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Tom Kellie

African Donkeys Slaughtered for Traditional Chinese Medicine

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/chinese-medicine-using-donkey-skins-134345482.html

 

~ This June, 2017 article from Newsweek tells of the increasing demand in China for a form of traditional Chinese medicine called ‘ejiao’ which is marketed as offering anti-aging and libido-enhancing properties.

 

The preparation of ‘ejiao’ calls for herbs blended with an extract of dried donkey hides. As with other traditional Chinese medicine nostrums there is increased demand for animal products from other countries, in this case donkeys from Africa.

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@Tom Kellie  -  on my last Kenya safari, we passed lines of donkeys beside the highway being led to a slaughterhouse in southern Baringo County.  Ben Mugambi said it was because increased Chinese demand was driving up the prices for Donkey parts.  And that Donkey rustling was getting to be a problem in Northern Kenya - something that was unheard of until a few years ago.

 

The mind reels at how many animals (and species) are meeting their doom over bogus Chinese "animal cures".

 

I keep waiting for inventions like Viagra to damp down Chinese demand for various animal concoctions but it never seems to happen...

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13 hours ago, offshorebirder said:

@Tom Kellie  -  on my last Kenya safari, we passed lines of donkeys beside the highway being led to a slaughterhouse in southern Baringo County.  Ben Mugambi said it was because increased Chinese demand was driving up the prices for Donkey parts.  And that Donkey rustling was getting to be a problem in Northern Kenya - something that was unheard of until a few years ago.

 

The mind reels at how many animals (and species) are meeting their doom over bogus Chinese "animal cures".

 

I keep waiting for inventions like Viagra to damp down Chinese demand for various animal concoctions but it never seems to happen...

 

~ @offshorebirder

 

Thank you for posting such a straightforward comment above.

 

After 18 years of employment and uninterrupted expatriate life here, it's unclear what might be said.

 

Like a rigged competition, the well-oiled, carefully calculated responses to any critical comments are packed, spring-loaded and ready to fire the moment any trace of criticism is written or spoken.

 

Such terms as “cultural differences”, “racist bias”, “no respect for diversity”, and “insensitivity to East Asian history” are tossed out as defences, reminiscent of squid clouding sea water with ink in order to make their escape.

 

Yet in posts by various members in Safaritalk, over and over and over the same cultural practices, tacitly sanctioned by the same authorities in the same nation crop up again and again and again.

 

It would seem unfair to relentlessly pick on any one nation or culture about wildlife conservation issues, as it would seem as though any conservation wrongs would likely be distributed among various countries.

 

However, if the preponderance of the evidence, month after month, year after year, situation after situation, pointed in the same direction, is it really prejudice to conclude that there's an ongoing problem in a given culture's attitudes?

 

The carefully orchestrated dog and pony shows staged for the international media and conservation NGO grandees are intended to mollify “foreigners” with the illusion that all is improving.

 

Yet, the trafficking continues unabated, the clandestine shipments continue to be interdicted, the diplomats in Africa continue to be involved in illegal wildlife sales, the search for animal product-based “cures” of ailments and male potency goes on, and the preening pride in wearing or displaying elephant ivory shows no sign of tapering off.

 

In so many news articles about African conservation issues the ultimate end users are from the same culture and the same country, with nefarious schemes ultimately linked back to the nation which no one is surprised to see mentioned.

 

Yes, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong are implicated, but the great bulk, the engine driving the system, as it were, is the one nation and the one culture which is most prickly and shows the least responsiveness to international norms.

 

This issue, seen from my vantage point, is out of control, with various factors ratcheting up demand, yet reassuring articles in the international press appear from journalists whose concerns have been placated by trained staff of what is literally named the “propaganda department”.

 

They understand with crystal clarity how “wishful thinking” leads to gullibility, which they exploit as much as possible.

 

Although I've been fortunate to have lived in an era when it was possible to observe many remarkable species firsthand, I look out over packed classrooms of university students wondering how many of my students’ children will have a comparable opportunity.

 

Those poor African donkeys...

 

Tom K.

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