I love elephants. If I were Austin enough to have a spirit animal it’d be a pachyderm. Heck, I’m a Tufts graduate; our mascot is P.T. Barnum’s Jumbo. Well, was until rioting students burned down the building in which the stuffed elephant resided. Anyway, hunting is the best way to protect African elephants. If the benefits (money, ivory and meat) went to the natives, – and I know that’s a big if – the natives would protect the mighty mammals against poaching. Prohibition? When did that ever work? Someone should tell Billy Joel and Fish (not Country Joe and the Fish) . . .
Use of ivory in musical instruments, such as piano keys and decorative inlays on guitars, is a significant driver of the trade. That realization has led Joel to take a stand against ivory use in instruments. Last year, the six-time Grammy award winner penned a letter backing statewide bans in New York and New Jersey on all ivory sales.
“There are other materials which can be substituted for piano keys,” he wrote on his website at the time. “But magnificent creatures like these [elephants] can never be replaced. Music must never be used as an excuse to destroy an endangered species.”
OK takepart.com, I’ll keep that in mind. And keep this in mind: I would never shoot an elephant (unless it put me and my loved ones in danger of death or grievous bodily harm and imminence was imminent). But sometimes the right thing to do isn’t the easy thing to do.