The Importance of Awareness16:03:00
As a way to procrastinate revising for my exams I have been scrolling through Instagram and Twitter. Not surprisingly I follow Leonardo DiCaprio on both Instagram and Twitter, and he recently posted a picture of two rhinos for World Environment Day (https://www.instagram.com/p/BFcX_lsqxDs/?taken-by=leonardodicaprio). From here I followed the hashtag #WorldEnvironmentDay and found many photos of rhinos.
I commented on Leonardo DiCaprio's post asking his opinion on legalising the trade. Of course I don't expect him to reply; he's a busy man getting thousands of comments daily, but it is still worth commenting for anyone to read. I said how important I think #LiftTheBan is and some reasons why.
I commented like this on a few other posts and I realised while doing this how little people know about this issue, and I expect many others which are similar.
People don't know that rhinos can survive without their horns, let alone successfully and happily. To understand this is fundamental for people to get behind supporting the idea of legalising trade. I, rather naively, didn't fully appreciate how little some people know.
This is of course, not their fault. They are simply not taught about this. You can be highly educated, or extremely intelligent, and yet know little to nothing on the rhino crisis, or the situation of many other species.
This got me thinking about how important awareness is. And not just for rhinos, but for everything. If people don't know the options available, then they can't support them.
Continuing the rhino horn trade example, if people don't know the positive impacts of legalising the trade, then they will instinctively be against it. They will see it as cruel, or even think it's not possible.
People often ask me what they can do. Donations (as long as they are going to the right people) is an obvious answer. But I always tell them to tell as many people as possible about the cruelties, injustices and solutions. The more people that know, the better! People cannot support something they know nothing about.
And so I urge you, if you have a burning issue you want support with, tell people! Post it on social media, tell your friends - maybe start your own blog! Be a voice for the voiceless!