Sir Richard Branson is fronting the Wild Aid campaign to stop rhino poaching. It aims to show how rhino horn can’t positively have any medicinal benefit to humans. The campaign poster shows Richard Branson chewing his finger nails stating that rhino horn is made of keratin (the same as our hair and nails).
Whilst this campaign is tackling the generation demanding the horn and fueling the killing of the rhinos right now, I feel like the POWEs are tackling the next generation – before they grow into adults and create a new market of demand (should there be any rhinos left by then).
“Keratin. That’s all it is. No different or more a medical remedy than your own fingernails. So with a dwindling rhino population, why kill off one of our planet’s greatest species for no reason?” Sir Richard Branson
Rhino horn is considered a status symbol in China and Vietnam. The rising middle class in these countries has caused the demand for rhino horn to rocket – now worth more than gold. How stupid humans are, to pay so much for something that actually grows out of their own head and out of their own fingers and toes. Not only do humans produce the exact same substance (keratin) out of their own bodies, but it cannot cure any form of illness whatsoever.
Unfortunately myths are strongly held and hard to dispel. But we have to believe that it can be done. We cannot be the generation that sits back and lets rhinos disappear off the face of the earth. Instead, lets be the generation that stops this barbaric pointless extinction of such an enigmatic creature.
In 2014 South Africa lost 1,215 rhinos to poaching (up from 13 in 2007). The last 15 rhinos in Mozambique were killed in 2013 (in 2002 they had 300). We are running out of time…but there is still time.
This rhino calf doesn’t have a mummy because someone naively thought drinking a cup of tea made out of his mother’s horn would cure them of some illness.
Lets stop this! Spread the message.