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Traditional Folk Remedies Causing Global Mass Extinctions

Posted by Jerry De Luca on Thursday, January 11, 2024


Around the world many people use the body parts of wild animals in the mistaken belief that these magical parts will somehow "cure" them of their physical ailments. A large number of these animals are on the verge of extinction, but the practices continue. It is not just animals that are devastated, but the human beings who use these alleged snake-oil remedies. Ensnared in their misguided devotion to ancient customs, truth, facts and reality are ignored, resulting in overwhelming, needless human suffering and countless deaths. Sweet justice for the slaughtered animals? You decide.  

"According to Science Review (December 9, 2020), 565 mammalian species have been used as sources for medicinal products in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Of these, 155 species are considered threatened, and forty-six others are near threatened. That doesn’t even include all the snakes, alligators, and seahorses that are being hunted for their supposed value as pills in nature’s pharmacy in what is referred to as the curio trade. 

"Where there is money to be made, wildlife be damned. Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world. There is a thriving black market for the meat and scales of this endangered mammal in China, where for centuries people have used them to 'cure' everything from arthritis to cancer, to promote breastfeeding for lactating mothers, and even enhance male fertility. If any of this actually worked, it would be cheaper and easier to recommend that people in need of these cures just chew on their own fingernails. Pangolin scales are made of keratin, the same material as human fingernails." 

Just questioning these fake cures is often considered sacrilege:   

"In some cultures, highly revered practitioners lean on traditional rituals in the administration of their concoctions. They swear by the practices of their ancestors, and to question them and the efficacy of products such as ground-up rhino horn or the powdered bodies of seahorses is considered blasphemy of the highest order. But as is too often the case, the story is often more powerful than science."  

The incentives are not only the worship of ancient traditions, but money:   

"According to the World Economic Forum, illegal wildlife trading is a most lucrative crime, netting somewhere between seven and twenty-three billion dollars each year for those who profit from the slaughter of endangered and threatened wildlife. Some of this is for nonmedicinal purposes, such as elephant ivory and wild birds and fish for the pet trade, but much of it is for harvesting 'cures' from creatures that are already suffering from overpopulation and the resulting biodiversity loss."  

The pangolin and numerous other animals are on the verge of extinction:  

"Woe be unto the wild animal that is honored with a day of observance, for it means that their species has become so rare and so popular for human usage that their days are numbered. February 20, for example, is World Pangolin Day, a day designated to celebrate this wonderfully distinctive animal and educate the public that more than one million pangolins were illegally trafficked in the past ten years. In 2019, 195,000 pangolins were trafficked for their scales.  

"Other rare and endangered animals currently on the fake pharmacy list of traditional practitioners include the following, which are claimed to offer cures for everything from the common cold to fevers and from asthma to cancer. The Smithsonian lists these amazing and unfortunate animals as the top ten medicinally endangered species:  


Chinese alligator,  

water buffalo,  

Asian elephant,  

musk deer,  

sun bear,  

Grevy’s zebra,  


banteng (wild cow),  

hawksbill sea turtle. 

"Faced with disruptions due to climate change and the destruction of the biosphere, it seems logical that using zebra meat to cure tuberculosis should probably stop. In a world where aspirin has been invented, it’s hard to justify killing a rare water buffalo for its supposed ability to cure fevers. Even if there were proof that water buffalo is an effective form of headache relief, aspirin still seems like a far more ethical way to go. 

"Seahorses are one of my all-time ocean favorites. I have yet to see one on my many dives, perhaps because the curio trade has caused over a million deaths of these fish each year. They have been sought after for their alleged curative properties to treat conditions such as infertility, baldness, asthma, and arthritis. Wild animals also need to be on the lookout for trusts in their name. The Seahorse Trust is helping to spread the word that this trade must stop not only to protect the seahorses but to protect the wallets of those who might buy medicinal products derived from them, and who will still be sick and poor, while the animal lurches forward down the road toward extinction." 


The Medicine of Extinction                                         https://secularhumanism.org/exclusive/the-medicine-of-extinction/ 

Related Post 

The Dangers and Lies of Traditional Chinese Medicine https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2023/07/the-dangers-and-lies-of-traditional.html   

Photo: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/022-rhinos-dan-craig.html  

Jerry De Luca is a Christian freelance writer who loves perusing dozens of interesting and informative publications. When he finds any useful info he summarizes it, taking the main points, and creates a (hopefully) helpful blog post.


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