Poverty and social injustice is killing not only the poor themselves, but the plants and animals they live with, and will destroy the environment for everyone. The poor in tropical countries often do not have enough food to eat, so they go hunting in the forests to supplement their diet. The consumption of bushmeat was the cause of the last Ebola epidemic, and is causing environmental problems as well. Brazilian scientists have described how overhunting in tropical forests leads to the absence of larger animals who normally spread the seeds of larger fruit-bearing trees. Without these animals, the trees do not reproduce well, and may even go extinct. If these trees are reduced or extinct, then the makeup of the forest is greatly changed, and other unintended effects occur that result in harm to all life in the forest. When the forest becomes too reduced in either size or diversity, its carbon storage capacity is reduced as well, and global warming increases for everyone.
Tropical forests are important for everyone, not just the people and animals who live there. Tropical forests function as carbon storage, removing carbon dioxide from the air and maintaining our atmosphere and managing our climate. Here is a short flow chart to illustrate this.
People are poor and hungry
⇒They eat Forest Animals
⇒Forest Seeds remain undispersed
⇒Trees do not reproduce
⇒Reduced carbon storage
⇒Poorer air quality
⇒Climate change for everyone
This study shows the interconnection of all life, & the impoverishment that can occur if current trends continue. As the environmental degradation increases, the air quality will reduce, and all of us eventually will suffer.
The study also shows how real Oneness is. We are all part of one another, and cannot take each other for granted. Each one of us is precious and must be cared for because we all make a contribution. I fervently hope that we may not realize the truth of this after it is too late. Next time you are in nature, be sure to take an extra moment to fully appreciate its completeness and beauty, and to recognize your Oneness with it.
Copyright © 2016 Teresa Chupp. All rights reserved.