Devouring the World, Tiger by Tiger [UPDATED]

July 16, 2009 at 10:53 am (By Amba) (, , , )

The Chinese, and the poachers who supply them, are not going to rest until they have destroyed every last wild tiger left on the planet.

When you put the life of a tiger in one pan of the scale and some human’s arthritis or impotence in the other; and when you then consider that the traditional remedies in question have no efficacy but what is bestowed by the human imagination (that most potent but fleeting and insatiable efficacy); and when you note that the supply of sore joints and soft penises is practically endless (1.3 billion mainland Chinese) while the supply of wild tigers to feed that demand is almost gone (perhaps 500 left in Malaysia, a few thousand worldwide); and when you ponder the irony that the rarer magnificent wildlife becomes, the higher its value, both to the domesticated, deracinated human imagination and to the poacher and the gangster-smuggler . . .

Dan Tri Newspaper on Thursday said a kilogram of fresh-frozen tiger meat costs about 20 million dong (1,130 dollars).

Tiger bones and other parts are often used in traditional Vietnamese medicine. ‘Tiger paste’ – made from boiling the bones of the tiger and said to restore the bones of the elderly – can sell for as much as 5,000 dollars a kilogram on the black market.

Less than 100 of the cats are believed to survive in the wild in Vietnam, where habitat loss and poaching have taken a heavy toll on endangered flora and fauna in recent decades.

According to Vietnamese law, those hunting, transporting or trading in rare animals are subject to a prison term of up to seven years and a cash fine of up to 1,250 dollars.

. . . well, it can make you feel like a self-hating sapiens deep ecologist for a few moments, seeing our planet pullulating with multiplying primate vermin.  Yet who’s to say my refined sentimentality about tigers I’ve mostly seen on calendars is any less disgusting a human trait than some Chinese guy’s desire for a tiger’s tireless potency?  “Speer-itch-ew-all” yearnings can at least consume their objects’ mojo without devouring the source, but in the muscular marketplace they’re laughably feeble; they come cheap and don’t make anybody any money (well, except the calendar companies).  Hey, what do I know, maybe God wants the whole biomass of the planet converted into human beings, ugly critters but with that inner jewel of priceless awareness 98% of which they squander on porn and videogames . . .

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2 Comments

  1. Jason (the commenter) said,

    Most tigers live on farms now-a-days. A weird thought.

  2. amba12 said,

    Yeah, “tiger farm” feels like an oxymoron if there ever was one.

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