Pangolin consumption: Let's not seal the deal

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 11:11 AM

Imagine you finally received the news that the very important, high paying business deal you're involved in is about to close. This deal could make you far wealthier than you already are. What can you do to to make certain that these individuals want to sign the deal? After sending a quick message to your co-workers, you begin researching where to eat that night (at least you can spend a bit on that on some delicious foie gras). Your phone buzzes. Another member of your team involved in the deal tells you little else besides the time and location of your next meal and to bring A LOT of cash. 

You show up to the said restaurant and are greeted by a waitress who escorts you to your table in the back of the restaurant. You are told to turn to the last page where the "wild animal" meat section beckons your cash to be spent. A picture of a scaly, ant-eater looking creature stares back at you. This is no duck, pig or fish. Nothing prepared you for the price the waitress quotes when you enquire: $350/kilo with a minimum order of 5 kilos. That's $1,750 just for your meat, let alone the meat of the other five people you are in charge of paying! Surely, this will impress enough to seal the deal. However, you're curiosity beckons you to do a quick Google search of what this creature is and why it's so expensive. After clicking a few times, you stumble upon this article:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/08/03/337162283/taste-for-rare-wild-pangolin-is-driving-the-mammal-to-extinction

This "delicacy" is endangered, on the verge of extinction. Ah, no wonder it comes at such a high price. You excuse yourself and go to the restroom to read more. Article after article highlights the pangolin as the victim of illegal poaching and black market selling. Your moral compass dings a blaring warning signal that you should not participate in this meal. What if the deal doesn't go through because you choose not to participate or you simply excuse yourself from the gathering? What if you create a stir about the illegal activity it took to create a meal like this? What to do...

Pangolins will not survive if situations like this continue to occur. The demand to display wealth through the consumption of this meat will never stop until these animals are extinct. For me, the only way I see pangolins surviving is if there is a movement to change the minds of consumers. Learning ways to alter consumers' views on consumption of this gentle mammal become the only way to ensure the pangolin's survival.
Quoting from the article,

"The action is on the demand side, which is much trickier: Getting governments to sign a popular treaty is easy; changing the behavior of millions of status-conscious consumers is much harder. But it's not impossible."

Let's find a way to make this change.

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