Be honest, have you ever heard of a pangolin before?
Did you know that they are currently THE most trafficked animal in the world?
Historically, pangolins were hunted and trapped for bushmeat, as a means for human survival. Today, their survival is threatened for different reasons.
Our modern desire to capture and sell these creatures with the belief that their scales will cure certain diseases, stimulate lactation and enhance libido is a complete myth. Yet, the global wildlife trade of pangolins meant that in 2021, 23.5 million tonnes of their scales were trafficked solely to Far East Asia. This has subsequently resulted in all eight of the pangolin species now being on the IUCN's red list of threatened species where there numbers are only declining.
'they are wonderful, solum, beautiful creatures and the thought that they are being captured and slaughtered with no defence is just awful' - David Attenborough
For over 60 million years, pangolins have roamed the earth and we still don't know a lot about them. They roam around with little arms protruding from their chest previously referred to as a 'little t-rex' and are otherwise known as a 'scaly ant eater', covered head to tail in protective scales.
They also don't have teeth and instead use their tongues to suck ants and termites from the ground.
Their most common feature? Scales.
These scales are their defence mechanism, their coat of armour, and yet we continue to kill them and profit from them in a useless manner.
The fact is, these scales are made from the same protein as our finger and toe nails, keratin. Would you crush your nails into a powder for medicinal use?
Who is 'we'?
If you're sat in the UK reading this, could you be involved in the plight of global pangolins species? Probably not, no. The focus of much of this illegal trade is now on Africa where pangolins are poached and killed. This also happens across Asia where pangolins are primarily sold to Vietnam and China where their meat is considered a delicacy and scales prized within traditional Asian medicine.
I understand cultural traditions have and continue to dictate societal traditions. But, its come to a point where the destruction of species as a result of it is not ok and must be stopped. But how are we to do this if we and the next generation don't know anything about these animals?
Here at Re-educating Earthlings, we believe that at the heart of sustainability, conservation and regenerative living is education. That's why we produce our picture books, to cover the gaps that the school curriculum and rest of society is missing in teaching these crucial topics. I don't want my children growing up in a world where beautiful species of wildlife, such as the pangolin, have gone extinct because we failed to protect them.
So with that said, I'm very excited to introduce our newest picture book 'Will Mrs Pangolin Find Freedom Again?' which introduces the species and this particular human-animal conflict to both adults and children. If you'd like to get your hands on a copy, either for your child or even yourself, head to our online store!
This topic has sadly been seriously under-hyped. Its time to take it seriously and educate our earthlings on the matter so we can conserve this amazing species, together.
Head to our shop to get your hands on your own copy of 'Will Mrs Pangolin Find Freedom Again?' and our other picture books!