By Kate Good
What exactly is a poacher? A person who kills animals (more often endangered one) and sells them, or their parts for profit. Correct? So, what does this poacher look like? In your mind who is a poacher? If you’re imagining the quintessential pith helmet wearing, rifle clad “Van Pelt” figure, you probably want to think again.
The WWF launched an incredible campaign to break down the definition of what a poacher is. People tend to distance themselves from the crime if they weren’t directly responsible for the “dirty work,” but the wildlife trade wouldn’t exist if we all took on some responsibility and stopped participating.
When you consider the number of exotic animal “delicacies” that appear on menus across the world (don’t think the U.S. is exempt here) and look at the people who made that dish appear before you, that is a poacher.
When you purchase a brand new ivory statue, the person who sold it to you is a poacher. When you purchase rhino horn pills…you participate in poaching.
Though it may be true that these people responsible for the sale of these items are not the ones out slaughtering animals, they play a vital role in continuing the industry of poaching because they supply the one thing this cruel trade is motivated by: profit.
Without the people who pay for these exotic items, there would be no wildlife trade, no poachers, and no senseless killing of wild animals. It is easy to distance yourself from the crime if there is no blood on your hands, but it’s hard to forget what happened to these beautiful animals to bring that commodity to your door.
Although the wildlife trade is an enormous industry, all it takes is one person who stops buying tiger skin rugs to kick off a long chain of others who join them in conscious actions. The choice it yours!
To learn more about what the WWF is doing to help end wildlife crime, click here. Photos.