The Green Cutting Board  |   Comment  |   Recipes  |   Links  |   Contact

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Don't wear it, it hurts

The Crocodile Specialist Group is at it again. In the wake of last year's unprecedented storm season and with mounting pressure to reduce wetlands conservation programs so that developers can build new communities and shopping centers, croc farming is gaining a foot hold in Florida and other Gulf States.

Headquartered at the University of Florida and touted as a pure research entity the Crocodile Specialist Group has been quietly promoting the removal of the American Crocodile from the endangered species list, thus making way for its use as a farmed commodity. Agricultural interests, builders associations and even the fashion industry grant hugh sums to the CSG to "research" the crocodile, its habitat and prospects for survival and make recommendations to the Secretary regarding their endangered species status.

Interior Head, Gale Norton who has repeatedly ignored the scientific facts regarding endangered species in favor of industry when ever a conflict arises between land use for profit and a species right to survival, will have the final say. The specialists in Gainesville are ramping up their push to convince .govs that the endangered American Croc is a sure bet to become Florida's next "big" economic boon.

Interior's US Fish and wildlife Service has already removed the alligator from its TESS list and it is just a matter of time until the American Crocodile is signed off as well allowing the ecologically disastrous farming of this ancient species. Segments of the fashion industry have spent years promoting alligator skin as the 'fashionable' and lucrative replacement for profits lost to the campaign against the much beleaguered fur trade. Several farming operations, aka: eco entertainment venues, in Florida are already prepared to start harvesting the skins of their herd and sell them to fashion designers in Europe, Asia and, yes, here at home. Promoted as the new sustainable "ecowise" material, one of the few living fossils on earth is now considered suitable for use as a starlet's handbag or Donald Trump's wallet, "Gator Wings" served up at some cheesy tourist spot along the I-95 trap line to Miami or just another animal used as fodder to feed the industry > science > government's neverending circle of money, influence and bureaucratic service. God, help us.