Sometimes I wonder why I don’t just Google a celebrity of the day in the morning to get my daily news. Maybe if I just typed in “Lindsay Lohan” or “Angelina Jolie” each morning, I could skip my daily skim of MSNBC.com or NewYorkTimes.com and learn all I need to know about the world. After all, don’t celebrities represent all that is human about us? Don’t they represent our hopes, dreams, and sometimes acts of utter nonsense?
Allow me to present Exhibit A, (as I step off my soap box of sarcasm). Recently, supermodel Elle “The Body” MacPherson shared the secrets to her eternal health – and it is that she consumes powdered rhino horn as a dietary supplement. As she told The Times, it tastes a “little bit like crushed bone and fungus in a capsule. Does the job though.” Powdered rhino horn is a tradition of Chinese medicine and has been used to prevent seizures and fevers. It is also illegal and banned worldwide.
Why? Because rhinos have been listed as endangered since 1977. Reports are that there are only 11,000 rhinos left on the planet. Poaching reached an all-time high last year, and four out of five species are on the verge of extinction. As MNN.com reports, most animals are either “shot or tranquilized, left to a slow, agonizing death after their horns are sawed off.” But the choice is simple for some. After all, does the world need supermodels to retain their youthful spirits? Or do we need more rhinos?
Not surprisingly, the 47-year-old model and host of Britain’s Next Top Model has bat-out-of-hell angered everyone from PETA to the Humane Society International. As Erica Martin of The International Fund for Animal Welfare says, “There is no excuse for using any endangered animal products.” As Martin concludes, “Elle has been a successful businesswoman with a high public profile for decades, and people do listen to what she says.”
But Elle is backing down. She now claims her interview, conducted via Twitter, was simply meant as “banter,” that she was “joking,” and that she regrets any offense her banter may have caused. (You can decide for yourself here.) She just announced to news.com.au that she had “never knowingly consumed or encouraged the use or consumption of any products which contain material derived from endangered species”. Thanks, Elle. I’m sure the rhinos of the world appreciate your sympathy. (Woops, stepped back up on the soapbox of sarcasm.)
Image: Y! MÃºsica