Thursday, August 13, 2015

WHO IS BUYING IVORY? YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED


By Mark Strauss, National Geographic
August 12, 2015

The majority of people who buy products made from ivory say they would support banning the sale of ivory.

That conflicting sentiment is one of several surprising findings in a new international survey published Wednesday by the National Geographic Society and GlobeScan.

The study represents an effort to better understand what motivates people in the United States and Asian countries to continue purchasing ivory, despite years of efforts to raise awareness about how the illegal trade is fueling the mass slaughter of elephants.

This tragedy, however, can’t compete with the allure of “white gold”—especially among young fashionistas in low- to middle-income brackets who see ivory as a way to project an image of wealth and social status, the survey finds.

In the United States and the Philippines, concerns about the plight of elephants are offset by the perception that governments ultimately will make sure the animals don’t become extinct. By contrast, Vietnamese believe that the elephant population is declining so rapidly that they had better buy as much ivory as possible before the supply disappears. Read Full Story Here

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