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Can Capitalism Save the White Rhino?

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As reports abound of the dwindling population of Northern White Rhinos in Kenya (less than 10 are left), Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes has a controversial theory about how to save them. If we incentivize protection and preservation of the species through allowing private ownership, he suggests, then the Northern White Rhino population will experience the same success as the Southern White Rhinos, which today number in the tens of thousands.

Here are the pillars of this vibrant market economy for wildlife:

1. Recognizing and actively developing legal markets for things that people value about rhinos, such as tourist viewing and trophy hunting.

2. Allowing private landowners to legally own rhinos, thereby giving them strong direct incentives to manage them responsibly.

3. Enabling all landowners (private, communal or public) to retain the money they earn from selling live rhinos and rhino products, thus making rhinos a lucrative long-term investment .

Speaking of custodianship: I once provided a life insurance quote for a couple who managed a wildlife sanctuary. They cared for all kinds of exotic animals, including birds, reptiles, and monkeys. It was so interesting to address the concerns of the underwriter: what is the possibility of getting attacked? How about exposure to exotic diseases? Any dealings with the black market or criminal underground? At the end of the day, all the issues were sufficiently addressed to result in a very reasonable premium.

l-female band from Austin, Texas. It helps women see why, in their own eyes, they should feel they are “enough.”

Of course, men badly need such a mirror. Do you think that all the violence and hostility we perpetrate stems from self-love? Isn’t it a wee-bit possible that horrible feelings of inadequacy incubate our wrath?

My industry has a saying: “the purchase of life insurance is an act of love.” People buy life insurance because the bottom line is, they care about their loved ones, their businesses, and their obligations. And you cannot love someone or something else without first loving yourself.

We each need a Magic Mirror to remind ourselves of how worthy of love we are.