Sunday, February 21, 2010

Superstition evades "justice"... for now

The superstitions of the world are only as valuable as they are not harmful. China is full of cultural superstition that is both poetic and asinine. The plight of the tiger is the example I wish to offer up for discussion in connection with a previous post about cultural imperialism and the superstitious views that condone eradicating homosexuals. As you will see both are indiscriminately killed by certain societies because of superstition.

The superstition and unfounded beliefs in Asia have led to the almost complete demise of one species all because a people have been ingrained with a false idea that ingesting a tiger will give you its power and strength. The tiger bone wine is thought to be the elixir of life, and tiger penis soup is a supposed aphrodesiac. Eyeballs are thought to cure convulsions; whiskers are thought to protect against bullets. Sitting on a tiger skin can prevent fevers caused by evil spirits, and the list goes on and on.

Should the "world" intervene to stop this blind massacre? Jim posted earlier about the possibility of cultural imperialism with regard to the anti-homosexual legislation in Uganda and Obama's condemnation of the idea. The very notion that this act of condemnation is a form of cultural imperialism is absolutely absurd and aligns Obama's activism with a term that is considered pejorative. The idea that homosexuals should be killed was supplanted into the minds of the Ugandans by homophobic priests and chaucerian frauds. These priests of the U.S. are the perpetrators of the worst kind of "cultural" imperialism, religion.

Obama's subtle condemnation of the hideous acts in Uganda is a necessary step to stop an evil that is being done in the name of superstition. Any act that causes harm under the guise of any and all superstitions should be condemned, and those credulous victims should be brought back to the world of reason.

Thus I wish to state that it is just as necessary and obligatory to condemn the slaughter of gays as is the slaughter of tigers becuase both are founded in ridiculous superstition and myth that causes nothing but harm, and has deluded millions of people with false promises and pseudoscience.

Is the article below cultural imperialism? Are we stepping on the feet of traditional chinese medicine? Do we owe any respect to cultures based in superstition that cause actual death in the name of religion or tradition? Ofcourse NOT!

On the Brink of Extinction: Call to Close Cruel and Inhumane Tiger Farms
Written by Jace Shoemaker-Galloway

Published on January 28th, 2010

Officials from 13 nations are meeting to discuss conservation efforts to save the endangered tiger. Officials from countries where tigers still roam - Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam - are taking part in the Asia Ministerial Conference (AMC) on Tiger Conservation. The conference runs from January 27 to January 30, 2010, in Thailand.

The World Bank and Global Tiger Initiative are urging the closing of tiger farms. Tiger farms, located primarily in China, also exist in other parts of the world. Despite a 1993 ban on the domestic tiger trade in China, the demand for tiger parts is still high and tiger farms continue to thrive. The domestic tiger trade harvests skin, bones, organs and other body parts often used in traditional medicines or as aphrodisiacs.

Private tiger farm investors have been putting heavy pressure on the government to lift the ban. While farm owners claim that tiger farms help reduce the illegal trade of tiger parts, others disagree. Many believe that tiger farms are not only cruel and inhumane, but actually encourage the illegal trade. Despite the plea from tiger farm investors, China recently announced the country will ensure stricter regulation and monitoring of the captive breeding farms and stricter enforcement on the illegal trade.

Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, tigers, Panthera tigris, are the largest of all cats. Sadly, three subspecies have become extinct – the Bali, the Caspian and Javan. At the beginning of the 20th century, it is estimated 100,000 wild tigers existed. Sadly, the numbers have dropped dramatically due to poaching and loss of habitat. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), it is estimated that as few as 3,200 tigers exist in the wild today. It is believed that more than 5,000 tigers are living in captivity in farms in China. In other words, it is estimated that more tigers live in captivity on tiger farms in China than exist in the wild.

Warning: Disturbing Video:
While the Year of the Tiger begins on February 14th, we must work quickly to save these magnificent creatures from extinction.

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