Without even noticing the wild animals in Africa are being domesticated for profit, there is something you can do about it.
Will the ‘King of the Jungle’ soon be the ‘King of the Farm’?
Wait… he already is!
Back in the Day…
When I was a little girl living near Cape Town in South Africa we had chickens and rabbits.
My parents had grown up in Switzerland during the Second World War years and my mother’s family supplemented their government allotted rations by raising rabbits on the patio of their small townhouse outside of Zurich. When she got married and moved to South Africa with my father it was a natural thing for them to raise what she could in their suburban backyard.
I have a very distinct memory… when I was four years old my mother chopped the head off a rooster and he went running down the road and got as far as my friend Herman’s house.
I recall rabbits being hung up by their back legs on the clothesline to be skinned.
Shortly before I turned six we moved to the Transvaal. Within no time we had two sheep in the yard, they had a lamb, which suddenly was gone one day. That night I struggled to eat my dinner.
Two quarts of milk with the cream rising to the top arrived on our doorstep each morning. It came from a small farm less than a mile away where they milked their five Jersey cows by hand. The owners were our friends and I got to help churn the butter on one occasion.
In the United States and other western countries we’ve become very disconnected from our food supply. Ask most children where that chicken on their plate comes from, they’ll look at you funny, and say, “From the grocery store of course.”
Today our food is mass-produced on huge commercial farms. We don’t see the chicken whose eggs we eat for breakfast, the cow that gave us the milk we enjoy with our cookies, or the pig that died to give us that slab of ham on our dinner plate. Much of our food now a days comes from factory farms where animals are treated like commodities… Squeezed into small spaces, force fed, then herded down slippery corridors to their death. All to maximize profits.
How come most of us are comfortable with this? This treating cattle, sheep, chicken and other domestic animals like inanimate objects, like fruit and vegetables, or grain?
Is this the future of Africa’s wildlife? Wild animals like the rhino and lion?
Well, guess what? It’s already here.
Will our grandchildren know this majestic animal as ‘King of the Farm’?
As I write South African government officials are debating the feasibility of legalizing the rhino horn trade. Discussing transforming a wild animal, one of the Big Five, who tourists come to see in the game reserves, into a domestic farm animal. To be raised to anesthetize every few years to harvest its horn. To sell it for huge profits to consumers in Asia.
Can you see it now?
Rhinos being injected with drugs to make their horns grow faster and longer.
Rhino being immobilized to harvest their horns far too frequently with little consideration of the impact on their well being.
Rhino being raised in small spaces without grass or bush.
Rhino being seen with no sentient value, only as an object to make money… like chickens in a commercial chicken house.
What will this farming of wild animals… of rhino and lion do to the Big Five? Maybe more importantly, what will it do to our hearts?