Thanks Daryl, I've revisited my thought process also. I actually see the rationale that some elephant ivory could slip through the system by simply calling it mammoth. I also see how dissuading white ornamental trim might lessen the market slightly. I kind of already do that, mostly because it's hard work, and the possible ramifications for travel must be pointed out. The primary moving force in the demand for white ivory is in the decorative carvings where large chunks or even whole tusks are carved. Mammoth ivory just doesn't look the same in larger pieces. It often has a brownish tint and even the whitish parts of the tusk have small cracks which are more apparent the larger the piece. It is, after al,l often 10,000 years old. I just have the feeling that the enforcement people want to make their jobs easier by throwing out anything that they need to identify as a cost cutting measure. Eliminating elephant ivory from use as decoration, has been a long slow awareness process. I am an example of someone who saw the light and changed my working materials, I know that thousands of others have done the same over the years, but many of us have items made for or made by us when ivory was just another perfect material for the task and are to precious to throw away. Aa small but entrenched segment loves the fact that the material is getting rarer and harder to obtain, thereby giving it more cashe. Some just don't care, figure elephants are doomed and make hay while they still can get the ivory, no matter the method.
I don't know, or does anyone I'll bet, whether 25,000 or 50,000 elephants are slaughtered but I have followed the links in this thread and the last one on the poaching situation. I've also read my share of articles in National Geographic on what is being called a new poaching epidemic. I guess since I'm not part of the enforcement community I have to take someone's word for it and since I am can't retire I still have to spend most of my time turning spinning pieces of wood, so i don't have the time to check other peoples assertions.. Regardless of the figures,I can see no evident correlation between confiscation of ivory tipped bows from the times when ivory was legal and commonly used, and stopping the slaughter of the remaining and dwindling elephant herds. i see the rationale, but the trade in elephant ivory bow tips, from what I see, is not a significant part of the trade and has already been mostly replaced by substitutions, I guess if fear of confiscation puts a further clamp on the desire to use elephant tips, there is an argument to be made, but there are just too many older bows with them installed to go back and change them out.
Basically the folks who care have changed their ways and are using either mammoth or silver or (ugh) plastic tips, and the people who don't, may actually like the fact that it is illegal or just don't care. Bone isn't all that great as a substitute. I've seen hippo tooth ivory: is that better because there are more of them or just because they are uglier and seem less sentient? Same problem. Unfortunately ivory is beautiful stuff and was used instead of plastic in times past, all the way back to the pharaohs.