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I must say, I never knew John was such an enemy of common sense. It is baffling to see such an established news person present such a biased and un-nuanced argument. Sustainable Use has long been considered problematic in the quest to save species from an advocacy point of view. John did not mention once the quality of life of the individual tigers when they are "saved" by the tiger farms. Obviously anthropocentric, John did not do a good job of truly looking at this problem and considering all sides. He even went as far to suggest that the factory farming of chickens is a good thing because it guarantees their species' survival. He also suggested the elephant is secure because people value them economically. While this would make us all feel better about killing them for our taste buds and wall hangings if it were true, it simply isn't. What John and other speciests fail to recognize is that animals have intrinisic rights independent of what economic value they provide humanity and should be "saved" on that intrinsic value alone. And, what may be surprising to people in his camp, is that there are plenty of people who share this take on animals. IFAW (The International Fund for Animal Welfare) has produced a seemingly much more detailed and accurate take on Tiger Farming at the massive Guilin Xiongsen Bear & Tiger Farm in South West China and can be found here:
(Sorry for the unweildy url!).
At the very least, this report gives more consideration to the individual tigers involved in Tiger Farming. IFAW also reports:
"You might be asking why tigers would ever be farmed in the first place. Good question - and there's a simple answer:
Tiger farms exist to make money for wealthy businessmen
who want to re-open the trade in tiger parts so that they can generate profits.
The businessmen who own tiger farms would like to fool us into thinking - as apparently they did Mr. Stossel - that tiger farming is the only way to save this doomed species.
Here's where their logic is dangerously off course:
Tiger farming actually
It's a simple case of economics:
Cost to farm a tiger = $4,000 to $10,000
Cost to kill a wild tiger = cost of a bullet
Which option do you think many providers of tiger products would prefer? The cheaper one, of course. So they'll hunt and kill wild tigers, and then sell the tiger parts at the same market where farmed tiger parts would be sold. Why wouldn't they? It's easy to see how tiger farming actually contributes to poaching, and could ultimately lead to the extinction of this majestic and vital species.
Tigers raised on farms never develop the skills they need to survive in the wild.
How could they learn to hunt in the wild when they are hand-fed and kept in cages on a farm? Plus, tigers on farms are in-bred and "speed-bred" -
tiger farmers even separate the baby tigers from their mothers early so the mothers can breed again
. Again, tigers on farms are bred for profit, not conservation.
In short, John's report was lacking in detail and seemed to gloss over a truly complex issue for the sake of entertainment. Again, I'm sure no thinking person gets their core beliefs from the likes of J. Stossel, but it is disturbing to see such a massive soapbox used to propogate untruths and hatred toward animals disguised in the false cloak of "Conservation."