We Are Killers
Since the beginning of time, there has always been life on Earth. Millions of species being born throughout eons. Life and death has always has been a common occurrence. Over time there has been five major mass extinctions, we are currently on the sixth extinction. Unlike the first five extinctions that have occurred naturally, the sixth mass extinction is happening because of humans. “Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct [or endangered] every day.” (Extinction Crisis). We are killing these animals because of man’s desire to expand and exploit. Considering we are the cause of this, we should find other alternatives to get what we want without causing harm to our fellow species.
A major impact that is affecting animals would be deforestation. Deforestation is “clearing Earth’s forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land” (National Geographic). Within a couple hundred years all our forests will be entirely gone. Large corporations are destroying forests mostly for cattle grazing, wood, oil, or other resources a forest provides. “Earth’s forests cover 31% of the land area on our planet. They produce vital oxygen and homes for people and wildlife…Many of the world’s most endangered animals live in forests.” (World Wildlife). With all this destruction, food and shelters are not as available as it used to be for animals. It took years for animals to be able to adapt to their habitats and now they have no time to adjust. They won’t be able to find water, food, and mates. Orangutans, elephants, and tigers are the most endangered animals due to oil companies demolishing their homes. Not only are animals killed, but this destruction also causes global warming. Forests store most of all the carbon dioxide in the world and without the trees the air can become more and more contaminated.
The livelihood of the forests can change by people standing against the very corporations that are causing the destruction of our planet as well as boycotting foods and other commodities that fuel deforestation. Companies can use green methods of production by recycling and reusing materials like wood, instead of cutting down hundreds of trees a day for new materials. Also, if they do need to cut down trees, the company can replace the trees by planting new ones. Additionally, governments can contribute to the cause. They need to enforce laws and regulations as it pertains to forests. World leaders need to come together and figure out this problem. In the United States we have an Endangered Act which is meant to “protect and recover imperiled species and ecosystems upon which they depend on” (Fish & Wildlife Service). This step, even though it is a small one, is still one that is moving in the right direction when it comes to protecting our environment and its species. If steps are not taken to correct our path now, then the world will feel the effects of deforestation later and it will not be pretty.
Another big factor that is causing these animals to vanish is poaching. Endangered animals are being slaughtered for their body parts, so people can illegally sell them for a large amount of money on the black market (American Wildlife Foundation). These animals in addition to brutally murdered for money, they are also murdered for “cures,” tests for jewelry, home decor, and foods. The country most affected by poaching is in Africa. An animal that is targeted very highly is the Black Rhino.
Black Rhinos are being killed for their horns. Poachers viciously kill and take the rhino’s horn, leaving their bodies to rot after. Due to poaching, the rhino’s population has decreased by 97.7%. Although rhinos are facing extinction, they are not the only land animals to be on the brink and that does not even include the sea animals at risk too. Sharks that are in the African region are being slaughtered as well. For example, their fins are being cut off, to be put in soups. Once their fins are sliced, they are thrown back into the ocean with no chance to survive. The way these helpless animals are being killed is barbaric.
Animal poaching should be taken very serious. We need to act now before these beautiful animals are gone and the only way we would be able to see them, is in a zoo. There needs to be more enforcers and enforcement that help blanket and protect
groups of animals. Also, sanctuaries or national parks should be made for animals to be protected as well. Officials need to put more regulations in place and enforce them in order to help solve the problem. For those people who do choose to poach, they should face a heavy penalty as well. Overall, animal poaching is a big problem we face when it comes to protecting animals, however with the help of lawmakers and a bigger sense of responsibility to protect them the problem can be reduced.
A third solution for protecting the environment and its animals can be fundraising for rebuilding and protecting habitats. One major website that promotes protecting animals is International Fund for Animal Welfare. They provide “global leadership, innovation and hands-on assistance to animals and communities in need” (IFAW). Their organization key principles are to demonstrate how animals too are sentient beings, everything is based on science and ethical backgrounds of animals, and conservation decisions should be guided by ecological sustainability and biological sustainability. There is so many organizations you can donate to. These animals deserve to live as much as we do.
As humans continue to put animals on the endangered list like it was grocery list, they will end up becoming extinct. We need to make a change. The responsibility is on us. There is many ways to help save our animals today. We can stand against corporations, poachers, and help fundraise. These animals are a great portion of Earth’s Biodiversity. How do we function when a big part is gone?
“About IFAW.” IFAW – International Fund for Animal Welfare, 2018, http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/about-ifaw.
“Africa’s Poaching Crisis – AWF.” African Wildlife Foundation, http://www.awf.org/campaigns/poaching-infographic/.
“Deforestation and Its Effect on the Planet.” National Geographic, 25 July 2017, www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestation/.
“Protecting Endangered Species.” The National Wildlife Federation, The National Wildlife Federation, www.nwf.org/Search?q=endangered%2Bspecies.
The Endangered Species Act: A Wild Success, Center for Biological Diversity, http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Endangered Species Program. “Endangered Species Act | Overview.” Greater Sage- Grouse | Species Information, 1 Nov. 2017,