Why I care about conservation, and why you should too.
Today is World Wildlife Day. It’s a day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate and honor the past hard work, present dedication, and future aspirations of wildlife conservation. It’s no secret that I’m completely obsessed with animals and conservation, but in honor of this day, I’d like to share a little more insight to my unbridled passion.
So why do I care about conservation?
I’ve been asked that question a thousand times. Normally I just shrug and tell them I’ve loved animals since I was little. It’s an easy out to a question that I think about often, but rarely discuss in depth with anyone. In the past two centuries, we’ve been trashing the planet, rapidly destroying the natural resources on which we all depend. It’s easy to make an ecological argument for conservation, but ecology doesn’t speak to the heart and soul of humanity. To understand why I have dedicated my life to conservation, I turned to introspection about the tattered relationship between man and the wild.
I think humanity’s profound disconnect with the natural world has so diminished our ability to be compassionate that it has seeped into the way we interact with our fellow humans. Maybe it’s my imagination, but it seems like the world gets a little less compassionate every day. We’ve lost the cooperation that once made our species a success, but kept the cutthroat competition that underlies all survival in the wild. In a world as broken as today, the outward healing of the land and its wildlife, of the very essence of the natural world, is essential if we are to ever heal the deep tears in the once truly wild heart of humanity. Without an outward focus on healing and restoration, we as human beings will never have the ability to address the problems undermining our world’s perpetual discord. Cooperation and compassion must once more be discovered, but I believe we must look wholly outside of ourselves to truly reawaken them.
Conservation won’t magically fix everything, but imagine a world where all the citizens take the time to care for something entirely external to themselves. Something devoid of politicization, greed, and ideological differences. By removing the focus from ourselves, we can create a more compassionate future for all sentient beings, as guided by the principles of our wild past. This is why I conserve.