Against Extinction

Elephants were in Cavendish Square again today, along with Stanley Johhnson and others mainly from the Tory conservation movement.

Some of the elephants were live, but only in human form, in grey suits with large heads with trunks and tusks, but there were many more on posters . They had come to Cavendish Square as a part of the 2019 Global March for Elephants and Rhinos and were to march to a rally to Downing St.

There were rather few of them, making me think that the Conservative conservation movement is also in danger of extinction, but perhaps more reflecting a wish not to be associated with the much wider and larger animal rights movement whose radicalism I think they find disturbing.

Of course it is a good thing to work through official bodies such as CITES, where some of them are fighting to get greater protection for elephants and to prevent attempts to downgrade protection of endangered species or reopen trade in ivory and other body parts. But it would be good to have a protest that represented the support of a much wider movement for this – even if some of them are also against fox hunting and the badger cull and other activities some Tories hold dear.

There is very wide support for animal welfare and animal rights across the virtually the whole of the UK population (sadly rather more than for human rights) and this protest seemed absurdly sectional. There could have been thousands out on the streets calling for  a ban on the import of hunting trophies of endangered species to the UK and not just a small and slightly sad group creeping along the pavement.

Fortunately the atmosphere was calmer than at a similar protest a few months previously when the papparazzi turned up to photograph Boris Johnson’s girl-friend. She wasn’t there, so nor where they and there was no mad ruch pushing people and other photographers out of the way. But of course this also meant that there was none of the full-page coverage that the earlier protest got. Probably just a bored editor spiking the story as not being news.

More at Against extinction and trophy hunting.

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