Humans have gone down a long unraveling path with technology full of eccentric ideas and failed attempts. From new cars to new phones, we always find ways to make our lives easier with emerging new products. One product in particular, the Internet, has become home to the world’s largest marketplace for illegal products on the black market. From endangered animals to extremely rare, freshly skinned fur, the internet nests a thriving network for these services like never before. The black market brings about immense opportunities for poachers to gain more power and most of all, money. Rachel Nuwer, a writer from Newsweek states that, “2 percent of wildlife populations around the world have disappeared since 1970, with overhunting being a major driver behind that decline. For some species, the study found, the illegal wildlife trade is now the primary threat, thanks to soaring demand for certain wildlife and animal-derived products. Elephants and rhinos are two stark examples of this” (Nuwer).
The demand for rhino horn in 2016 is so high that it sells for about $30,000 a pound. In comparison, gold is about $22,000 a pound, making ivory exceedingly more valuable than gold! Studies suggest that if this high demand continues, rhinos will extinct by 2020. Additionally, not only are we stripping the earth of its natural born creatures, we are killing them in the most unethical and inhumane ways. Cyanide, a deadly chemical mainly used as a gas, is becoming one of the most common ways to kill elephants and rhinos because it is cheap and does the job. It is no surprise however, that cyanide is also a widely sold drug on the black market. The black market is so intensely strong, that the Kenyan government recently announced that it was forming a team to aid against poachers. According to Business Insider writer and former social media consultant, Greg Voakes, “50% of the world’s working population is employed in the black market, meaning over 1.8 billion jobs” (Voakes). The black market has grown into a multi-trillion dollar industry and it is only growing more. Additionally, research states that, “If the black market was a sovereign nation, it would be the world’s second largest economic superpower.” (Voakes) The black market holds an immense amount of power in the lives of animals. The existence of such an industry serves as the number one threat to the lives of species on the brink of extinction.