As human beings, we have a diverse set of beliefs. There are different religions, cultures, and superstitions. This is not the problem. The problem is that when it comes to following through on these beliefs and superstitions, specifically things like pangolin meat being a delicacy and believing that their scales have medicinal tendencies, we often turn a blind eye to what species are affected by them. Justification will come in the form of either ignoring the problem all together, or believing that the superstitions or beliefs outweigh the animal’s right to life. As human beings, we tend to be empathetic and care about the plight of species like the pangolin, but as soon as a long held cultural belief comes into play, we become unaware and numb. This trend needs to stop. We cannot be compassionate and responsible only part of the time. We cannot search for growth and education, while refusing to admit that old habits need to go.
When we consume with the level of reckless abandon that we have been, hundreds, if not thousands of species all around the world are hurt. I’d like to believe that when it comes to this chain of consequence, we don’t do it intentionally. It seems more than a little malicious and non-sensical for any of us to have any sort of vendetta against interesting creatures such as the pangolin. But regardless of intent, just because an animal’s meat is considered to be a delicacy, or its outer coat to be pretty, we don’t have to consume it. There are plenty of things in life that are much better off, for all species involved, when the need to consume or own isn’t there.
The fact of the matter is this: Virtually every species in the world plays an important part in their own eco-systems. Frequently they are links in these systems that we don’t respect the importance. There is a delicate balance that the Earth has built in these ecosystems, and we seem to be disrupting them at will. Whether they are funny looking, tasty, pretty, or part of regional belief systems, every species plays an important role. For us as humans, to be so terribly short sighted with our selfishness and think only of our own desires, is irresponsible. For every species that we lust after and consume at will, we are interrupting a vital part of this planet that we live on. Instead of consuming with reckless abandon, we need to practice self-restraint and view species like the pangolin from afar. It will be better for everyone, both pangolin and human, in the long run.