GOOD

This Man Selling Off 1,100 Pounds Of Rhino Horns Might Not Be As Despicable As You Think

The unconventional sale may raise up to $30 million to protect the animals.

When it comes to the dealing of poached items from endangered animals, the public rarely views the acts in ethical shades of gray, but the recent announcement of a (legal) auction of 1,100 pounds of rhino horn is proving a little more complex than most transactions regarding the black market item.

The man selling the inventory is South African rhino breeder John Hume, who is using the proceeds to fund protective efforts for the animals. By selling what amounts to a 10th of his inventory at an estimated $27,000 per pound, the act could benefit the endangered animals in two distinct ways. The $30 million projected to be raised would be a windfall for protection efforts, and the influx of product on the market would also raise supply, thereby dropping the price of illegally sold rhino horn, possibly dissuading poachers from their pursuit in the future.


Hume is selling his supply using a recently enacted loophole in South African law that allows rhino horn to be sold domestically in certain instances. He has amassed the horns from his own herd, anesthetizing the animals and removing only the top portion in a “bloodless horn-harvesting” procedure, which has become more common in the fight against poachers.

While the result still involves the mutilation of rhinos, the ultimate goal is to protect them by turning buyers toward a legal and more human marketplace than the ones poachers have established.

One stakeholder in the fight, Neil Greenwood of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, isn’t buying the logic. “While this sale may be legal, it could well play into the hands of the criminal syndicates who are known to exploit any loophole for gain. We would appeal to rhino breeders to think again before proceeding with his auction,” he said.

The tactics exist in murky ethical waters, and the result may be less fruitful than proponents hope. But the auctions, on Aug. 21 and Sept. 19, will reveal to the world whether this unconventional approach could actually succeed in thwarting poachers and helping protect the animals.

Money
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
Culture

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading