Today marks World Rhino Day and I am amongst the first ones to agree that the horror has to stop. The injustice being done to these animals is just sickening (I talked about this in an earlier post). As photographers, amateurs and professionals alike, we can do our bit in trying to stop the horror and the slaughter of these beautiful animals. Over the last few months I have developed quite a strong opinion on this though, being that photographers and conservationists have to STOP SHOWING THE HORROR to actually make it stop. Let me explain this. It is a known fact that in situations of genocide, because of being confronted with extreme violence, people get used to this violence and both perpetrators and victims start accepting it, up to the point where the victims start accepting they actually have to die.
I strongly believe that a similar thing happens in the mind of the general public when being continuously confronted with rhino horror shots. Because of this confrontation people actually start to think about the rhino as an animal, lying dead on the ground, bading in a pool of blood, with the horn cut off and a calf to its side, … I know it happens, we all do, yet keeping on showing the horror will not make a difference, on the contrary! The perpetrators don’t care anyway and the general public gets tired of these shots while slowly, slowly getting used to the species being extinct as early as 2025 (which could be the case if poaching goes on at today’s pace).
So, if we want to make a difference, we have to stop showing the horror and show more of the beauty of this animal and the environment it lives in, this way bringing people on board by showing them what they are fighting for. While doing this, we have to keep on telling the truth and spreading awareness about the plight of the rhino, … by doing so, I believe we can bring more people on board in the fight against poaching and ultimately be of more use to those beautiful animals out there.
In case you are with me on this one, then please spread this message as widely as possible!
Warm regards and talk to you soon,