In our bustling world of global commodities, scant are the animals, minerals, and vegetables, that have escaped the reach of capitalism, and its drive to commodify, distribute, and sell sell sell!
Rare, charismatic, or otherwise lucrative critters are no exception. Though illegal in most countries, animal trafficking weaves its own world wide web of trade- borders be damned!
The gray are the importing countries, and the countries of origin (by region) are color coded.
Most of the trade follows typical patters of destination Wealthy Nations and raw materials coming from what is politically called “the Global South” (its not quite the same as the geographical south). The major outlier is Russia, which both imports and exports birds, bugs, and beasts.
There is some amazing research being done on illicit trafficking- like that of Nancy Scheper-Hughes who write about trafficking of human organs, and a recent article in the Nation, which focused on the trafficking of human babies through both legal and extra-legal adoption among fundamentalist American christian congregations.
For now, I’ll leave you with this map of the illicit animal trade. Plenty to ponder.
Up up and Away,