After reading recently that celebrity, super-model, Elle MacPherson, endorsed the use of illegal rhino horn products and that she, in fact, uses them personally even describing them as tasting like “crushed bone and fungus”, I signed a petition endorsing a boycott of her business until she ceases consumption of these entirely unnecessary and extremely harmful products (see: Boycott Elle MacPhersons Products, until she ceases to consume ILLEGAL RHINO HORN! | Animals | Change.org http://bit.ly/advBOC). For more details of Elle MacPherson’s endorsement of rhino horn products please see: http://bit.ly/dnHguF
The rhinoceros population has declined over 90% in the past 40 years due to illegal poaching for their horns. There have been numerous studies all arriving at the indisputable conclusion that rhinoceros horn has absolutely no curative or medicinal value, whatsoever – it is similar to fingernails. If you are interested in taking action to combat illegal trade and poaching of rhinoceros horn please see: Last adult rhinoceros butchered in Kruge.
It seems that we have Elle MacPherson on the run. As soon as I had signed the petition endorsing a boycott of her business, I received this email reply within seconds:
|hide details 12:16 PM (30 minutes ago)|
Thank you for your email, please see below Elle’s response:
While I’m happy that the critical issue of protecting endangered species is back in the headlines, I am a bit surprised that it is based on my use of herbal and homeopathic medicine.
I was twittering with a Times journalist about the taste of herbal medicines and made a flippant comment inferring I had tasted rhino horn. To be clear, I have never knowingly consumed or encouraged consumption of any products derived from endangered species, including rhino horn. The idea is abhorrent to me. While I love my herbal and Chinese remedies I would never put my health over the survival of a species. I guess this is one of the pitfalls of 140 character journalism.
In a way I’m happy it happened because it gives me the chance to lend my voice and repeat my commitment to the protection of endangered species. I’ve always felt this way. In fact, I’m still boycotting my favourite restaurant because they made the crazy decision to continue to serve blue fin tuna. This is a campaign that I have played a role in for the last year and it is having a real international impact. Thankfully, since we started this campaign, the demand for blue fin tuna has all but disappeared.
As guardians of the planet, there is no excuse for any of us to stand by whilst animals face extinction. Four out of five species of rhino are under immediate threat, mainly due to illegal slaughter for their horns. I want to urge everyone to join my utter condemnation of anything that further endangers their already precarious future. Killing rhinos because some people think its horn is an aphrodisiac is beyond appalling.
I hate being lectured by celebrities with big mouths as much as the next person but if sometimes, however unwittingly, a famous voice can draw attention to the issues, then that has to be a good thing. I am going to redouble my efforts because of this twitter incident. The WWF has a list of all the protected species that are under threat and I would urge everyone to look that up and see what brilliant work they are doing.”
Personally I don’t buy her PR. The use of rhinoceros horn products for whatever reason can never be reduced to, or justified as, a “flippant comment” – it is a travesty of unmitigated proportions. It is also a mystery as to how Elle MacPherson would know what rhinoceros horn tastes like without ever having consumed it, but at least, we have her awareness now of what she is doing to the environment and to this noble animal. It’s as good a place as any to enlist her help in fighting for change, as long as her intentions are sincere and not just lip service paid to the media gods in order to protect her own financial interests.