Choudhury, S. (2007, December 26). Activists aim to protect antelopes from shawl trade. Los Angeles Times. [Online]. Available: http://www.latimes.com/business/printedition/la-fi-shawls26dec26,0,4205000.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-business [2007, December 26].
They hope to stop the animals' slaughter by persuading weavers to use wool combed from non-endangered goats.
India; chiru; Tibetan antelope; shawls; trade; shahtoosh; Wildlife Trust of India; weavers; traditional
"Help me, please," pleads the chiru on the poster that adorns several up-market boutiques across this capital city and beyond.
The chiru, or Tibetan antelope, indeed requires help, and the poster goes on to explain why. "Five chiru are slaughtered to make one shahtoosh shawl," making the wild animal a highly endangered species. "Say no to shahtoosh."
Alarmed conservationists in India have launched a massive campaign to encourage weavers of shahtoosh to organize themselves to promote an alternative fashion brand: the pashma, a handcrafted, traditional Kashmiri pashmina made from the wool of non-endangered, domesticated Himalayan goats.
"Many traditional craftsmen still feel that weaving shahtoosh is their birthright," wildlife activist Aniruddha Mookerjee said. "No government would be able to enforce a total ban unless you provide alternatives."
Mookerjee, a senior director with the New Delhi-based Wildlife Trust of India, believes that the pashma shawl, if promoted well...