Ivory and its terrible repercussions
Humans have a tendency to covet everything which is not easily available. It had started with diamonds, but then it went on to coveting different kinds of fur, tiger claws, and Ivory, amongst others. Ivory is derived from the teeth/tusks of various animals. It is primarily made of dentine. And the material is smooth and white.
One of the only reasons as to why people consider Ivory to be so fascinating is especially because it is exotic. But it is not derived from the animals the same way wool is derived from sheep. In order to get ivory, you must kill the animal. Ivory is derived mostly from elephants. Their tusks are sawed off, and these tusks are the ivory. It can be taken from other animals such as hippos and narwhals. However, Elephant Ivory has had far more demand than any other form of Ivory, and it has lead to serious repercussions.
Ivory was being taken from Elephants for a long time. Once upon a time, Ivory was also used to make the keys of pianos. However, slowly, scientists and environmentalists noticed the serious decline in the population of Elephants all over the world, and killing the mammals for Ivory became illegal in most countries. Ivory is still very much desired in the form of jewelry, though. At one point, it used to complete the functionality of Plastic, but Ivory is not really needed so much as it is desired. Number of online stores as well as antique stores and underground ones still sell ivory jewelry. And to the fickle human heart, it becomes something worth buying because not many people will be seen owning ivory jewelry. But most of the people who buy Ivory do not realize the implications.
Even if they do console themselves with the thought that the elephant is already dead so is product might as well be put to use, what they do not realize is that they are feeding the demand line of the business. Their buying Ivory prompts the sellers to increase supply, and the supply will come from more elephants being killed so that their tusks can be converted to jewelry. Because of the demand for Ivory products as collectibles, the population of the African Elephant has been reduced to more than half of its Original number. The Asian Elephant too, has decreased very considerably in numbers because of this.
Despite laws banning the killing of Elephants for Ivory, the demand in the illegal market prompts poachers to go out to the jungles and kill the elephants in the most brutal ways possible. And the worth of the life of the elephant stands ultimately as trinkets which people want to possess because others would not have it.
One should, before buying such products, think about the implications of buying it. Why would you waste so much money buying something solely because it is rare? How does your conscience work if you are willing to wear the teeth of a dead, helpless animal around your neck just to boast about it? Ivory Jewelry is abominable, because accessorizing yourself should not cost the life of an elephant, and it should not endanger the ecosystem.