from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

elephants on the brink of extinction – and the EU is partly to blame

There is so so so much that's brutal and painful in our world, and I almost never use this blog to post about specific campaigns. There are so many, and I am not in any way pretending this is more significant than others.

It's just that this one was one too many in my email feed today, and it really broke my heart – I could say it's the last straw on the camel's back.

One move to eliminate human or (in this case) animal suffering is better than nothing, and in a symbolic way stands in for all the others, though of course doesn't reduce the others or the need to address them.

What arrived was a picture of an elephant with its face hacked away. Worse is that it seemed to be still alive. I will spare you the picture, though I am aware that it's often the sight of such atrocities that triggers action. Elephants are on the brink of extinction, with one being slaughtered for its tusks EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES.

I feel devastated this morning, and of course that's on behalf of ALL the human and animal suffering.

I'm not using the word 'devastated' lightly. The levels of others' suffering that we become aware of through the media nearly take me to the edge.

Sometimes I am ashamed to be human. Where on earth to start to change all this?

Perhaps right here. Please please would you take a moment to sign this petition, and share it with friends?

Here's what campaigning group Avaaz has to say:

'Every 15 minutes an elephant is brutally slaughtered for its tusks, and at this rate they will be gone forever in just a few years. Momentum is growing for a complete global ban on ivory – but the European Commission has just come out against it!

'The elephant crisis is heartbreaking. In some areas these magnificent, sensitive creatures are so terrified of people they only come out at night, and mourning baby elephants refuse to leave the butchered corpses of their mothers. Now 29 African governments have said if Europe gets its way, it will spell extinction for our elephants, and they need our help.

'A key global summit is just around the corner where we could win the total ban we need, and there are signs powerful countries like France and Germany could lead a rebellion against the EU’s elephant death sentence. African governments will deliver our giant call straight into key meetings to build support for the ban – sign now to keep our elephants safe, and share with everyone you know.'
(Be aware you'll see the photo)


  1. It landed in my inbox too and I signed the petition. It was almost unbearable to have to look at the photo though. I get so angry and frustrated when I see this sort of thing that it effects my whole day.
    On a light note, I really enjoyed The Burning Ground although it brought back memories of those awful pictures of the pyres and the anger that nothing humane was done for the animals. Thank you for writing in it for me :-)

  2. Dear Roselle,
    Oh No, I can't take this, just signed and also seen about the Yulin dog festival. Absolutely sickening and despairing. I believe elephants also try to cover their dead with leaves and twigs, will place bones under bushes and revisit the site where one of their herd has died. I'm ashamed as humans at what we do. The only way to have any chance of changing this is to just keep battling on the best we know how.
    Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
    C xx

  3. I saw that photo too, and signed the petition immediately. It brought me to tears, and made me very, very angry, whilst also making me feel utter disbelief. How do people do such things?

  4. Thank you, the three of you, for your comments and for taking action. Each of us will be activating at least one other, probably quite a few more, by our own actions.

    It may seem a drop in the ocean – it IS a drop in the ocean - but of what else is the ocean made? We can stand together.

    And Angie, thanks for the comments on my book.

    Love to you all



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