immoral and sentimental

I was watching storage hunters and one particular chap managed to make 12k after finding a drawer full of jewellery and products made of ivory and rhino horn. Granted, the animals have been dead a while but the antique market is helping to fuel demand and re-kindle interest in ivory products. As a result population numbers of both the African and Indian elephants are in rapid decline, with tens of thousands killed bypoachers every year.

My husband has an ivory handled brush and comb. His sister gave it to him for his 18th birthday. I can still recall the momentary feeling of confusion and tension in the air when we all saw him unwrap it, his whole family were surprised that his sister had bought it and worried about how to respond. He accepted it gratefully and thanked his sister but I just had a head full of questions – I couldn’t believe she had bought it and that she bought it from a reputable shop, as it was brand new.

He has had this brush and comb ever since. Every time I move them to dust the dresser, I detest them. The feel of the ivory, the thought of how the elephant succumbed in order for the products to be made. However it holds a sentimental value to my husband, because it was his sister’s special present.

What do I do? I was thinking of selling it on eBay and then sending the proceeds of the sale to WWF but I don’t want to assist in fuelling the ivory trade. I googled the price of ivory and was surprised to see the number of websites offering money for ivory tusks, so there clearly is no real attempt by government authorities to halt trade as it is prevalent online.

A good petition worth your support on Change.org, calls for the BBC to stop filming programmes that encourage people to profit from the sale of old ivory items – sign the petition here.

 

Given the family link, which is awkward, I think I need to pose this question to Graham Norton and Maria on their radio 2 clinic on Saturday mornings.

I welcome the thoughts and advice of fellow bloggers……

This blog is for UNICEF- if you can support the charity’s good work worldwide, click here.

Thanks for reading.

 

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