OK, look, I suspect that the author of this is a tree-hugger. But even if she is…
People are shooting, poisoning, and spearing [elephants] at such a rate across the continent that some scientists already consider them “ecologically extinct.” There are now fewer than 500,000 wild African elephants—maybe no more than half that number—and barely 32,000 Asian elephants.
They cannot fight against us; they cannot win this battle.
And the horror of what is happening to them is surely compounded in their minds by the empathy they feel for one another—an emotion that scientists have at last been able to demonstrate experimentally in elephants.
…well, there are several species that – my well-known opinions on the subject to the contrary – I feel bad about just killing. Elephants are on that list; especially since they actually should go on my ‘proto-sentient’ list anyway. Their emotional complexity in particular suggests that there’s something there that should not be casually eliminated (and I’m not the only person to mention this: in fact, I first got the notion as a child reading Kipling). All of which is to say, I find the poaching of elephants to be wicked in a way that I wouldn’t of, say, the Bengal tiger*.
Yeah, yeah, I’ll just go now and find a larch with which to be friends.
Via Hot Air.
*Beautiful animals, graceful, powerful, but we’ve hunted them almost to extinction and they still refuse to learn not to eat humans. Most other species have taken the hint by now.