Comment by CJoe on March 19, 2011 at 10:14pm
Like a boss
Comment by Tammy on March 24, 2011 at 6:54pm
I love skulls and this is just beautiful.
Comment by Walter Maki on March 24, 2011 at 8:33pm
That is way cool!
Comment by Dogly on March 28, 2011 at 1:33pm
Too bad they didn't have wood in those days, and were forced to kill whales and elephants to make walking sticks.  Was he lame, or was this a fashion statement?  It makes me sad that the man who, for his time, best understood our relationbship to the other species of animals, would think it OK to kill such wondrous creatures for a bit of sartorial vanity.
Comment by Dogly on March 28, 2011 at 1:36pm
Think Atheist, that's an order!
Comment by Orpharion Oroborus Bestheneme on May 9, 2011 at 5:41am
I think it's a bit unfair to criticize the choice of materials here. Anyone willing to eat meat must also be willing to use animal-based products, and in the  1800's I doubt it was realized how sensitive whale and elephant populations were and the intelligence whales possessed. When giant hulks of meaty blubber breached the surface I doubt the first thought was - how majestic.
Comment by johnny wayne on May 9, 2011 at 7:03am

I joined just because of Dogly's comment.

Yes, he was lame, he was constantly in pain and sick from causes his contemporary doctors could not explain. For some reason, we think we have a better understanding now, but there are so many theories, it's not worth getting into them.

But I wanted to address your concern with the materials used in this cane. First, it's highly unlikely that the two creatures killed to make this cane were killed only in order to do so. They were and are still used for meat and other uses. Whale blubber was the #1 resource for the raw material to make heating and lamp oil until oil processing became easier and more popular sometime in the early 1900s. That is millions of households contributing to whale deaths. Think of it as analogous to wearing leather today, just a byproduct of a huge commercial industry. That may not rub you right either, but certainly it makes it more palatable.

There were no endangered species lists at time (though he was writing about and starting the first ones, the surely didn't include either of these) and it was near impossible to know the eventual outcome at the time. Granted it sure seems like elephants are in a different league to a Brit in terms of exoticism and therefore possibly reasons to not kill it, they are not to many cultures. These cultures kill them for food and all the same uses  as people generally kill animals.

So, I stick by the idea that it is similar to  wearing leather and jewelry made from kangaroo or wallaby (for relative exoticism), he wasn't misguided or an asshole (for using this cane), it was just normal, and he did need it.

Comment by Dogly on May 9, 2011 at 12:04pm
I stand by my statements.  His walking stick is not and was not "way cool".  It was vulgar and vain.  He did not need THIS cane; he needed A cane.  Yes, it is much like buying kangaroo leather sneakers.  Unnecessary, vulgar, cruel, and vain.  The 'byproducts' of the meat industry are more profitable to the killers than the meat is.  When you buy leather, you kill someone.  She may be a cow, a pig, or a kangaroo.  They do not belong to us, and it is unjust to use them.  Darwin was a rational, intelligent man.  Neither justice nor compassion can be assigned to him.  He was not a hero with exceptionally noble qualities.  He was a scientist whose discoveries began to explain how today's lifeforms may have arisen, without supernatural explanation.  Atheists don't have saints.  He was just a smart guy.
Comment by Walter Maki on May 9, 2011 at 12:53pm

It seems that my statement of "way cool" has a conflicting interpretation.

I appreciate the historical aspect of it and it was way different during his lifetime before we had such a "list".

I do not condone such a thing for just a novelty sake.

I grew up in SE Arizona where the American Indian culture fascinates me. They did not make it a habit of killing just because it was fun or profitable. They used as much of what they killed with minimal waste. This included bones made into tools and jewelery. So I do not consider it "vain" or distasteful being how things were back then. My guess if he were around today he wouldn't of donned such accessories. 

 

I will still eat meat and wear clothing items made with leather. The 'faux" material does not cut it out here in the desert when you need durable long lasting material. I live where I cant just simply go to the store at a whim to replace things.

 

Does this make a bad person?

 

I do know that unfortunately in the modern world things are done for the vanity, novelty or because it's taboo. 

 

So we have a case of that was then and this is now. Standards, rules, laws and morals have changed. So it is unfair to compare what is right today to what was right then. 

Comment by johnny wayne on May 9, 2011 at 1:06pm
@dogly, I supposed you may make that argument which is why I said that that may not rub you the right way either. I respect that opinion if you truly do not consume animals in any way, from glue to leather, to food. Good on you. I have a cane whose head is made out of the head of a human femur. Its my bone though and I approve this message.

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