Pause for a moment to consider what’s in that number.
It’s not hard to do the math and understand how sobering and dire the situation is; and not only with rhinos, but with many of Africa’s iconic species. Its face hacked off while still alive and conscious, left to die a slow and immeasurably painful death. So while I apologize for the graphic nature of the video, which in twenty-four seconds describes only too well the brutal reality that is being inflicted on these animals every day, I do not apologize for sharing it and imploring people to understand what exactly is taking place, why, and to what end.
We need to understand what is happening here. We need to understand the part we play, even as passive witnesses (especially as passive witnesses), and we need to make a difference. Because extinction means forever. And for what? Some rhino horn powder that has no medicinal value? Some tiger or lion bones that similarly have no medicinal value? Some artwork carved from the tusks of elephants to feed a growing Asian middle class with disposable income? Is the extinction of these species to feed our ever-growing greed worth the price paid? To what end?
When the buying stops, the killing can too.