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After Extinction….

The week’s news included this depressing revelation, courtesy of the World Wildlife Fund’s 2014 Living Planet Report:

Population sizes of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, have decreased by over half in the last 40 years. At the same time, humans’ demand for natural resources have increased to where we’d need 1 1/2 planets to meet our current demand.

wwf report

We humans are an invasive species, and we’re using up every resource we can get our hands on, with no thought of the consequences to ourselves, other humans, and certainly not to other species. And while we give lip service to saving the majestic elephants, rhinos, and big cats, there is no collective will to make the significant lifestyle changes needed to make that happen.

No, I think it’s time we admitted the inevitable: these animals are destined for extinction, and we’re going to let it happen.

There. The secret’s out. No need to tiptoe around it anymore.

And now that we’ve admitted that to ourselves, we must ask ourselves the next hard question:

Are we going to let those species go truly extinct, or are we going to allow captive breeding to continue?

elephant_9

photo from wwf.org.uk

We all know of the atrocities suffered by these animals. Tigers bred to be petted as babies, then housed in small cages for the rest of their lives, or killed so their parts can be sold. Elephants trained as entertainers in circuses. Rhinos paraded around in their zoo habitat, which may be quite cozy, or may be an over-sized concrete jail cell. Will we allow zoos to breed (and kill) to keep animals on hand for public display? Will we let the tiger cubs continue to be petted? Will rhino farms crop up so they can be killed for their horns?

Once the animals are deemed extinct, the collectors will come out of the woodwork, and the price for these animals- dead or alive- will skyrocket.

photo from wwf.org

photo from wwf.org

So, what are we going to do? We have to answer these questions now. Once extinction has been deemed, it will be too late to debate them.

Of course, it’s probably a moot point anyway. If there’s no will to help them now, there will be even less once they’re gone from the wild.

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About rumpydog

Rumpy has gone on from this plane. We, his kitty siblings,continue to blog about animal welfare and responsible care of companion animals at rumpydog.com in his stead. You can follow us on Twitter - @RumpyDog. And don't forget to LIKE our Facebook page! Thanks!

Discussion

25 thoughts on “After Extinction….

  1. I dislike that Zoo’s breed animals, what end like Marius the giraffe of Copenhagen Zoo … maybe it’s a good start to forbid the “hunt” on rare animals, even for a king or a top official of an environ department in germany….

    Posted by easyweimaraner | October 1, 2014, 6:48 AM
  2. I think perhaps the first fight has to be to ensure we have the animals around still. Whilst these animals are still on the planet there is still hope. Maybe you need a two prong attack – keep them alive, then improve the welfare?!

    Posted by 25castleson25clouds | October 1, 2014, 7:34 AM
    • I used to believe that. I no longer see that happening.

      Posted by rumpydog | October 1, 2014, 7:40 AM
      • Surely while they are alive there is hope?! Don’t give up, don’t loose that hope.

        Posted by 25castleson25clouds | October 1, 2014, 7:48 AM
      • What do you see happening to change human behavior such that animals have a hope of survival?

        Posted by rumpydog | October 1, 2014, 8:10 AM
      • There’s some hope, Rumpy. As more come around to protecting what’s here, there’s more demanding that wild populations be protected. Too late for some, but not for all. Nothing wrong with trying to do what is possible.
        While strict guidelines must be enforce. I do not like exotic petting zoo/tourist attractions. Should be banned.
        Specific countries who are destroying specific animals for folk medicines and charms? Now there’s a big problem if you talk about respecting diversity…how far are people willing to go with that?
        Some zoo breeding is done well. And I support it – if the zoo limits the species they can provide suitable grounds/habitats. Not every zoo needs to have samples of all the animals. Some of these habitats now are multiple acres with multiple species mingling as in the wild zones. Breeding zoos need to limit and specialize. Travel to other states to see what animals your zoo doesn’t have.
        We now have wild populations of almost extinct prairie chickens back locally due to local zoo breeding (and NASA who donated land as a halfway house prairie/with indoor shelter at night until the chicks got “street wise” …when hawks were a problem, large shade screens provided safe zones.)
        It’s only over when good people give up and walk away. But something will have to happen to protect animals against groups that only see animals as something to harvest. How to be diplomatic…or an excellent shot without distinguishing between 2 legged and 4 legged predators?

        Posted by philosophermouseofthehedge | October 1, 2014, 2:23 PM
  3. Again, your post reveals reality, not always easy to remember. Sometime ago, I ran across an essay, “In Praise of Manners” on species extinction; it broadened my perspective for my views are similar to yours. Here is the link: http://www.wisdombridge.net/in-praise-of-manners.html. I apologize if you would prefer not having links posted.
    Karen

    Posted by KM Huber | October 1, 2014, 9:19 AM
    • It’s an interesting article. The point I get from it is that we grieve. Good manners is nice, but I really don’t see how the collective human race is going to engage in anything like that. Do you?

      Posted by rumpydog | October 1, 2014, 10:15 AM
      • IF it is possible to decrease the impact of the human race on this planet, then I think remembering the reverence owed to life is where it must begin. We have lost that reverence, I think, and without reverence, there is no wonder in life. It has to come from within–that I do firmly believe–I don’t know how much loss it will take until the grief over the continuous loss of life outweighs our greed. I do have a sense that more people are becoming aware that change within themselves is possible, which is where I believe it must begin. Major change has always started within smaller groups–even one individual–if that gives you a ray of hope. Again, change from within an individual changes that person’s outer world.

        Posted by KM Huber | October 1, 2014, 10:43 AM
      • Excellent point. May we all grieve deeply- and soon.

        Posted by rumpydog | October 1, 2014, 10:49 AM
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  6. This is what I have been saying. It makes me sad. It makes me sick. I have been fighting this battle for more than 40 years and I think I have been defeated.

    Posted by Marilyn Armstrong | October 1, 2014, 9:06 PM
  7. Unfortunately I agree with you about the collective human race, referring to a response to one of the comments above. Sad state.

    Posted by The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap | October 2, 2014, 9:46 AM
  8. Humans are realy egoistic creature…..they might get return because of what they’ve done to precious animals in the future…….

    Posted by eripanwkevin | October 5, 2014, 3:53 AM
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