search

How Viagra could Save the Tiger


October 22, 2015

Like everyone with a shred of human kindness, I’m worried about the survival of tigers. They’re legitimately endangered, that’s clear, and the reasons listed for their declining numbers are many; loss of habitat, poaching, and deadly interactions with humans. But what people are not talking about is why tiger habitat is lost, why humans have encroached further into the forests and swamps tigers traditionally call home, or why they’re killed for their body parts.

Tiger advocates, seemingly well-intended, take in hundreds of millions in donations each year by casting humans and human progress as the key villains threatening these wondrous big cats. The simplistic portrayal of conditions encroaching on tigers’ survival as; bad man vs good tiger, or evil human development vs pristine tiger habitat, is a formula that works to bring in the big bucks. But actually thinking about why, despite decades of heartrending media campaigns and countless millions of dollars, tiger populations, until recently, were plummeting to near extinction, is a different matter.  And the answer to the question of tiger survival is not one bleeding-heart environmental non-profits want to talk about.

In 2010 India’s tiger populations began to stabilize, and have rebounded modestly since then. What has changed in India in recent years to cause this? Has the human population of India declined, opening up habitats where it once encroached? Not so much. India has undergone an economic transformation in recent years, and currently has one of the world’s fastest growing economies. It’s not a decrease in human population or a reversal in human progress that is giving tigers a glimpse of hope, but industrial and economic advances in this Asian democracy.

India now produces automobiles, fossil fuels, and is emerging as a world leader in hi-tech companies, banking and consumer goods. So why isn’t the tiger completely extinct considering the boom in India’s economic activity–including energy production and manufacturing–and a human population that holds an upward trend? Because democracy, industrialization and free-market economic activities are good for species that require special protections and care from humans. India’s tiger management practices were updated, farming practices are undergoing modernization, using new technologies and better plant strains that require less acreage and water.

mumbai

Despite benefits from growing economies in the Indian subcontinent, and modern industrial practices in farming and manufacturing, tigers in all parts of Asia are still swimming in dire straits because of poaching. Poachers kill tigers, especially breeding-age males, for their fur, glands, testicles, and other body parts which are marketed as folk remedies for everything from curing disease to enhancing virility.

It may take more than free-market economics and industrial progress to stem the threat poaching poses to tigers in Asia. A good dose of Western culture may be the answer. Think of it this way; “folk remedies” are often founded in superstition where voids exist in the understanding of objective scientific fact. Scientific processes; hypothesis, research, testing, patient trials, bring us the pharmaceuticals that treat illness, reverse the ravages of disease, and make impotent men virile. Western medicine is based in reason. Western civilization is based reason as well. So long as superstitions linger in backward civilizations whose thinking is lagging behind industrial modernization, things like tiger poaching for body parts to make folk remedies will linger.

Saying that Viagara– and the science and reason that have gone into its development–could save the tiger from extinction is not unreasonable. Modern medical practices which supplant superstition and folk medicine, along with industrialization, modern technology, democratic governments, and free markets, enhance human life in countless ways. In a time when industry is cleaner, more efficient, and more cognizant of its impact on animals and the environment than ever before, species, such as the tiger, are endangered not by a human progress, but by the absence of it.

by Marjorie Haun  10/22/15

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

close
Search ReaganGirl
search
Newest Posts
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Truth About Islam
Networked Blogs
search

Hi, guest!

settings

menu
WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera