By Jean Rovys Dabany for Reuters: Poachers have killed more than 11,000 elephants in Gabon's Minkebe National Park rainforest since 2004. "If we don't reverse this situation rapidly, the future of elephants in Africa will be compromised," Lee White, executive secretary of Gabon's national parks agency, said in a statement issued by Gabon's presidency.James: If elephants go extinct, my heart will forever weep. To lose such an icon of the animal kingdom would be a scar on our collective consciousness. We can not continue to slaughter animals, nor their environment, and believe that we can avoid responsibility. The collective karma from these actions is going lead to our own environmental extinction. That is the undeniable reality of interdependence, whether you believe in Buddhism or do not.
The largest markets for ivory are in Asia (especially China and Japan). Thus, since a lot of the readers of this blog live in that part of the world, I beg you to speak-out against the ivory trade. It is virtually impossible to know the difference between pre-ban ivory and poached ivory, therefore, you should assume all ivory is poached. Why would any Buddhist want ivory anyway? Ivory is essentially a dead elephants teeth and often those elephants killed are mother's who leave babies behind to starve to death in the scorching-hot, African sun.
What would Buddha think about killing animals purely to please our aesthetic desires? It is not enough to avoid purchasing ivory ourselves. By remaining silent, we condone the death of animals for materialistic desires. In Buddhism, the idea of rebirth says that any animal could have been our mother in a past life. So, please, ask yourselves this question, "Would you allow someone to kill your mother so that you could wear her carved teeth around your neck as a necklace?" If not, then I would kindly ask you to speak-out against buying ivory. Thank-you.
~i bow to the buddha within all beings~