Last week the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that the number of African rhinos poached in 2015 has increased for the sixth year in a row and is the highest in the last decade.
The rise in slaughter of rhinos has been driven by demand for their horn by the growing middle classes in countries such as China and Vietnam, where they are prized for their purported medicinal properties. The horns are sold for about $60,000 a kilo on the black market, making it worth more by weight than cocaine and gold.
Poaching is rightfully not one of the issues on the animal liberation movement agenda. However the staggering fact that poaching rhinos for their horns, mainly for use in traditional medicine, still exists, not to mention increasing, should be noticed by the movement.
The fact that there is an increase even in industries that exploit big, iconic, wild and charismatic animals and from an endangered species, must be an alarming warning sign. Continue reading
The formal estimations of the numbers of salves in the world that are mentioned in the former post don’t include the hundreds of millions of sweatshop slaves. The people trapped in these extremely exploitative systems are not formally owned by another person, and they are not formally forced to work under these conditions. However, they can’t leave, in many cases they can’t negotiate their working conditions, they must compromise their physical and emotional health, they work very hard for very long hours, for very little pay, not allowed to talk with fellow workers or move away from their working station without permission and they have no other options except for transferring to another place and work under more or less the same conditions.
When all the options are of the same awfulness only in a different location, choosing is only theoretical, practically it is slavery. Maybe not formally, but definitely practically.
Almost 600 years after the trans-Atlantic salve trade was started and about 200 after it was allegedly ended, and we are in the middle of the greatest slave trade yet. Continue reading