March 31st, 2017 – All Elephants Rejoice

Just four days ago, China has closed all its ivory factories. By the end of the year, it promises to close down all its retail shops. With much uncertainty, we have some good news with the price of ivory dropping for the past couple months. China had a large awareness program and the help of celebrities to curb the trade. Once education was out there and it was acknowledged that China’s trade was harming the elephant population, the stop to end the trade started. This goes back to my thoughts that education is key. Once you can teach people and get them on board, then that is the real way to stop it. I hope that this big movement continues to other countries and Cambodia can also educate its people as well.

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2 Quick Thoughts

Thought 1: I’ve seen a number of emails to marketing agencies in Cambodia to rent out potential billboards. I send emails in English and Khmer but dont hear anything back. They probably know I’m outsider from how I talk and type. Leading to two probably cases of not taking me seriously or thinking they can con me. What can I do?

Thought 2: I saw a racoon die on the side of the road yesterday. Always makes me sad to see a senseless death.

My Dear Cambodia And Its Trees

My facebook feed showed an article from NASA on Cambodia and its deforestation issues. It showed satellite images over past 10 years on how much deforestation has occurred. I’m not going to get down to facts and figures. But just know its bad. Its been bad, it is bad, and will continue to be bad. Its not a hidden issue how corrupt the system is in the country due to the massive amounts of money they can be made by various parties participating in illegal logging. Its very difficult to refuse such an offer to be a part 1% of Cambodia most wealthy  just for some trees. I don’t agree with it obviously but you have to understand their world and their mindset. Tell me a convincing reason for why not? How can you get the deforestation to stop when the people in power to protect it are the people profiting from it.

What caught my attention is not just how drastic the situation is but reading and listening to all the comments from the citizens of Cambodia themselves. In America, we take our freedoms and speech for granted. We may not make a difference easily but we have the great ability to and the chances to make a different. And in the sense, we have a big privilege that others in many other countries do not. I felt a multitude of feelings of helplessness, anger, despair, all mixed together and then some from the people. The know what is happening, they know it is not right yet the people in the driver seat to govern aren’t doing anything about it nor will they care. They can’t do anything about it. They are just the victims along with everybody else. There are unforeseen consequences short and long term of such actions. People’s lives will be affected greatly whether it be the land they use to live or the variety of environmental problems thousands will face for years to come.

I keep thinking what do they do? What can they do? Start a revolt? Get other people aware? So what.. I ask myself. What will it do. Its just a thousand of issues surrounding this problem with no power to do a thing about it. They got bigger things to worry about. And if this issue is something you make a BIG issue, then well, you better watch out. Thats right, you can die over a tree. And yet, what will happen when the trees are gone. The poor are too suffer while the riches are all done and spent by the wealthy.

I don’t offer a solution. I dont know where to begin. The people will have to decide this for themselves. Whether their future and the land they live on is worth dying for.

Michele Boggs Reveals Behind the Scenes

I like to share articles and stories on this blog for the public to read themselves. I have to write a story and post on this one. Michele Boggs, who works at Altus Animal Control, shared this photo on facebook the other day that has gone viral. It shows dogs being put in bags that have been euthanized. Michele is brave enough to share the reality of the pet world. When we say shelter or kennel, it is a bad outlook that a dog or cat has been euthanized. People often want to hide from the true fact and shelters paint a picture that all is well by providing high percentage adoption rates. Simply it isn’t true. No, this is reality, it is happening everyday in the thousands. Dogs you don’t want for whatever silly reason die. It is because of we people aren’t able to face the reality. We don’t to know the truth. We want to have our mistake free dog and if it isn’t perfect, it goes to La La Land and lives happily ever after.

Hopefully, more people like Michele can step up to the plate and share what is going on. More people need to know. More people need to see. More people to learn. Hopefully this leads to more action.

One sad statemeny I read in this article.

“While there should be more laws to regulate excessive dog breeding and more enforcement to prevent animal cruelty, the most important way to save a pet is by adopting them.”

Should… While there should be more laws… We know its an issue, we know something needs to be done but we don’t have much awareness on it or people doing something about it. Usefully something this catastrophic, people are up in arms, there are movements, there are groups to fight this. But you dont hear about it if any. To me, its almost as appaling as: There should be no child labor, There should be penalties for committing a crime… There should be education for everyone… We talk about it as some overarching issue that can’t be touched or too difficult to deal with. While this is probably one of the easiest issues to address and people to relate.

Thats why its so important for this story to be shared so people will stand up and create laws to regulate or more enforcement. I will try my best and that is what I can offer. I hope to share awareness in Northern Virginia and have projects to help proactively make people conscious of their decisions. Maybe we can get these laws in Fairfax County. I have reached out to Michele and hope to have an interview with her tomorrow. She has responded and agreed, I’m extremely excited and hopefully with this discussion.