Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

24 June 2007

Tinned elephant meat

We were talking about the recent CITES decision to allow four countries to trade in stocked ivory once again. Moongirl mentioned that she'd never thought about how they processed culled animals before. I mentioned the old Skukuza abattoir, tinned elephant meat and stories I'd heard when writing for the veterinary industry some years ago.

So I went surfing to see if I could find a pic of tinned elephant meat and ... yes I did (see image on the top right of this entry). I also found and astounding piece from the 1969-1970 Kruger National Park annual report where they boast about the over 500 000 kg of elephant meat "processed" in that year! This is too good to be true, let me quote verbatim:

"At the Skukuza Abattoir and By-products Plant in the Kruger National Park game carcases are processed. Fresh meat is supplied to the Park restaurants, sold to Park employees or used as rations for Bantu labourers. Biltong and dried sausage is produced for sale. Material not fit for human consumption is converted into bone or carcase meal."

Ugh, repulsive. But have things really changed? We're still trading in ivory, and in addition, now we are capturing wild elephant calves, beating them into submission, so that we can make money from tourists who are willing to ride on their backs. Elephant-back safaris are crass. How can they turn such a proud and magnificent animal into a beast of burden?

NEWSFLASH: ONLY CRETINS AND PRICKS RIDE ON ELEPHANTS!

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