Rhino’s and Tigers being farmed in China

I am conflicted. I was horrified to read in the press today that Rhino’s and Tigers are being farmed for assumed medicinal properties of the Rhino’s horns and many other unmentionable parts of the Tiger. My learning on wild life and ecology, the extinction of species bothered me.
But the question that came was, why do I not feel the same way about the Osterich, or even about Sheep. Because they are plentiful ? Or just because we are used to eating these animals and they are not under threat of extinction. If Tigers were as plentiful sheep, but in farms rather than in the wild, would we bother about them being farmed for their body parts ?
I would, I know. But why am I not bothered about cattle and sheep being farmed ?

8 thoughts on “Rhino’s and Tigers being farmed in China

  1. you’ve hit the nail on the head. sheep, ostrich etc. are indeed plentiful. hence, there’s no threat to their extinction. and necessarily, there’s less concern among people regarding them. i think thats perfectly reasonable. if we were to care for each and every species on the planet, we would starve to death.

  2. Hello Shekhar:
    Of course there is a hypocrisy that comes into play when we selectively have pangs of conscience at the sight or the knowledge of the killing of a certain species of animals. I dare say that the uproar over the farming of tigers would eventually subside once it no longer occupies the headlines of the print media or disappears from the evening news of television.
    Is it the killing that bothers us or is our sense of propriety offended by seeing these animals in cramped compounds, deprived of their freedom, desperately pacing back and force behind dense fences? We all like to think that cattle and sheep are roaming beautiful pastures before they are driven to the slaughter houses. The reality often has a different face. Most of us know that chicken live miserable lives before they meet their merciful end. Have we become vegetarians over all this outrage? No such thing. We simply have erected a protective wall beyond which we dont want to look for fear of choking on the next steak we undoubtedly will eat. There is so much cruelty in this world that the knowledge of the most horrible practices of killing animals would drive us to the brink of clinical depression and would fill our lives with a sadness so profound as to impede our ability to ever find happiness again. Therefore, we have learned to compartmentalize our grievances and have relegated them to the outer reaches of our consciousness where they do not hurt any more than the stray thought of some accident we have read about in the paper.
    Our guilt feelings go only as far as our palates determine. We vociferously voice our outrage at social gatherings and feel good about ourselves but in the final analysis we dont improve the life of one single creature with our rants. Even activists, after having made a tremendous amount of noise, more often than not stand empty-handed when asked to show results. Whats left is a dose of fatalism to accept what no effort of ours can really change.
    All the best.

  3. Would people benefiting from rhino’s horns or unmentionable parts of tiger be bothered? Same reason. More people are ‘partners in crime’ when it comes to cattle and sheep farming, so any propaganda against it (vegetarianism, vegan…) is likely to be simply ignored by the majority.

  4. U cant love nature if u dont love life. Please dont talk about preserving nature if u are killing life to satisfy hunger and taste. BE VEGETARIAN PLZ.

  5. So
    animal breeding may reduce sensitivity of human being?
    What is in abundance, does not bother us?
    Breeding can help in keeping ecological balance in right order?
    And it is a well proven fact that Meat Industry is one of the biggest contributors in GLOBAL WARMING!
    That Industry has to search for greener technologies.

  6. It kinda goes both ways when u mentioned ur feelings in this context, Shekhar ji. I say that because 99 % of the chinese are sarvabhakshis; meaning they will eat anything that moves,crawls,flies, swims etc. I was aghast when they described abt their cuisines and how they are prepared[most of them are raw and require no elaborate cooking] and gobbled up with no sense whatsoever of pain perception! That is how they have been vegetating for a very very long time, aren’t u glad/grateful/humbled that we have the Himalayas shielding us from such cannibals?

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