End the Trade?

leo

Member
Hi all,
I'm a politics major and have always dreamed about going into law school. I've always pictured myself helping out the most needed, at first helping people was my vision, but since got my chams and joined the forums, I can't help but notice the great unjust treatment we are giving nature by taking away it's "jewels" as I like to call them (flora and fauna). I've decided to set my focus on the animal trade, in order to help stop legal and illegal trade. I feel that as much as we might want to justify breeding programs or the importation of animals for a “better cause”, there is really no moral justification to it. I mean those who breed animals end up selling them for whatever their reasons might be thus creating a bigger market, for those animals don’t end up back in the wild. I’m not condemning anyone since I too have animals, but although I try to care for them as best as I can I know they belong in the wild, not as part of “my collection” or anyone else’s. I know it might seem a little too radical, but I personally believe that we should not “domesticate” other species and we should all be aiming to end the trade, as much as we appreciate close contact with these great species. What do you think; would you really support the end of animal trade (at least between countries)?
 

Ricardo

New Member
So, here is my opinion:

The illegal trade is what we dont want to support. Nobody should!

But the legal trade is legal, it can have benefits. For example, if you never have the possibility to go on excursions as a kid, you dont see the nature's wonders, you cant discover it, then you wont care about it really. Nature (flora and fauna) wont represent walue in your life. So if you can get a pet (cat, dog, reptile etc..) it can move you to a way of better understanding the animals, their behaves, their environment. Of course you have to learn and do reasearches about it also, but a pet can be a start.

And lets see the Zoos. For a lots of ppl the zoo is the only place to see "exotic" animals, and in a well designed enclosure it can be a real good experience! Also zoos have the ability to handle and take care the animals in 24/7, so a brreding program can be more effective if a zoo is involved in it. Anyway they need some animals to start it, so the must be imported (traded). Of course with permissions.

The protection of the natural habitats are important too. It cant be divided from the protection of the spec. itself in captivity. In a good rescue program these things should be harmonized.

A good breeding program needs some bloodline refreshments also. If its not avalible, the population might not get the neccesary genetic varyability, and became more receptive to parasites, dideases, infections, what can cause the "extinction" of that population.

So the prohibitation of the animal trade, wether its legal or not, is not an easy and simple task. You have to be a part of a multidisciplinary team, or study some biology yourself too if you want to understand the whole thing.

Best wishes and good luck!

Ricardo
 

pssh

Avid Member
Nope. There are plenty of cases where wild animals were taken when they had/have very few numbers in the wild, then are bred to speed up the growing of the population, and are finally released in the hopes of them surviving and thriving. There have been some very successful programs.

Importing animals can be needed to help these programs work. Animals that may be kept in other countries for whatever reason might be needed for diversity. Like cheetahs, for example. They naturally have sperm that is lame. Very few of the gene vessels work well enough to carry on its biological mission. Now, it was working just fine for the animals until the population declined. Now, the likelyhood of inbreeding and very few cubs are high. There are a lot of worldwide programs that are working to help make more for the wild, while also adding diversity and stronger animals. They may not be done just yet, but its going to get there. I don't know about you, but I would like to see cheetahs running free in the wild. Otherwise they would just be another species that we have pushed into extinction.


I suppose the pet trade should end but my lizards ain't leaving! Legal exportation of wild animals in certain countries (for the pet trade) are generally acceptable because it doesn't negatively affect the population. As much as I would like animals to be free, the other part of me that is fascinated by keeping them just overpowers it.
 

fluxlizard

New Member
Since you asked for everyone's opinion, I won't mince words.

Here is my opinion-

Who left you God to impose your viewpoint on the rest of us? The arrogance of your position is amazing in a society that is supposed to be composed of a free people.

Let's be clear- Your position is to take away my right to pursue happiness, and many others right to the same, as well as remove countless jobs and businesses that provide for many thousands of people's families in the economy.

My opinion is that you have just declared yourself my enemy.

As a chameleon keeper yourself, you are also a huge hypocrite. YOU apparently feel that you are worthy of a pleasure that you yourself would deny others. Now THAT is ARROGANCE.

Sorry, but some of the best experiences of my life have been set around keeping and breeding lizards. The experience has taught me and my children so much about so many areas of scientific interest, and has been a great tool for teaching my children to care for life.

If you don't like the trade, use your freedom of speach to speak out against what you see as its negative aspects and encourage people to vote with their dollars (or vote by with-holding dollars).

If you want to help the world- go use *your* resources to get others to *voluntarily* use *their* resources to help *people*. The world has enough pinhead politicians who like you are completely arrogant and want to push their view of morality on the rest of us and force us at gunpoint by legislation to pay for the priviledge. The problem with the way politicians are running things now is moral vantage points are an individual thing- two politicians in opposing parties trying to force their own vantage point on everyone. A republic with individual freedom is supposed to be much more than that narrow mindset.
 
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ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Well...you pissed off fluxlizard for sure! Here's my point of view:

There are not many species that have been repopulated in captivity and then rereleased if you look at the animal population of the world, but that doesn't mean there haven't been any successes with reintroduction! To the contrary actually. Here's a few to get you started. And just because reintroduction is not the current goal does not mean it can't be in the future. And the preservation of genetic diversity is even more important than just saving animals themselves. Without genetic diversity the species is doomed no matter how many there are.

Irresponsible collection and lack of education in whatever species you're keeping captive is no boon to the species either however. If we are collecting something for the good of the species in an area that's quickly depleting, but don't know enough about them to keep them alive or propagate, then we've only done a disservice by disrupting natural breeding. But with proper education and husbandry, which has come a long way in the last 10 years or so for many, many exotic pet species, we can build up captive populations to discourage illegal and sometimes even legal collection. If done right, there's nothing for you to argue against! Macaws and parrots were imported by the millions not that long ago, with the majority of them dying during the capture process, at import stations, or quickly in the care of the pet collectors receiving them. Realizing that we were doing no service to the species the US and most of Europe 100% banned any importation of macaws and parrots only a decade or two ago. Now we have more responsible pet ownership of these birds with significantly longer lifespans and fewer health issues from better education. We don't need importation anymore (although it would be nice to get new blood and better breed characterisitcs in our population for sure).

While it would be great to be able to leave all the animals in their natural habitat, even us pet enthusiasts will hardly argue that's not the best thing for them, the problem is that habitat disappears faster and faster each day. I'd love to see all my exotic pets out in the real world they were meant to be in. But if it's not there, or the people now living in their space are only going to poach them, can that really be the best thing for the species? Did you know that many indigenous people of Madagascar think of chameleons as bad omens or manifestations of demons and kids kill them for fun? You have to look at it from a species perspective rather than individuals. There's some absurd statistic is that 3 species go extinct every day (don't quote me on that, can't remember if that was the right number). Considering that the habitats of the world are being destroyed, if we were to ban all legal trade altogether you would see a much faster extinction rate because you'd be leaving all of the population to its own fate, one that man has already stacked against them. They can't play the game anymore because we've changed all the rules. By allowing captive collections we are prolonging the life of a species, perhaps the only part of that species that will remain.

It's not just people around the world don't care about animals, in many places they are only doing what they can to survive. If you look outside the plush borders of our very, very wealthy nations where the impoverished would be kings in third world countries, you'd see people literally making dollars in a week for salary. In places like that where your family is starving you're going to do things you wouldn't in normal circumstances. It's easy to go cut down an old growth forest and not consider the consequences when your children are crying from hunger pains all the time. And even animals you may love are worth killing if some idiot on the black market will pay for it's hide and you can live another day. You can't simply go out into the world and tell people animals and habitats are worth people dying for. As much as I'd like it to be a harmonious world where that's not an issue that would be naive and ignorant to assume. Until you provide these people with alternate sources of income, better living standards, and stable governments you're not going to see any major improvement in conservation because people come first. Argue for that.

I encourage you, in any argument you make, to do your research before trying to promote broad sweeping generalizations that don't take into account any of the world considerations that you should since they are what's going to decide the fate of a species, not a few collectors like us trying to learn as much as possible to do better for them. If you want something to argue against, argue against illegal collection and if you want something to argue for then argue for conservation of wild habitats and better conditions for the people that are trying to live off them, because without those any efforts on our part are wasted. And argue for better education for everyone. Fix the source of the problem instead of the symptoms. Otherwise you are just narrow-minded and arrogant, as flux said and will do no good for anyone involved. And I do not believe that the kind of change you're talking about would be in the best interest of almost any species involved. Endangered animal trade is already prohibited from a legal standpoint so you wouldn't be helping them anyway.
 
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Ricardo

New Member
Totally agree with Flux and Ferret... i just dont have that good english to say it as you guys did!
 

Cainschams

New Member
As a chameleon keeper yourself, you are also a huge hypocrite. YOU apparently feel that you are worthy of a pleasure that you yourself would deny others. Now THAT is ARROGANCE.
Well, I really dont need to elaborate.

One must also think about these poor people in these countries. Yes, they are raping the land and yes it is sad. But, these people fight for their lives every day. Without us buying some of these animals there goes another source of income. Its a shame that many of the WCs just go to die but this is the reality of it. Im sure you view those people as jerks also, though.

Sounds to me like you should sell your animals if you really want someone to take you seriously.

Personally, Id much rather go to Africa and see the chameleons I keep in the wild than keep them in cages but I wouldnt even begin to be so ignorant as to make hypocritical statements as this thread.

JMO
 

pssh

Avid Member
I think you should start from the top and work your way down. You aren't going to do much if you don't tackle the political, social, and economic problems.

It's kind of like malaria in tropical, poor countries. You aren't going to stop people from getting it just by giving them nets to sleep under. You have to tackle the root problems. And then malaria relates to the poverty problem and families having so many children, which adds to the economic problems which usually stem from the government or lack of government which is linked to a lack of education which leads right back into poverty. It's a BIG cycle to break.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Exactly. Do some research and delve into everything deeper than the superficial problem you're trying to address, which is really not even a problem in my opinion. To argue effectively you have to have facts and evidence on your side, otherwise you have no base to stand on. This is a very complicated issue, kind of like advanced cancer, and just popping a pain pill isn't going to solve anything.
 

Maurer3D

New Member
I agree with the stop of the ILLEGAL animal trade.....

As for the legal trade I totally disagree.. Conservation relies on educating the people, halting unsustainable hunting (or capturing), ending habitat destruction, and farming (raising babies for a few months before releasing most of them back into the wild) . Captive breeding programs are especially needed for animals that are endangered of extinction. Education is also a big tool, we as humans tend not to care about things unless we can see and possibly touch something.

For the most part here in the US we have some really amazing breeders who dedicated themselves to producing some beautiful animals, that have all but eliminated the importation of alot of species. As long as people do their research and are willing and able to care for animals properly, the animal will live a great life.......

One of the best examples of conservation we have here in America are the Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons. Both species were nearly wiped out in the 70's buy a chemical called DDT, they are both doing so much better now. Peregrine Falcons are being reintroduced into alot of the areas they died out in.
 

Ryan Jarosek

New Member
AHHHH..... PETA is among the evilest NPOs in America.... Sorry if anyone is a sane member of PETA, and by sane I mean not a psycho vegan (people who insist everyone should be vegan and think no-one should have pets).

There are no sane members. Only ignorant ones who think PETA is useful and don't really know what they do. If they had a clue they wouldn't support them.
 

jessica

Avid Member
If you want something to argue against, argue against illegal collection and if you want something to argue for then argue for conservation of wild habitats and better conditions for the people that are trying to live off them, because without those any efforts on our part are wasted. And argue for better education for everyone. Fix the source of the problem instead of the symptoms.

This is a way you can combine your passion to help people and reptiles.
 

leo

Member
First off, I support the legal “trade” as long as it is for conservation purposes, which is then not a “trade market”, and as long as the individuals are qualified to maintain the species. However, I do not support this kind of trade for market purposes. Which is what I see most of the time.

Pshh and ricardo- I agree that some projects have been successful in the conservation and reintroduction of endangered species, therefore they are needed. I never stated that our pets should be returned to the wild or that others should not enjoy the privileges that I currently enjoy, (I only have captive bred species). What I’m trying to get at is the fact that it is essential that we diminish the amount of wild animals taken into captivity (ideally to nothing) for market purposes, because while some projects have been successful, when have any of us have contributed to the reintroduction of the animals that we own?

No doubt that to address this issue there are many factors that should be emphasized and taken into account such as political, social, and economical. however, regulations are a good way to start in my opinion, since now a day’s corruption can make an “illegal” trade “legal”.

fluxlizard- You definitely need to re-read my first post and try to, if you can, critically analyze the content of it. It is unfortunate that you feel your happiness derives from keeping animals in captivity, and focus more on their economical power than their right to remain free.
You wrote: “remove countless jobs and businesses that provide for many thousands of people's families in the economy.” That’s exactly the problem I’m trying to address, the fact that we focus more and worry on other species for their economical profits that anything else! Such as natural conservation, habitat, etc.

I hope you would be a little more mature than to declare someone with an opposite point of view than yours, an enemy.

"If you don't like the trade, use your freedom of speech to speak out against what you see as its negative aspects and encourage people to vote with their dollars (or vote by with-holding dollars)."
That’s exactly what I’m doing using my freedom of speech to state my opinion on animal trade for market purposes. And I try to encourage people to vote with the knowledge they have, not with their economical power unlike you. It’s a an argument of consciousness, not power. It’s about what is morally right (conservation projects, habitat restoration, breeding and reintroduction projects etc.) and what’s not (regarding animals as mere stocks for profit or economical means).

Apparently you have very little trust on your local and national leaders, but I’m not a politician. I’m a student who has gained the consciousness through an education, and regret that at a point bought animals to keep as pets. Nobody’s trying to push their ideas onto nobody, so please next time try to analytically analyze the info or ideas given, rather than let your emotions take over an argument and take it personal .

Jessica- Thank you, that is something that i plan on doing for i believe these factors to have a great impact on this matter.
 

pssh

Avid Member
What is morally right to one is not to another. There is no agreed upon 'right' or 'wrong.' if I ran around naked because I thought it wasn't a morally wrong thing to do, Others may find it very disrespectful (which I don't get, but whatever.)

Human sacrifice and cannibalism are/were accepted in certain cultures and not in others. Some were male centered and some were female centered.

In trying to "fight for what's morally right" you are basing it completely off of your ethnocentric views and opinions. We have had many wars over others trying to force their morals onto others who do not share the same view. I still think you should fight to improve lives before taking on this task as the majority of people think it is okay and should be done. There are several good arguments for both sides.
 

KingJulien

New Member
The assumed portion of the argument that I disagree with is not written, but implied. It seems implied by OP that it is wrong to keep pets.

My well cared for lizards, snakes, and adopted pit bull are all healthy and happy as far as I can tell. They are probably better fed and protected than they would be in the wild.

So, to the implied idea that it's wrong to keep pets, I disagree.

That is all.
 
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