It's time for China to modernize.

Maybe that sounds a little weird. China has modernized, you say.

Yeah, maybe for the trivial stuff like telecommunications and transportation. I'm looking for an honest-to-goodness 21st-century transformation.

I mean, it's just downright silly for such a powerhouse as China to continue insisting that tiger [ahem] or rhino horn is as good as Viagra. Or that tea of dried seahorse makes you Aqua(wo)man. Or that some other rare animal part—and it must be rare—cures just about anything.

I'm sure many, many Chinese are tired of their country always being the bad guy on the international endangered animal stage. They should start asking why the Chinese pharmaceutical industry hasn't told somebody, anybody, in the traditional medicine business that they don't NEED to deal with dangerous poachers and smugglers of bear gallbladders and tiger bones! They don't have to break international laws!

Just give them a tiny sample and they'll recreate it in a lab!

In fact, this would be my dream business: Create synthetic rare animal parts that are indistinguishable from the real thing, flood them into the world market, making it impossible for peddlers of real animal parts to guarantee authenticity. Kill the market. Now, that's modern.

[PHOTO CREDIT: Sharat Ganapati (CC).]

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Tags: conservation, ethics, nature, technology, trade

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Comment by Carnegie Council on May 30, 2012 at 3:49pm

Bold thinking, Marsha, reminiscent of Blade Runner. Meanwhile, scientists, veterinarians, and conservationists are going to extreme measures to breed Sumatran rhinos: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=rhinoceros-assiste...

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