2014/06/05

Greed and Me-ism - impact on Earth and wildlife



Anyone who is aware knows that it is we – the Human Family species of mammals – who have harmed or put to extinction many other species.  We are the ones who encroach upon their realms, making it more and more difficult for them to survive in their natural habitat.

For that matter, even some members of the Human Family are under threat. Aboriginals, First Nations, Inuit, the Bushmen or San people, the list goes on.
Indigenous cultures everywhere are often treated in the same manner worldwide.  Then there are those wars . . . 
But I am wandering away from the motivation for writing this blog post.  Here on Vancouver Island in the municipal area of Victoria, a woman who was walking to work early in the morning along the “Galloping Goose trail” spotted a cougar 10 metres away.  It was said that it charged at her. (But subsequent comments have suggested it was as startled as she was.) 
As she ran to a nearby house, the cougar stopped and stared as she pulled out her mobile phone to call for help. Actually there were two cougars. After the alarm went out to the ‘civilized’ world, one cougar was hunted down and killed while the other got away. Headlines everywhere, “Where Is the Other Cougar?” (So it can also be killed.) It won’t be long before our clever species, with our state-of-the-art killing machines, finds and exterminates it too, to the relief of those Homo sapiens who, fear-ridden, threaten the existence of these big cats.


Those cougars, those grizzlies, those polar bears, those rhinos, those sharks.  The list goes on. 
 
As for the two cougars here who “trespassed” on our territory – “How dare they!”  No one seems to focus on the cause of these encounters with wildlife - - - that their habitat has been ‘clear cut’ or destroyed for greedy profit-seeking, or by stupid behaviour such as cutting shark fins for soup or so-called medicinal purposes, or taking fragile bird nests for another ‘gourmet’ delicacy.  Or the horn of a rhino, for aphrodisiacs.  Aren’t we a super-lovable species?


How bright and wise are we?  Well, some leaders of nations muzzle now their scientists . . . those who warn about what’s going on out there, and what will be the consequences.  And yet, these so-called leaders have children and future grandchildren.  Are they not allowed to be born on a healthy planet, with clean air, water and a healthy habitat for all creatures? Makes you wonder - what their motivation is, to withhold scientific facts.
This reminds me of an event from the summer of 1959 in Banff National Park.  At that time there were “Indian Days”, where Chiefs of various nations (Blackfoot, Dakota, Sioux and others) set up teepees and allowed visitors to ask them questions.
Henri van Bentum, Banff 1982 - Indian Days Revisited at the Blackfoot Teepee
 The Chiefs were eloquent speakers. In comparison the “white man” would sit there with a mouth full of teeth and just stare at the Chiefs  - - - so dignified and dressed in full attire. 
 
One of the Chiefs said, “You know the White Man is a complicated, forked-tongue species, with no care or vision about our home, Mother Earth.  For example, if I say, “There are only a dozen ocelots left, they would say, ‘Let’s shoot them, before they’re all gone.’”   

I’ve never forgotten this statement of insight and wisdom. Of course that's not the only creature we'd shoot if there 'were only a few left'.  Extinction #6 is fast becoming a reality.  This time it will be caused by "Humans".

Human greed and me-ism leaves wildlife nowhere to live.  That’s the cause.  The effect:  extinction of wilderness and wildlife on a global scale.  Add to this global climate change and pollution - - what will be the effect on the Human Family?    Are we ignorant, indifferent, asleep, stupid or?   Definitely not wise.

This then will be my last blog post.  Six years ago we began (July 1, 2008), so that’s enough.  It was a pleasure visiting with you all out there, wherever you may be.  And thank you for having visited my blog.


Cheers, Ciao, Vaarwel, Adieu, Adios.



Henri van Bentum