We Are Not Alone!

Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash

It often seems we have forgotten that we are only one species in a world filled with species. Our ambivalence is frightening; we are destroying their natural world at an unprecedented pace, with the sole purpose being “progress.”

What we have done to the natural world in the last 200 years is nothing short of a — holocaust/genocide/utter destruction. We used to think our forests were endless, our animals were abundant, and our oceans had a copious supply of fish. We now realize we have brought all these ecosystems to the brink within a snap of a finger, on an evolutionary timeline.

My wife often tells me I write too many lists, so I’m trying to cut down a bit — but, as they say, old habits die hard. So, here are just a few ways in which we are actively destroying our one and only (for now), beautiful planet.

These numbers and facts keep going on and on, and well… on. However, as obvious as it is that we are destroying all these living ecosystems to our detriment we forget that we share the planet with millions of other species that won't have the luxury of moving or rebuilding when it all collapses.

On top of the ecological collapse that we are creating, we have enslaved BILLIONS of animals (which we slaughter annually) in the most horrific conditions imaginable. The majority of people are aware of this by now, they might not know the intimate details and statistics behind each and every environmental disaster, but they do know we are reaching a tipping point and that to put it mildly — shit is not good out there.

Almost any wild animal you can think of is either in danger of extinction or in the vulnerable to critically endangered category. From gorillas to turtles, sharks and elephants, and everything in between. While our population has exploded in the last 100 years, (around 1.6 billion in 1920 vs around 8 billion in 2021) literally every wild animal has suffered tremendously to the point of near extinction. The only animals that are abundant are the ones we grow, shelter in horrific conditions, and kill for food each year.

Finally, and these are the ones I find the most atrocious as there is ZERO need for this, or, is there a reasonable morally defensible argument for it. It is solely evil for evil's sake (and for-profit). We keep orcas and dolphins in tiny pools and starve them to perform tricks. We shackle bears and lions and tigers, beat them, starve them, humiliate them in order to make them jump through hoops of fire, and ride a tricycle. We have snake or ferret or rabbit or mink “farms” where they are kept in horrific conditions right before they are killed in unconsciously evil ways for us to make a boot or a handbag or a fur coat. We murder elephants and rhinos for ivory and sharks for shark fin soup, we kill pangolins (now the most poached animal in the world) for traditional Chinese medicine. Not to mention what they do to Moon Bears and dogs (yes, dogs!) in China. I could literally list off every single animal in existence and explain how it is suffering due to human poaching, encroachment, entertainment, and so on but trust me when I tell you this — we have completely and utterly fucked every other species on this planet!

Now, most articles or documentaries like to end with the positives or with a call to action…not this article though. I don't run a nonprofit nor am I affiliated with one. I am just a guy who wanted to let out some of his frustration regarding the current ecological catastrophe that is unfolding in front of us.

However, through the darkness, there are people that do shine bright = amazing individuals who have dedicated their lives to help save wildlife and the environment. From Damien Mander, who sold everything he owned to create the IAPF (Podcast Interview), to Jill Robinson who upended her life and moved to Asia to protect the moon bears (Podcast Interview). These heroes are still out there fighting the good fight but at times it seems grim. They should be highlighted and praised, when we all are working to benefit our own individual lives, they have dedicated theirs for the greater good, to protect and save the lives of animals. For me, that is the saving grace, the inspiration that together we can overcome, that with a few dedicated souls a massive change can rise and take over.

We all need to be smarter, more conscious consumers. What we can do is simplify, reduce & just generally be more mindful. Reduce your meat consumption, eat less fish, take a bicycle ride once in a while, use reusable items & recycle more, be conscious of some of the food items you buy, be aware of the clothes you buy. Don't support places that condone and, in fact, turn a profit from animal abuse (I’m looking at you Seaworld). You don't have to panic and completely change your lifestyle, but if we all pitched in by just becoming a bit more aware, then maybe, just maybe, we will be able to stop -or at least delay - the major climate effects that will ultimately plague our shores.

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