Friday, March 15, 2013
What Mercy ? (II)
Continued from the previous posting.
Africa is no stranger to the sounds of automatic weapons fire and it is also no stranger to poaching. Elephants are high on the list of those species slaughtered for profit and this continual massacre is prompted by the desire of some religious adherents to possess religious icons carved from elephant ivory.
In 2012, the Religion and Conservation Research Collaborative of the Society for Conservation Biology turned its attention to this issue following an article in National Geographic by Bryan Christy titled Blood Ivory. Christy places the responsibility for the slaughter at the door of Catholicism and Buddhism, in some parts of the world. It is the hope of the Advisory Committee of the Collaborative and others that some influence can be brought to bear on religion at the institutional stage to speak out to their co-religionists to help stop the use of ivory for religious icons and thus reduce the number of elephant who fall victim to the poacher AK-47.
Thinking of the gunshot, deflated, desiccating carcasses of these magnificent and highly intelligent creatures while religious adherents moan and chant over their extracted molars makes for dark meditation and yet another sobering indictment of religion.
For additional information on the use of poached ivory as religious icons and the subsequent impacts on elephants go to http://www.conbio.org/policy/scb-statement-on-the-use-of-ivory-for-religious-objects
(Unless otherwise noted images courtesy of Google Images)