The purpose of this article is to introduce the reader to the concept of animal parts having medicinal properties and the global demand for these substances. Rhino horn trade is forbidden by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), despite the fact that it has been used as a Traditional Medicine for millennia. It should be understood that these animal substances DO have therapeutic effects. The West is currently on a mission to convince people that traditional animal medicines have no value whatsoever and that a military intervention in Africa on behalf of wildlife is justifiable. Neither of these things is true and in the next few pages I am going to attempt to prove that point.
On December 10, 2012 a top Globalist was interviewed on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show regarding the role of the U.S. in the Crackdown on Wildlife Trafficking, particularly throughout African nations. Robert D. Hormats, who is currently the Under Secretary Of State, is the epitome of a globalist shill. Hormats was the vice chairman of Goldman Sachs (International). He joined Goldman Sachs in 1982. He served as a senior staff member for International Economic Affairs on the National Security Council from 1969 to 1977, where he was senior economic advisor to Dr. Henry Kissinger, General Brent Scowcroft and Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. These days he spends his time justifying military intervention in Africa based on the illegal trade of animal parts.
The “Terrorist” Connection
For those that study the sphere of global geopolitics, it comes as no great surprise that the United States military continues to expand operations into Africa in the name of fighting terrorism. These days it seems that any military action can be labeled as a “humanitarian intervention” and the powers at be can get away with any act of aggression. One of the primary ways the US Federal Government is justifying intervention and invasion of these various African countries is in the effort to stem the trade of endangered species.
Of course the ban on Rhino horn has created factions of organized crime, this cannot be argued. But that is only because of the artificially high prices that provide incentive for poachers to hunt and kill Rhinoceros for their horn. This build-up of organized crime is exactly what the Globalist agenda wants. It is the standard Problem, Reaction, Solution that we have become all too familiar with in the past decades. Not only does the prohibition of Rhino horn create a black market for the substance, fueling violent conflict in the region over natural resources, but it also provides those with a Globalist agenda the perfect justification to get involved in the affairs of the African nations. The real purpose behind government intervention throughout the Middle East and now Africa is to preserve the power wielded by the U.S. Federal Government. There is a continuing battle over who will have access to the remaining resources of the African continent. Knowing that the majority of wildlife products end up being sold on the black market in Asia and the South Pacific provides the U.S. with the perfect justification for meddling in the economic affairs of these regions. Under the banner of “conserving wildlife” the Globalists can carry out their agenda of continued dominance through resource monopolization.
One of the more frightening aspects of this continued military expansion in Africa is the implementation of drones. According to GlobalPost.com “the South African government is trying new, increasingly militaristic tactics, including the use of surveillance drones and army-style command of anti-poaching efforts”. This approach is sure to fail the same way that every other prohibition has failed.
Legitimate Medicinal Use
It is important that we point out that the people seeking the Rhino horn are not “savages” or backward in any way. In fact, there is a substantial amount of evidence that demonstrates the medicinal value of rhino horn and many other animal parts used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Unfortunately, many individuals in the West might consider the medicinal use of animal parts “barbaric” or “primitive”. However, they are quite wrong to ignore that this practice has in fact been going on for thousands of years. TCM incorporates a wide variety of animal parts into their Materia Medica, including Rhino Horn. The world renowned Herbalist, Michael Tierra explains in his book The Way of Chinese Herbs: “Several patents contain animal products because of their potent effects. This is because their constituents contain substances quite similar to those found in our own bodies. Some examples are rhinoceros or antelope horn, gecko lizard, deer antler, human placenta, tiger bone, and oyster shell”. Indeed, science verifies that many of these substances do contain an array of medicinal compounds. It has been discovered that one of the primary constituents of rhino horn is keratin, a structural protein that is used in the nutritional supplement industry in a variety of formulas for skin, hair, nails, teeth, bones. Surely this alone would encourage medical science to study the Rhino horn for its nutritional and therapeutic effects. Based on the vested interests of those in power, I would also argue that keeping Rhino horn (and other herbal medicines) out of the hands of the masses is going to generate more business in the pharmaceutical industry.
Recently, the use of Deer Antler Velvet extract has gained interest in the West, as many professional athletes have begun using this product as a performance enhancing nutraceutical. We can look to Deer farming in the United States as a model for the future of successful Rhino farming. Many farms in New England raise Elk and Red Deer specifically for their antler and meats. The animals are allowed to roam free and are fed on a regular basis, ensuring that their numbers stay plentiful. When it is time to harvest the deer antler, the animal is sedated and the antlers are removed in a clean, safe environment. There is no reason that the same cannot be done with other exotic species around the world.
Prohibiton is the source of the problem
Of course killing these animals for their parts is unethical. However, it must be said that banning the trade of these animals does more harm than good. Prohibition of any substance creates a black market and artificially drives the price of these goods sky-high. In fact, according to the International Business Times, the growing demand for these illegal products “has driven up prices to anywhere from $65,000 to $90,000 per kilogram, making it more valuable by weight than gold, diamonds or cocaine”. This high price is the result of the ban on production and trade. In a truly free market environment, the price of Rhino horn would naturally be determined by supply and demand. Individuals would no longer have to hunt and kill these animals, but businesses could operate farms that both protect and preserve these valuable animal species while delivering a highly desired product to the market.
While the general public spews vitriol at Rhino poachers, they fail to recognize that it is the prohibitive policies that have created the excess of poachers which are now a threat to the survival of the Rhino. The reason that there are so many poachers hunting Rhino is because they have a very high incentive to bring Rhino horn to the market. The artificially high prices provide an easy return to poachers, who can then reinvest in their hunting operations by purchasing helicopters, weapons, and other tools they will use to hunt Rhino. The fact that the practice is illegal only encourages poachers to do their job as quickly as possible. When they spot a Rhino, there is no incentive to anesthetize the animal and harvest the horn in a safe and sterile manner. Because this activity is illegal, they are encouraged to kill the animal, remove its horn, and be gone as quickly as possible so as to avoid being arrested.
Since the law has decreed that it is unlawful to trade Rhino horn, the poachers will resort to violence in order to prevent going to jail. Substantiating this point, Eric Conway-Smith writes: “Less than a week into 2013, field rangers stationed…near South Africa’s border with Mozambique found themselves in a gunfight with three suspected poachers. The men escaped, leaving behind a high-caliber hunting rifle and a bag full of rhino horns”. This escalating violence that surrounds rhino horn trade should be an indicator to all that it is time to legalize the ethical trade of animal parts for medicinal substances.
Recently, Lion bones have been replacing Tiger bones on the market. Speaking to the point of prohibition causing more of a problem, Peter Warren, a South African Wildlife Breeder states: “If you were to put a ban on lion bones, all that’s gonna happen, the price is gonna three, five double, like it did with the Rhinos, and the people will go into the wild and will start smuggling the bones”. Indeed, this is precisely what economics tells us will happen when the availability of a highly sought after good is suddenly greatly diminished.
Legalize Rhino Farming and Respect African Sovereignty
The solution to these issues is for the international community to respect the independent sovereignty of the African nations and allow them to farm Rhino as well as any other animals they see fit. This is not a difficult proposition, as it has already been stated, there are a number of successful Deer Antler farms in the U.S. that protects deer populations and simultaneously brings a valuable product to market. Some might say that Rhino farming is not the same as Deer farming, and it would be much more difficult to farm these animals. This is untrue, as we have seen with a South African businessman turned Rhino farmer, John Hume.
According to The Daily Mail, John Hume: “has nearly 600 rhinos, around 80 in each 400 hectare ”field”, with separate breeding males and nurseries where young are kept with their mothers”. Like the intelligent investor that he is, Hume has been harvesting and stockpiling the rhino horn for years, telling the Daily Mail: “I’m wealthy enough to go on farming rhinos for the rest of my life without legalization, but if you talk to an investment guru he would tell you the last thing you sell is your rhino horn. My rhino horn stocks are my fastest growing asset”. The simple fact that Rhino horn remains an illegal substance should alert many as to the real motives behind its prohibition. We need only examine the stated goals of Under Secretary Robert Hormats and Secretary Hillary Clinton to see that the real goal is a justification for further control of global resources.
Legalize Rhino. Get out of Africa.