The Roots of Heaven
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Do you know that tens of thousands of elephants are killed every year? Thirty thousand last year, to be exact. Thirty thousand. If they go on like that, there won't be any left. Anyone who's seen the great herds on the march across the last free spaces of the earth knows they're something the world can't afford to lose! But no... We have to capture, kill, destroy. All that's beautiful has got to go. All that's free! Soon we'll be alone on this earth with nothing to destroy but ourselves!
[Presents his petition for protecting the elephants] Would you sign it, sir? It would be a very great help.
My dear fellow, our first duty is towards mankind. Believe me, we have our hands full as it is now, trying to forestall the worst drought, the biggest water shortage for years. Unless we take timely steps, we're going to have people dying like flies! If you could read some of the reports coming in...
Yes, I know, sir, I do see. But can't we offer our help and protection to other animals than ourselves?
Yes, yes, I'm sure [laughs] I see you have a very noble opinion for humanity. Now you really must excuse me.
You'll hear from me again, sir. I'm not easily discouraged.
And what about the people who follow you? And love you? What of us? There lots of us, thousands and thousands who would like to do what you are doing, but they haven't the courage. They are too tired, too done for. But they understand, they know what you are trying to say! Even the stupidest, like me. They think of you, they think of the elephants, then suddenly they find themselves smiling. They can't help it! We can't help it. You must go on!
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