by Emmanuel Koro
It is both a slave-master and neocolonial racist thinking that gives Western animal rights groups and the Western media the right to tell poverty-stricken Africans not to use their own wildlife to benefit conservation and development in Africa.
Who do the animal rights groups and the Western media think they are to continue telling Africa not to hunt their wildlife and trade in ivory from elephants that are problematically overpopulating their national parks?
Wildlife hunting is a scientifically justified form of wildlife cropping to take out old wildlife that no longer has significant contribution to the gene pool and also keep them within populations that the ecosystem can handle. Hunting also helps generate revenue that can be ploughed back into conservation and in the process creates employment and contributes to economic growth.
Why on earth do these racists Western animal rights groups and the media not make the same outcry when millions of cows, goats and sheep are slaughtered daily? These Western animal rights Ngos selectively choose not to acknowledge that the secret to the survival of these millions of livestock lies in the value that they have to humans.
When you put the same value on African wildlife, African people would look after the same wildlife like they do their cattle, sheep, goats and chickens that have and will never become extinct despite being killed daily.
Therefore, the real enemies of African wildlife are the Western animal rights groups and the media that maliciously fight to end any use of wildlife for racist and selfish reasons to paralyse Africans into poverty while these Westerners in sharp contrast wallow in untold wealth raised in the name of African wildlife but raised funds never see their way to Africa.
The vicuna was always endangered in South America as long as the international ban to trade in its fur remained in force. However, when the international trade in vicuna fur was eventually lifted its population continued to increase and is no longer endangered today. The same positive conservation outcome can happen with African wildlife, if we are allowed to use it.
That is why we here in Southern Africa in particular came up with a “use it or lose it” wildlife management approach but the racist Western Ngos will not let us; to the detriment of African wildlife conservation as wildlife, particularly our elephants and rhinos.
We know why the animal rights groups like the ongoing status quo of having wildlife in Africa continually endangered because this helps them to sustain the poaching crisis. They in turn use this self-made crisis as grounds to continuously and hypocritically ask people worldwide to donate money to save African wildlife.
Sadly, the money does not go to wildlife conservation in Africa but goes to pay their high salaries that are much higher than what African presidents, including those of Nigeria and South Africa earn.
All the while, some friendly and few non-racist Westerners who have been watching these Western animal rights Ngos’ corrupt and scandalous fundraising campaigns in the name of African wildlife told me in exclusive interviews that, “African presidents, their ministers, politicians and villagers as well as the media are too nice because they cannot have the courage to tell the Western animal rights groups that they are racist and neocolonialists and even slave masters because when they ban the use of African wildlife, including hunting and trade in ivory and rhino horn, they are imposing on Africa; Western conservation values that are detrimental to wildlife conservation in Africa, including the socioeconomic wellbeing of African people.”
I have read stories that were recently published in the Western media ahead of the CITES 18th Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 23 May 2019 to 3 June 2019 and got a clear signal that the Western animal rights groups and the Western media still believe that Africa should continue to answer and respond to them as it did to its slavery and colonial masters of yester year.
Please wake up and smell the coffee. Africa is no longer under both slavery and colonialism as you falsely believe in your continued and harmful promotion of anti-wildlife use agenda in Africa.
In stories I read in the Western media last week, I noticed that these Western NGOs and the media don’t consider the volumes of elephant hunting trophies from the mid-1970s to the present day as excellent indicators of the growth of African economies through the hunting industry.
Instead, the Western animal rights groups and media choose to falsify that information as mass-scale unjustified killing of wildlife. The truth is that the African wildlife legal hunting quotas (number of wildlife that each country can hunt annually) are approved by the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora Species (CITES).
CITES accepts these quotas as part of sustainable wildlife management. Why then should people who are not part of CITES start suspiciously falsifying this legal use of wildlife as mass killing of wildlife?
Worldwide oil rigging and use is one of the many economic activities that are most harmful to human and wildlife wellbeing, including the environment in general through all forms of pollution and climate change.
Sadly, these Western animal rights groups do not dare call for the ban in use of oil that is largely produced by powerful Western and Arab nations. These are double standards. Why do these so-called animal rights groups and the media selectively choose Africa as their punching bag and leave out super powers in this environmental debate?
I challenge any one of these groups and their media to tell Iran to stop producing oil and we would like to see if this might not cause a full-scale war. Equally, these groups and their media would not dare tell the USA to stop using oil because they know President Donald Trump would be the first one to tell them to go jump in a lake of fire fanned by oil.
Therefore, I would like to conclude by pointing out that the Western racist NGOs together with the Western media do no have the right to tell African people and their presidents not to use their wildlife. African has never and will not tell them how to use theirs.
I have travelled to almost all Southern African rural communities living side by side with wildlife and have interviewed them on what they think about this Western racist animal rights and media attitude of imposing their wildlife conservation agenda on them.
They angrily responded by saying these Westerners do not know that when we do not benefit from wildlife we start hating it and start poaching it.
“So these Westerners are forcing us to poach our wildlife when they deny us opportunities to legally use it in many ways, including trade and hunting,” said a Hwange National Park villager Biggie Shoko who recently survived a horrible elephant attack and spent months in hospital.
What a shame on these Western organisations and their media who ironically consider themselves progressives yet in reality they are as oppressive, manipulative and exploitative as their ancestors were; during the slavery and colonial eras. One wonders what it will it take for these hypocrites to break with this sad and sore past.
In June 1997, I defeated representatives of Western animal rights groups in a live television debate on Zimbabwe’s national television station ZTV.
Now I am challenging Western television networks to arrange for a live television debate where I can see eye-ball to eye-ball with the representatives of these racist Western animal rights groups and racist Western media representatives to meaningfully debate these issues so that the truth can be known.
Many journalists write under cover of print media and even radio because their faces cannot be seen. I want a live debate on CNN, BBC, Fox News, American Broadcasting Corporation etc. I am sorry; I cannot do it on radio because we want the world to see the faces of people in an open and frank debate where the truth and not an individual or an NGO should emerge as the victor.
I represent all the voice-less African rural communities living side by side with wildlife but sadly without benefits because the Western groups continue to sponsor the ban on wildlife use in Africa and their equally racist Western media does not question this as is required by their professional ethics.
I also write and speak to reveal the truth about both of African people and wildlife’s needs. Who and what do these Westerners represent?
It is high time the world got to know the little known and sad truths that will come out in the debate I am proposing. All well-educated journalists worldwide know that journalists should ideally write in defence of public interest, particularly in defence of the voiceless and powerless rural communities.
Nevertheless, we do not live in an ideal world as we can see the racist Western media fighting in the corner of racist and powerful Western animal rights groups at the expense of poor and seemingly powerless and voiceless (in the Western media) African rural communities and their governments. Do the Western animal rights think that you have to start thinking wildly (insanely) when debating wildlife issues, particularly those from Africa?
–Emmanuel Koro is a Johannesburg-based international award-winning journalist who has written extensively on environment and development issues in Africa for the past 25 years.