Read this article, then read my rant: Record Cache of Snow Leopard Parts Seized in China via National Geographic News on 9/9/07
I can't help but cry after reading this article- I feel guilty because as much as I love these elusive creatures for their beauty, gentle nature and independence, I have done nothing to help them, other than buy stuff off the snow leopard conservatory website, and spout menial detailed facts at anyone who will stand still long enough to listen. I haven't donated any money to their cause, even though I would like to. If I won the lotto, a great portion would go towards helping teach about conservation, building pens for the wildstock of the local farmers, and funding research. I would so love to visit Tibet, and indeed they do offer guided tours of the area in hopes of glimpsing snow leopards. I guess education of their plight is as much as I can do right now, and get on to writing that book to help spread the word. There is a new non-fiction children's book about snow leopard book coming out in Oct/Nov... (I have ordered it already for the South Valleys Library, of course!)
Further, how can people DO this?! It makes me so angry! How can they kill innocent animals? Retribution killing for the sake of survival is one thing, but just for money I don't understand. Why does everything have to be about money?! Even if someone does buy these illegal pelts, where can they wear them since they're ILLEGAL? Even at their festivals there are law-keepers who will hopefully crack down and bring the wrath of their power down on their heads.
I feel like an emotional hypocrite right now... And I really want that tattoo now!