Apparently one of the “least publicized and seemingly most easily correctable drivers of the massive elephant slaughter now taking place across Africa” is religion. A lot of religion seems to use ivory in the production of holy goods.
Now this includes both legal and illegal ivory, a lot of cultures use it in particular the Vatican, it is believed that a stance against Ivory both legal or otherwise would drop the demand for ivory and save a few elephants. Check out Bryan Christy’s “Ivory Worship” article if you want to read more about it.
I agree with a lot of things in the original article, if we do cut out the demand for even legal ivory we could help alleviate the demand and stop the fetish of the teeth of elephants.
A lot of the usage of Ivory is symbolic and it is honestly elephant teeth, I am sure we can use cow or camel which are infinitely more common and whose bones are a by product of our meat consumption for the same purpose. I am sure unless you are some sort of elephant biologist, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
I am a firm believer of utilising all of an animal when you kill it and honestly? We can do better than kill elephants just for two massive teeth. We have cows whose bones are often wasted or broken down for calcium. If the ivory market is that massive we can use that as a substitute.
Many cultures already use camel and cow bone as a substitute for ivory, so why not the Church?
There is a petition on the National Geographic link at the top. Go show your love for the big grey beasties.