By Joanna Zelman, The Dodo
There is one lone male northern white rhino remaining on this planet. Human demand for rhino horn has resulted in this animal being poached to near extinction.
Fewer than 100 tiny “vaquita” porpoises are still alive today. Human fishing practices have driven the vaquita to the brink.
There are fewer than 300 remaining Cross River gorillas in the wild. Blame demand for bushmeat plus humans destroying their habitat.
There’s a running pattern here: Human demand. We’re demanding a lot of this planet and its creatures.
The lone northern white rhino who is guarded from poachers 24 hours a day, has, quite fairly, received some attention now that he is the only remaining male of his kind. And Mexico is now taking groundbreaking steps to help the vaquita.
But action is also needed before situations become so dire.
This Earth Day, it’s time for us to take a step back and evaluate how our daily actions affect all animals.
One of the easiest ways to help is to vote with your wallet. Avoid supporting industries that harm animals. You can pledge to go Ivory Free, skip “entertainment” venues (like SeaWorld and some circuses) that hold wild animals captive, avoid clothing that supports the painful trapping and fur industry and learn where your food comes from.
Speak up when you see something wrong. Report wildlife crime using WildLeaks, and animal cruelty to local authorities.
We can all take simple steps to reduce our carbon footprint to help curb the severe impacts climate change is wreaking on Earth’s animals.
Humans can be villains to animals, but we can also be heroes. It’s time for us to choose the latter and live more respectfully among the millions of other species with whom we share this planet.
Hero image: Sudan, the only male rhino of his kind | c/o Ian Aitken