Protecting the Environment (Not a black and white issue)
The one thing that has become apparent to me while growing up is that things are very rarely black and white; Often two different sides can be argued each with relevant accuracy to the issue at hand. I recently watched a program called ‘I Bought a Rainforest,’ a series following wildlife photographer and animal enthusiast Charlie Hamilton James. He hoped that through the purchase of 100 acres of rainforest he would be able to prevent illegal logging in the area, but soon came to realise that his viewpoint had been a little naïve. He came to realize that the people logging the forest were actually doing it out of necessity to support their families. It was a really interesting program to watch as he grew in understanding towards the people living there while also wrestling with his own conscience.
I remember being taught about the destruction of the rainforest in school and it seemed like an obvious issue; the people doing it are in the wrong and they should stop. Another example is animal testing which I’ve always considered to be a great evil, but on the other hand many medicines have been discovered this way and it has saved lives. Overall I care about animals and the environment, but it’s not as simple as pointing the finger of blame. In the final episode of ‘I Bought a Rainforest’ he realised that the people would also have to be the solution and that by supporting them they would in turn feel more inclined to help the forest.
I think it’s natural to need things from the environment. For example, just as animals prey on each other to survive it’s ok that we also need to kill to eat. I dislike it when the destruction feels needless – like in the case of sport or unproven medicines – or isn’t done in a sustainable way. I always wonder what the people that hunt animals – for things like medicine – will do when they all disappear. What will we do if the resources run out?
“Using his burgeoning intelligence, this most successful of all mammals
has exploited the environment to produce food for an ever increasing population.
Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population,
perhaps it is time we control the population to allow the survival of the environment.” – David Attenborough