Voix Magazine
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Voix Magazine

Power and Corruption in the Animal Kingdom

Photo by Hans-Jurgen Mager on Unsplash

If the words “Power and Corruption” were said to you, what would your first thoughts be? Most people would likely think of politics and history, or how power takes hold of their daily lives. However, it’s easy to forget how power and corruption can apply to animals as well.

An easy example would be how lions are considered to be the “Kings of the Jungle”. They seem to be ones with high authority, being carnivores and near the top of the food chain.

With animals, the food chain seems like a power map. This is simply because the creatures leading off to fewer arrows would be the ones and survive more, whilst animals that get consumed a lot would have less control over the others.

Though there isn’t anything official as to who leads and who doesn’t, in the animal kingdom, power means survival.

Moving slightly more to the corruption side, humans are known to be at the top of the food chain. Well, carnivores are actually above them, but with the help of technology today, humans can tame the wildest beasts. And that’s where the corruption comes in.

Many laws around the world have been put in place regarding people hunting animals and killing them (mostly endangered ones), but poaching is still very common.

Creatures that are supposed to be protected by law include the African and Indian elephant, the Amur leopard, black rhino, Javan rhino, green turtle, hawksbill turtle, leatherback turtle, and many more.

Did you know that the illegal wildlife trade is one of the most significant criminal acts in the world? It can be worth billions of dollars.

Yes, poaching occurs. But sometimes, it doesn’t just stop there. Trading also happens, with people trying to earn money or other benefits by dealing with animals illegally.

Trading these creatures against the law doesn’t only cause consequences to the one who is caught. It can affect biodiversity and ecosystems. It can cause the extinction of not only the species but sometimes even other supplies which humans rely on.

One extremely endangered species is the Rhinoceros. Rhinos are incredibly valuable, their horns not only being used in Chinese medicine but also as a symbol for wealth and success. This is why so many corrupt groups target and earn money from them. In fact, from 2007 to 2013, the amount of Rhino poaching increased in South Africa by a shocking 7700%, according to WWF.

One book in particular explores power and corruption with farm animals. The classic Animal Farm by George Orwell shows us how the animals long for change, revolution, and freedom, planning to overthrow their cruel owners.

Once they do gain authority though, they become very reckless and corrupted, particularly the pigs. Orwell portrays through Napoleon characteristics which are frequent in some humans as well.

We see manipulation, greed, and a thirst for power through Napoleon’s actions and how he exploits his fellow animals.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that things like “power” and “corruption” don’t just refer to the human population. But we should never forget how other living species can get affected negatively by the things we do and try our best to protect them.

By: Jasmehar Kaur

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