DAY 305: HAVE I FINALLY LOST IT? RESCUING FROGS WHILST AVOIDING TINY DANCERS IN HANOI
The start of this video is a little grim but don’t worry, it quickly fades into farce. At the time of making this I was all enveloped – now looking back on it I worry for my sanity.
There is a lake in central Hanoi which is ‘protected’ from fishing. It lies serene in the heart of the old town amidst the incessant urban busyness around it. I have just released some fish and frogs into this lake from a rather brutal market. This sounds reasonable enough but I found myself walking round and round this lake, through dancers, badminton players, tourists, street vendors, tai-chi experts, all the while carrying a bag of frogs and live fish, panicking about where was best to release them.
The street markets in Vietnam are fairly grim. I never thought I would wish death upon a creature like I have just done now. But seeing the way they kill – or rather don’t kill – the fish to keep them fresh right up until cooking is heartbreaking and makes me what to end it for them sooner rahter than later.
It’s clear to me, as it shoudl have been a long time ago, that the suffering of fish is no different than the suffering of other creatures. Any distinction was in my mind, caused by a segmentation of compassion that I see echoed throughout the word: some creatures we care about, other creatures we don’t and the reasons and the reasons are never based on logic but prejudice instead.
Vietnam is over and I feel empty-handed. How many pangolins did I save?
But how many could I have saved. I suspect zero .
This is a global fight, and it begins in the hearts and minds of all of us.
If you would like more information about pangolins or what you can do then see below:
1) If you visit LAOS, VIETNAM, MALAYSIA, CHINA, CAMBODIA be aware that you are in pango territory. You might want to read up about them (see below), visit some conservation centres or make your feelings known to other travellers.
2) Donate money to the very small and frugal pangolin research centre that I stayed in (click here for the CPCP) who don’t yet have a web site and are not government supported. $1 cares for Lucky or any other pangolin for a whole day. Send money to myself marked PANGOLIN and I will pass it on. Like their facebook site here
3) Support any of these with pangolin conservation programmes
- IUCN-SSC Pangolin Specialist Group www.pangolinsg.org
- Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) in Cambodia www.accb-cambodia.org
- ASEAN-WEN www.asean-wen.org
- Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program in Vietnam www.carnivore-pangolin.org
- Conservation International-Cambodia www.conservation.org
- Education for Nature Vietnam www.envietnam.org
- Fauna & Flora International www.fauna-flora.org
- TRAFFIC www.traffic.org
- Wildlife Alliance www.wildlifealliance.org (and donate directy to their pangolin program via their Global Giving page)
- Harapan Rainforest www.harapanrainforest.org
- Tikki Hywood Trust www.tikkihywoodtrust.org
- Pangolin Research Mundulea pangolins-namibia.blogspot.com
FINALLY – PASS ON THE LINK TO THIS BLOG.
GO PANGOLINS!!! We have only a few years left to save them. WE CAN’T CRAWL INTO A BALL AND IGNORE THIS.