Recently Matt P of San Diego, California (full name withheld) emailed me requesting information that would help him mount firesteels to his Elephant Ivory handles. When I responded in surprise that anyone would be doing that, he replied that it is legal to use Elephant Ivory that was harvested (as in wild elephants killed for their ivory tusks) before a certain date.
Here we can see a wild elephant that was recently killed for it's ivory tusks. In the second picture, an entire herd of wild elephants has been slaughtered for their ivory.
A bull elephant (above) and an entire herd of wild elephants (below) slaughtered for their ivory. Thanks Matt P!
You support this in order to have material to mount a firesteel on? Are you kidding me?
Here's the email exchange:
Matt P: "What size is the hole in the FireSteel that you can us a lanyard. I am inserting it into and through an elephant ivory handle."
FireSteel.com: "You're kidding, right? Elephant Ivory?"
Matt P: "So you know elephant ivory is legal to own and use. Just has to be purchased prior to 1976."
FireSteel.com: no response
Matt P: "Only thing I can say is your customer service sucks ass."
I refused to give Micheal the information he sought. Here's why:
The Elephant ivory trade is notoriously corrupt. As we speak, wild Elephants are being illegally slaughtered because their ivory tusks fetch high prices in the illegal markets. Most of this is then passed off as legal "old" ivory via graft and corruption.
It is common place for poachers to kill wild elephant bulls, saw off the just the tusks, and leave the remainder of this magnificent animal to rot on the ground.
This disgusts me. Anyone who knows this and still purchases ivory...
Elephant Ivory is valuable. Being involved in the ivory trade, legal or not, keeps the prices of ivory high by taking ivory off the market. High ivory prices make the killing of wild elephants for their tusks even more profitable.
>p> People like Matt who use ivory help fuel the demand.
When I would not give Matt the information he asked for in order to best use his Elephant Ivory, he sent me a very nasty email.
We are leaning more about just what kind of human being this Matt character is.
Yes, Matt, when it comes to mounting ivory tusks onto my firesteels my customer service sucks ass. I am proud of that, and wouldn't change a thing.
Look, here's the deal: just because something is "legal" does not mean you should do it. Slavery was legal once too.
The elephant ivory trade is totally corrupt. Buying ivory - any ivory - helps keep the ivory prices high so that elephant poachers have more incentive to kill elephants for their tusks. It's that simple.
So stop using it!
Below is a picture showing some baubles carved from ivory hacked off murdered African elephants. Oh how beautiful. I'd rather have the elephants alive, thank you.
I fully expect Matt will soon begin posting negative comments on the Internet about the FireSteel.com customer service. If he does, it is my hope he includes the reason why I rejected his questions. If you happen upon such a post, if you would direct members of that forum or blog to this post on FireSteel.com I'd appreciate it very much.
Here's to you, Matt:
Will this hurt my business? I don't care. If my actions save just one wild African elephant from the fate shown in the pictures above I would gladly give up my entire business.