Truly, I’m thinking the answer has to be “yes”. And I’m not tooting my own horn… I’m literally talking about REAL wild animals…
I’ve written before about how we seem to have an unusuallylarge population of animals in our yard and (I’m not kidding), it has gotten even more outrageous. While I can sit on my back patio and gaze at downtown Cleveland, I also seem to be harboring a suburban animal sanctuary.
Want to know what’s been hanging out in our yard lately? Lemme give you the list … deer (including babies!), squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, opossum, snakes, rabbits, hawks, a wild turkey, birds in general (galore!) and a red fox, for pete’s sake.
No one else seems to find these animals lingering in their yard… except me. Want to know my theory?… a natural, organic yard. No chemicals, no toxins, no poison polluting up our little sanctuary.
Do you think these animals know that? They have a keen sense of… oh… just about everything. Hmmm, do you think they’re telling us something…?
About eight months ago I wrote a post about palm oil, the destruction of crucial rainforests to make way for these plantations and the devastating effect on wildlife. (Palm oil is commonly being used as an ingredient in everyday products including margarine, shortening, baked foods, cookies, candies and even soaps, candles and personal care products. Its main purpose, aside from its “binding properties”, is to replace trans fat that we’re all trying to avoid.) Before that post, I truly didn’t know a lot about palm oil, but now my eyes are wide open.
If you’d like to read the original post, click here, but in a nutshell, this is the concern:
Rainforests are being cleared at alarming rates to make way for palm plantations and to keep up with the demand for the product.
Malaysia and Indonesia account for 83% of the production and 89% of the export of palm oil. Within these countries the threat is enormous for endangered species including orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses.
The threat is the greatest for the orangutans, as they live ONLY in these areas that are being cleared to make way for the palm oil plantations. The occurrence of hunting and poaching these poor animals has dramatically increased as well, and it is estimated that 50 orangutan are being killed each week. At this rate, their existence is limited.
When this deforestation occurs and the rainforests are burned, they release decades of stored carbon back into the atmosphere, contributing to the tragedy of global warming.
All this considered, the demand for palm oil is expected to double in the next 10 years.
During a recent trip to our beloved Cleveland Metroparks Zoo I noticed a sign on one of their food carts. It read: “We use only sustainable palm oil products.” I respected the fact that they’re taking responsibility and using only palm oil from plantations established on land that was not recently deforested and has been well-managed with good environmental, social and economic standards.
Is World Environment Day new to you? Last year was the first time I’d ever heard of it myself. It actually commemorates the day the United Nations General Assembly established its first global effort aimed at protecting the environment in 1972. It’s meant to bring worldwide awareness to the environment, enhance political attention and bring action for future generations.
This year’s theme is “Many Species. One Planet. One Future” and will celebrate the incredible diversity of life on Earth as part of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. Seems a bit ironic considering we’re into day 46 of the tragic and catastrophic oil spill in our Gulf, doesn’t it? The pessimistic side of me would say that it’s more like “Destroying Species. One Corporation. Devastated Future”, but the optimistic side of me keeps hoping that changes will come and there will be lessons learned so this is never, ever, allowed to happen again.
For today, I will push the soapbox aside and just invite you to join me in celebrating this planet and our environment. WED has a list of things you can do, from A to Z, to make a change and make a difference. (Actually, the list ends at W… go figure… but there are still plenty of things you can do!)
Despite everything happening that is completely out of our control, don’t be discouraged. While we can’t control many things in our world, we can certainly control what happens in our own little corner of it!
Happy World Environment Day… we do live in quite a remarkable world.
My love of dolphins has been lifelong. I don’t remember when it started, but I know it has never ended.
I do remember visiting Sea World and coming home with a dolphin mobile that hung over my bed from the time I was 5 until I headed off to college. There is something dreamy, graceful and mesmerizing about these animals and their extreme intelligence is without question.
So when I heard about the documentary “The Cove” I was caught between that feeling of “I must see this” and “oh, I don’t want to see this…” Well, I watched it… and it is absolutely haunting.
Richard O’Barry, Louie Psihoyos and their team uncover the killing of these beautiful and intelligent animals in a closely guarded and shielded cove in Taiji, Japan. Each day, they are driven into the cove where the most visually-appealing dolphins are selected and sold to marine and aquatic parks, and the others are brutally and inhumanely slaughtered for their meat (meat that is passed off as expensive whale meat and sold for a premium price, and because of dolphins’ place in the food chain, contains extraordinary levels of mercury). Take a look…
There are so many points of this story that just sicken me. From the capture of these animals to turn them into “entertainers”, to the inhuman killings, to feeding unknowing consumers and school children(!) toxic food… it’s despicable.
As pointed out by the film, the 70’s had a massive movement to “Save the Whales”… now is the time to “Save the Dolphins”…
Please take time to see this documentary.
And if you’re like me and you want to do something, please go to TakePart… and help us make a change and stop the killing…
I’m shocked to discover that I am celebrating my 300th post! I was trying to figure out what my earth shattering topic should be but sadly, I’m feeling discouraged.
Why? Well, because some days these efforts really feel in vane, don’t they?
The news seems to be filled with events that are so out-of-our-control that its sometimes difficult not to feel silly when I put my tiny little cream cheese box in the recycling bin, or try to find better ways to do laundry and dishes, or plan my errand-route efficiently to drive less…
WHAT are we doing to our planet and ourselves? It’s mind-boggling… and heartbreaking…
So today, instead of letting myself feel discouraged I’m going to try and turn that around and remind myself that I can only control my own little corner of the world… but I CAN do something. I can take charge of how I treat our world, what my family consumes and use my voice to constantly remind people to use their actions and voices to MAKE A CHANGE!
Your choices matter… our voices will be heard… don’t give up… only WE have the power to make a difference.