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Blood of the Tiger: A Story of Conspiracy,…
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Blood of the Tiger: A Story of Conspiracy, Greed, and the Battle to Save a…

by J. A. Mills

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An in-depth report of the politics of animal conservation. Much of this was very difficult for me to read, because I can't stand the thought of animals suffering and I find endangered species to be a very depressing topic. It always makes me wish humans didn't exist. I think Mills did a good job showing the nuts and bolts of conservation, how it takes a lot of people from all different countries, backgrounds and walks of life caring a great deal and working very hard together to bring a species back from the brink of extinction, and how many times ego and petty spite get in the way of accomplishing anything. I only hope that in future generations wild tigers will continue to exist as they were meant to. ( )
  meggyweg | Jul 26, 2017 |
As Sy Montgomery so eloquently states, "Blood of the Tiger" may be the most important book you read this year." Most Americans don't seem to know the story of China's massive appetite for eating up endangered species and hoping they go extinct so they can profit hugely. Not all Chinese agree with this, of course, but Asian medicine has been using parts from wild animals for centuries and they don't intend to give it up. Bears, killed for their gallbladders/bile, tigers killed mostly for their bones for making wine and medicine, rhinos and elephants for horns and tusks, sharks for fins for soup. It's astonishing and enraging that the Asian countries participating in poaching of these shrinking wild species continue, despite pressure from the international community. They completely ignore agreements put in place decades ago and have moneyed, stubborn, and effective lobbies that allow massive killing of wildlife in the countries where it exists. They farm bears, tigers, rhinos and other wildlife under deplorable conditions, whetting Asian appetites for products from these animals. However, in all cases, wild animals are preferred -- their parts are thought to be more pure, so poaching not only continues but has ramped up. One day, none of these animals will be left in the wild and that's no exaggeration.

People of the world need to work for these animals and Asians need to work in their own countries to educate people about the connection between what they are consuming and purchasing and the poaching and cruel farming of wild animals. Unbelievably, it seems most Asians don't make that connection. Is that really possible? Yes it is. Tragically, yes it's entirely so.

This book is wonderfully written, concise writing, searchable details and references, and most importantly, ways we can all help at the end. What an amazing person J.A. Mills is, along with many of her colleagues and successors who continue the difficult work of facing the enormous Asian dragon that is eating the world's wildest and most magnificent animals.

The enormity of this problem comes clear in the book. I would urge news agencies to publish more information around the world about this issue, ongoing. Don't give any relief from this issue to those who are annihilating species. It's especially important to note that tiger bones, shark fins, rhino horns, and bear bile has never been proven to cure anything; it's folk medicine, and these cultures are ancient and hold fast to the idea that it has always been done this way.

Bravo to J.A Mills and all who work to correct this situation. Read the book and find out which organizations fight for the lives of these increasingly endangered animals. Read about the world conferences and how the massive dragon keeps getting its way.

This should be required reading in every country. I received this book from Goodreads Giveways. ( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Is it a memoir or is it a polemic about tiger conservation? Although the author does state "It's not about me", it really is about her. When she's interested in bears and bear gall extraction, we learn about bears. When she becomes interested in tigers, we learn about tigers. When she's depressed, we hear about her depression - not all that much, but it really has nothing to do with tigers. When she leaves the world of tiger-protecting NGOs for several years, we get no news about what happened in her absence except a brief recap to the effect that "When I came back the situation was like this-and-that because such-and-such happened". So, a memoir.

Credit where credit is due, though: she provides a lot of information about tigers and how human greed drives the trade in endangered species. And she apparently paints a vivid word picture. Until I went back to consult the book for this review, I thought there was a photo section in the book, because I could see the vats of tiger-bone wine and the bears restrained for the gall harvest so clearly in my mind's eye. Big props to the author for thoroughly researching the major players in the tiger trade, and more for providing websites to which we can turn for current information about tigers, because if there's one thing that becomes clear throughout the course of the book, it's the volatility and rapid fluctuation of the tigers' situation. ( )
  muumi | Jan 11, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It is a rare moment (for me at least) to feel the urge to sincerely give Vladimir Putin my thanks, but his fondness for Tigers and efforts to preserve them in the wild deserves praise and encouragement. Indeed, my first thought upon finishing this book was to list people I'd like to send copies to.

If you are interested in the political facets of wildlife conservation and the intersection between criminal enterprise and the economics of supply and demand, this book is for you. Even if you are more partial to a different endangered species (the African Elephant, certain species of Sharks, Rhinos, Bald Eagles, Bluefin Tuna, or the California Condor), this book will provide significant insight into the obstacles to that species' survival.

Please read this book, and pass it on to a friend. ( )
  chaz166 | Oct 18, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Less about actually wandering through the habitats of the tiger than I expected, and more about legislation and international affairs. Still sufficiently heartbreaking. ( )
  atheist_goat | Mar 27, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0807074969, Hardcover)

Blood of the Tiger takes readers on a wild ride to save one of the world’s rarest animals from a band of Chinese billionaires.
 
Despite the tiger’s beloved status, there may be fewer than three thousand left in the wild. At the same time, at least five thousand “domesticated” tigers have been reared on farms in China, not for traditional medicine but for the production of tiger-bone wine, tiger-skin décor, and gourmet cuisine enjoyed by the country’s elite. J. A. Mills spent twenty years investigating the illicit wildlife trade and trying to stop the plot that threatens to transform this regal animal from jungle monarch into no more than a livestock commodity.

In this memoir of geopolitical intrigue, Mills and a host of people she counts as heroes try to thwart a Chinese cadre’s plan to launch billion-dollar industries banking on the extinction of not just wild tigers but also elephants and rhinos. Her journey takes her across Asia, into the jungles of India and Nepal, to Russia and Africa, traveling by means from elephant back to presidential motorcade, in the company of man-eaters, movie stars, and world leaders. Set against the backdrop of China’s reawakening and ascendance to world dominance, Blood of the Tiger tells of a global fight to rein in the forces of greed on behalf of one of the world’s most endangered species.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:26 -0400)

"Blood of the Tiger takes readers on a wild ride to save one of the world's rarest animals from a band of Chinese billionaires. Despite the tiger's beloved status, there may be fewer than three thousand left in the wild. At the same time, at least five thousand "domesticated" tigers have been reared on farms in China, not for traditional medicine but for the production of tiger-bone wine, tiger-skin decor, and gourmet cuisine enjoyed by the country's elite. J. A. Mills spent twenty years investigating the illicit wildlife trade and trying to stop the plot that threatens to transform this regal animal from jungle monarch into no more than a livestock commodity. In this memoir of geopolitical intrigue, Mills and a host of people she counts as heroes try to thwart a Chinese cadre's plan to launch billion-dollar industries banking on the extinction of not just wild tigers but also elephants and rhinos. Her journey takes her across Asia, into the jungles of India and Nepal, to Russia and Africa, traveling by means from elephant back to presidential motorcade, in the company of man-eaters, movie stars, and world leaders. Set against the backdrop of China's reawakening and ascendance to world dominance, Blood of the Tiger tells of a global fight to rein in the forces of greed on behalf of one of the world's most endangered species"--… (more)

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