Tiger - I AM GREATER THAN THE SUM OF MY PARTS sheds a light on the plight of tigers and the ugly demand for tiger parts that is fueling the illegal tiger trade through criminal networks from poachers to black market traders. The demand in Asia is outrageous for their skins, bones, teeth and claws most of which are believed to have some value as folk remedies in traditional Asian medicine. Despite rigid laws designed to protect tigers, the trade continues. Ironically, Tibet was a major culprit in the Tiger Trade up until about 2006 when the Dalai Lama made an emotional appeal to outlaw the trade. Today the trade is fed by criminal syndicates who serve the wealthy Asian middle class who seek out tiger parts for “ snake oil” medicine and as status symbols. Additionally, tiger habitat has shrunk over the last 100 years by over 90%. Tigers are forced now to live in very small, isolated pockets of fragmented habitat. That habitat is being encroached upon now by the rapidly expanding human population. There are some who say it is only a matter of time now before the Tiger goes extinct. I believe, though, that we are better than that. First and foremost we must demand a cultural shift that will not allow the trade of tiger parts in a civilized society. Secondly, we must stop placing a demand on the products like palm oil, paper, timber and coffee that is fueling the destruction of Tiger habitat. It is not only the Tiger that is greater than the sum of it’s parts. We are all greater than the sum of our parts and together, our voice can be even greater.
Artist: Rob Whitehair
Digital mixed media: Pencil on Procreate, Photoshop. Acrylic