Consume our way to extinction – Trade in rare and exotic animals

Native peoples of Laos, China and other Asian nations have taken advantage of new road infrastructure to scale the demise of jungle creatures large and small. Their partners in “crimes” against nature are European nations and US consumers who buy and consume or use the black market meat and produce harvested in large quantities.

According to the United Nations, the world trade in frog meat has exploded in the last 20 years. France and the United States are the two largest importers, with France importing between 2,500 and 4,000 tons each year since 1995. Indonesia exports more than 5,000 tons per year, mainly to Europe. Frog legs are also very popular in Asian cuisine.

Until twenty-five years ago, hundreds of tigers roamed large tracts of relatively untouched jungle in Laos. But in recent years, particularly in the last decade, development, deforestation and a boom in wildlife trafficking have reduced Laos’ tiger population to 50 or fewer individuals, according to Johnson and other scientists. The main driver of the rapid depletion of tigers and dozens of other species of birds, animals and reptiles is the growing wealth of neighboring Thailand, Vietnam and especially China, where a vast new market for wildlife products has emerged.

Laos is the latest front in the fight to control a global underground trade that kills tens of millions of wild birds, mammals and reptiles each year to supply multibillion-dollar markets around the world.

The US and Europe are among the largest buyers of elephant ivory and parts of tigers and frogs, monkeys, and game animals (commonly known as bushmeat). worldwide in Southeast Asia, the Russian Far East, Africa, and even North America.

Rapid development and growing wealth create a demand for more commercial hunting and trapping; an increase in international trade; the rise of increasingly sophisticated smuggling networks; an influx of weapons and technology; and easier access to wilderness areas due to road construction by extractive industries. The opening of the Laotian economy, like other native economies around the world, put a price on the heads of virtually all animals, from river bugs to tigers.

The over-exploitation of wildlife for trade must be addressed in a respectful, sensitive, effective and fair and honest way for local people. This is a highly sensitive educational and economic challenge that has the potential to blaze a trail out of the investment that has recently become a flood. Like other forest-dependent people, rural Laos have long relied on hunting to supplement their protein-rich rice-dominated diet. But the opening of the economy put a price on the heads of virtually all animals, from river bugs to tigers. This, coupled with a lack of wildlife education and preservation, combined with an abundance of weapons left over from years of warfare, gave hunters the incentive and tools to turn the rich biodiversity into money.

This scenario has been repeated throughout the world many times a day and the result in both the land, sea and air of the world has been impoverished as these animals, plants, insects, birds, reptiles and amphibians remain silent because we have chosen this consumer. mentality, but we can and are making better decisions.

Everyone can help.

Refusing to buy, eat or use products or use cosmetics made from wild animals at the expense of the biodiversity of our beloved planet.

Yes, we can save our world.

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