Thought for the Week

Argyllshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - With Mar­i­lyn Shed­den

TWO PIECES of news have re­cently both sad­dened me and en­cour­aged me.

I was sad­dened when I heard of the death of Su­dan, the last male white rhino in ex­is­tence.

North­ern white rhi­nos used to roam east and cen­tral Africa in vast num­bers, but con­flict, poach­ing and habi­tat loss elim­i­nated them.

Now this mag­nif­i­cent species is on the edge of ex­tinc­tion.

‘This is a crea­ture that didn’t fail in evo­lu­tion,’ said Thomas Hilde­brandt, head of re­pro­duc­tion man­age­ment at the Wildlife Re­search Cen­tre in Ber­lin. ‘It’s in this sit­u­a­tion be­cause of us.’ What an in­dict­ment on hu­mankind. Hu­man be­ings are sup­posed to be stew­ards of the earth and its in­hab­i­tants.

We are meant to nur­ture, care for and cher­ish the won­der­ful di­ver­sity of life on this planet.

Yet we have plun­dered, vi­o­lated and abused that which we are sup­posed to pre­serve.

We all know the hor­ren­dous cru­elty that is as­so­ci­ated with the greed and the lust for the ac­qui­si­tion of ivory.

Ele­phants and rhi­nos are killed for their tusks and horns.

These sen­tient crea­tures are slaugh­tered be­cause peo­ple think they have the right to rob them of what makes them who they are.

But I am en­cour­aged that the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment has now im­posed a to­tal ban on the sale of ivory.

This brings hope and gives us even the slight­est op­por­tu­nity to save these mag­nif­i­cent crea­tures be­fore it is too late.

Ele­phants are among the most sen­si­tive of crea­tures. They live in fam­i­lies which care for each other. They have an eth­i­cal so­cial struc­ture from which we could learn much.

I pray that we will take the time to lis­ten to these gen­tle giants be­fore it is too late to re­deem our own moral­ity.

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