John D. Sutter, whose work can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org, asked for help with one of his columns. He requested that those who follow his column help him create a list of must-reads on illegal trade in animals. That illegal trad threatens ecosystems worldwide, and is pushing rare species of animals toward extinction. According to a 2013 report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the illegal trade in wildlife rakes in 19-billion dollars per year. A portion of that money is known to finance drug trade and illegal arms trade. Thousands of Mr. Sutter’s readers contributed the following list of must-read books and must-watch documentaries about global wildlife trade:
1. “Shell Games: Rogues, Smugglers,and The Hunt for Nature’s Bounty,” by Craig Welch.\
2. “Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture,” by Dana Goodyear. A portion of this book explores people in the U.S. who are eating rare and endangered animals. Related is the story about a restaurant in Santa Monica, California, that was “busted” for serving whale.
3. “Killing for Profit,” by Julian Rademeyer. A chronicle of a two-year-long investigation into a dangerous criminal underwold linked to the poaching and selling of rhino horns.
4. “The Lizard King: True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers,” by Bryan Christy.
5. “Black Market: Inside the Endangered Species Trade in Asia,” by Ben Davies
6. “Trading to Extinction,” by Patrick Brown, a work of some ten years documenting wildlife trade.
7. “Animal Investigators: How the World’s First Wildlife Forensics Lab is Solving Crimes and Saving Endangered Species.”
8. “Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival,” by John Valliant
9. “Conflict Tiger,” by Sasha Snow
10. “Love, Life and Elephants,” by Daphne Sheldrick
11. “Battle for the Elephants,” by John Heminway. This 2013 national Geographic Special can be found online via PBS.org
12. “The Last Rhino,” by Jonah Hull
13. “ivory, Horn, and Blood: Behind the Elephant and Rhinocerous Poaching Crisis,” by Ronald Orenstein
14. “Policing International Trade in Endangered Species,” by Rosalind Reeve
15. “Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species are Being Rescued From the Brink,” by Dr. Jane Goodall
16. “The Last Great Ape,” by Ofir Drori, and David McDannald
17. “Behind the Schemes,” an iTunes podcast by Annamiticus
Anyone who is the least bit concerned about the illegal trafficking and trade in wildlife will find much information from reading or watching even one of these suggested offerings. Our thanks to John D. Sutter and his readers for this list from his column, “Change The List.”