Today, Saturday October 4th, is the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. This event aims to call attention to the dire need of a worldwide ban on selling rhino horns and elephant tusks. Each year, a staggering 35,000 elephants and 1,000 rhinos are killed each year due to the demand for ivory and rhino horn and increasing poaching rates. It has been estimated that, if this trend continues, both species could be extinct within 20 years.
Imagine that. Our generation’s children will be living on an earth that is not graced by these graceful, gentle, beautiful giants. Elephants and Rhinos will become a whimsical memory, elusive as dinosaurs. And all that will be left of them is the reason why they were extinguished: the ivory humans stole from them.
We demand greater protection for Rhinos and Elephants. We cannot stand by and allow this vicious, greed-driven massacre to continue. Drastic action must be taken now. It doesn’t matter how lucrative the elephant tusk and rhino horn trade is. It doesn’t matter how many ignorant customers will be disappointed when they don’t get their precious ivory goods. Elephants and rhinos play an irreplaceable role in their environments. Saving these species must become the priority.
To voice the need to extend greater protection to elephants and rhinos, I participated in a March for Elephants and Rhinos in my college town. Individual voices are small. But together, our shouts will be heard around the world. We demand that all trade and poaching of elephant tusks and rhino horns be immediately put to an end. That all carving shops and factories be shut down. For the law to strictly enforce penalties for harming these animals.
Today, we are at a crossroads of two futures. In one, elephants and rhinos roam freely and peacefully, awing the world with their grace and beauty.
But in the other, the earth is barren and plain. Their large, looming figures do not frame the horizon. The ground never rumbles with their mighty steps. Instead, the quaking earth mourns the loss of the beautiful beasts who used to bring such pride and magnificence to her plains.
If we do not take initiative today, that somber, desolate future will become a reality. We will be left in painful regret, that we were the reason why these remarkable and irreplaceable creatures were driven into extinction.
Sometimes, giants need protection, too. And there will always be space in my heart for them, no matter their size.
Below are my photos from the March:
I made these signs the night before:
Participating in the 2014 Global March for Elephants and Rhinos was an amazing experience. This was my first animal rights protest, and I truly feel like I have found my passion in life: fighting for animal rights! I hope to participate in many, many more protests to spread awareness of the suffering of our animal friends. The world must see and know!