Poaching is colorblind
The civil rights movement is not a thing of the past. It’s easy, for some, to pretend that the need to speak about equality is gone. That we’ve become enlightened and moved past the issues of skin color, or sexual preference, or any of the millions of other things that make each of us individual. But the current equality of marriage debates, as well as the recent events and protests in Ferguson and New York prove that the need to talk about civil rights is still very much alive.
Those same events are giving Global Conservation Force the opportunity to clear the air about poaching. Many people, when they think of poaching, think of a particular type of poacher. The image that presents itself may vary from person to person, but it’s usually sourced from the same assumption: only _____ poach.
The hard truth is, no matter what word your mind provides to fill in that blank space (Africans, Asians, white men, eggs), you’re wrong.
There is not a race on this planet that is not guilty of poaching, and there is no species of animal guaranteed to be exempt from it. Poaching is not a black, and/or white issue.
In Africa, a six-hour drive separates two preserves. On one preserve, the main poachers are poor Africans hunting for bush meat. On the other, white men use helicopters and GPS to strike fast, hard, and efficiently for the crime syndicate payout. And the problem isn’t limited to Africa: markets in Asia are full of poached animal parts. Even in the United States, opportunistic hunters take animals out of season and, frequently, out of regulation.
We speak a lot of about Africa here at GCF, because that’s where our current projects are, which can make it seem like Africa (and poaching Africans) are the only problem. But that’s absolutely not the case. What it boils down to is this: poaching is not a racial, political, or religious issue. It’s a global one. Every single component of our environment is inter-connected like a massive puzzle, and the longer poaching continues unchecked, the more pieces of the puzzle we lose. It’s time to make a difference, regardless of where you live or the color of your skin.
Want to fight poaching? Go here to find out how to sign up.