing under our crape myrtle enveloped its perfume; fresh crab cakes with crabs harvested by Dapper G
Quote of the Day for YOU: I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the “lower animals” (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me. ~ Mark Twain, Letters From the Earth
How you can help:
- Elephant Orphans and Ivory (ricfrancis.wordpress.com)
- Animal Support Speaks out Against a Still Growing Ivory Trade (prweb.com)
- New York City’s Ivory Sellers, Alive and Well (naturestage.org)
- Every 15 minutes, an elephant dies at the hands of poachers (treehugger.com)
- Sequestration is boom time for elephant poachers (salon.com)
- Sweet Disguise: Chocolate-Covered Elephant Ivory Seized in Macau (livescience.com)
- Sweet disguise: Chocolate-covered elephant ivory seized in Macau (nbcnews.com)
- Undercover sting by police, activists nets Togo ivory kingpin (reuters.com)
- Ivory Course Runs From Africa to Malaysia to China (ipsnews.net)
- Article on Elephant Conservation from TFK (stufffromthelab.wordpress.com)