2012-04-10 - 9:17 a.m.
It's pretty much all-out war on the rhinos in their last stronghold of South Africa. 159 were known to be killed in the first three months of 2012, with 95 of those deaths in Kruger National Park. Worldwide, rhino horn thieves are attacking museums and stealing the horns even of long-dead rhinos on display or in museum vaults.
There was a time when it looked like the rhino might have half a chance. The horns were being marketed for E.D. which is apparently a worldwide epidemic, and the invention of Viagra meant that no one would pay big money any more for powdered rhino that didn't have the same dramatic effect. However, the black marketers were not going to take this loss of market share laying down, and now they have apparently spread the word that rhino horn is a cure for cancer.
"Education" is the answer, says well-meaning German guy. Education? The kind of person who can pay $25,000 for a tin of powdered rhino horn has a fine education, probably in London, Canada, or the United States. He probably speaks multiple languages, and he's a successful, high-powered businessman. Education, he's got. Way more education than anyone reading this post, that's for sure. But when you're facing a nasty death from cancer, logic and science have to take a back seat to emotion.
"This is a matter of fear," I say. "Of superstition. It isn't about science. You can't educate people out of their fears."
What would Peachfront do? I'll be blunt. The sellers are appealing to fear and emotion, and the anti-sellers have to do the same. If I were some government or international agency in charge of saving the rhino, I would start a classic FUD campaign -- fear, uncertainty, doubt. I would infiltrate the market with all kinds of cheap horn that didn't even come from a hornbill, much less a rhino. I would get the message out there that buyers are fools who are paying $25K for a tin of talcum powder and artificial chemicals. Think about it, you older readers. What spoiled speed? Dumb-asses cooking up meth with brake fluid, that's what. Get some dumb-asses fired up and manufacturing fake rhino horn that eats holes in people's lips. Then the smart people won't want it any more. OK, sure, the history suggests that the price will fall and then the dumb people will want it -- the dumb people will even sniff paint, glue, and bath salts -- but it won't be the real thing and no actual rhinos will be harmed in the making of this bullshit.
There wouldn't be a drug addict left in America if education worked. Seems the powers-that-be should have figured that out way before now.
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