I’m not being deliberately contentious here, but I’ve been wondering about this for some time.
I have a lot of ‘friends’ on social media. They’re not friends in the true sense of the word, but they have elected to click on the relevant button to follow my ramblings, be kept abreast of book news, and to be kept ‘in the loop’ regarding my efforts towards our wildlife crisis.
That’s all really cool, and I feel quite chuffed that so many people have taken the trouble to join in.
But it’s a two-way street, isn’t it? While they all have my info coming up on their feeds, so too do I get hundreds of posts from all these ‘friends’ on a daily basis.
It’s gratifying to see just how many people feel so strongly about the plight of wildlife, or any animal for that matter, on a global scale.
So here’s the question: should we be spending quite so much time highlighting what is going on in other countries? Should we be bothered to dutifully sign petitions for a stray animal in Bangladesh, a circus elephant in America, or a badger in England?
Before you all start yelling, let me qualify the question. Of course we should care, should be interested, should be kept abreast of developments, but shouldn’t we all rather concentrate our collective efforts within our own borders?
Wolves in America? America’s problem to resolve. They have the resources, vast amounts of available cash and a huge population. Why should we get involved?
Asian elephants? Asia’s problem. They also have many more people than we do, are wealthy and right on the spot to sort out their own problems.
Let’s get closer to home.
Should we spend so much time, effort and cash on Kenya’s elephants? Namibia’s rhino? Zimbabwe’s wildlife?
Here in South Africa we have a myriad problems of our own. Rhino poaching is totally out of control, a corrupt and inept government, and insider information freely given to poachers within, for instance, Kruger National Park.
And believe me, it won’t be long before our elephants will begin to be targeted by people who value ill-gotten wealth over their heritage.
Should we not be consolidating our efforts to help our own wildlife and the dedicated few who are doing so much with so little to fight against a hierarchy that doesn’t care, putting lives on the line on a daily basis.
If only we could all work together, to the exclusion of other countries’ problems, we would hopefully be in a much stronger position to question government policies, or lack thereof, and be much better placed to get comprehensive and cohesive action taken to root out corruption, influence law-makers, overhaul a totally ineffectual judicial system and provide much needed money, tools and equipment to where it is needed, not into a crook’s pocket.
Concentrate on our own wildlife crisis. Protect and preserve our own wonderful heritage
Let other countries manage their own.