It’s no secret that Jared Leto loves animals, probably because the man is constantly out doing things to stand up for them. An outspoken vegan (he thanked vegan butter in his Oscar acceptance speech), he’s also a World Wildlife Fund Global Ambassador. Multi-talented and ambitious, there isn’t much that this award-winning actor (Oscar speech. Vegan butter), frontman (he’s the lead singer for the rock group 30 Seconds to Mars) and philanthropist can’t achieve.
Multi-talented and caring. Now, that’s an award winning combo.
Which makes it pretty fantastic that he’s set his sights on saving animals. Recently penning an article for Time along with CEO and President of the World Wildlife Fund, Carter Roberts, Leto wants to raise awareness of the disappearing numbers that elephants are facing in the name of ivory poaching. You can check out the article in its entirety here.
Working with the WWF to relocate a rhino.
Estimates put the number of African elephants killed for their ivory between 30 and 50 thousand per year. This means that the African elephant could be extinct within the decade if those trends continue. This has caused many celebrities to speak out on their behalf, including Ian Somerhalder, Slash and Woody Harrelson – urging the U.S. to stop the consumption of ivory in an effort to halt the damage before it becomes irreversible.
Many countries are already taking heed of the warnings, the most promising of which being China. As the top consumer of ivory in the world, the country recently set a one-year ban on ivory in an effort to take the price tag off of these beautiful creatures.
While the U.S. has legislation in place to limit the import, export and sale of ivory, Leto points out that there are still loopholes that allow the product to continue having value. Our allowance of “legal” ivory (products that existed before elephants were given protected status) needs to stop in order to shore up the cracks in the system in which newer, illegally obtained ivory can enter the system. Special interest groups have fought legislation that would shore up these loopholes, causing newer regulations to languish away in review for over a year.
The time for action is now!
With the clock ticking down to the wire, elephants don’t have years left for us to make the changes needed to keep them around. Refusing to purchase ivory and speaking out about the dire consequences of poaching in order to devalue the product and pressure world leaders into action is the best way for us to stave off a tragedy in the making.
Listen to Leto: When the buying stops, so can the killing.
Lead Image Credit:Huffington Post