In the luscious growth of the jungle, a tiger cub pounced on her brother, tumbling through the tall grass. Up above monkeys swung from tree to tree, chattering and peeking down at the tigers. In the distance, an elephant trumpeted. Her baby stumbled next to her, leaning on her side for guidance. She caressed the little one with her trunk and trumpeted again.
In the azure water, dolphins leaped and played, whistling to each other. They glided through the water and snatched fish from a vast school. There was plenty to go around for them all. Sharks, birds, and seals even congregated with them to feed. They – and the fish – circled under the watery blanket in an eternal dance. The sun shimmered in a ribbon-like pattern on their skin, twisting and turning as the fish moved back and forth.
Humans lived in this balance for thousands of years, until the industrial revolution. With technological advances came greed and materialism. Smoke began to pour into the sky and people demanded products that made life easier. This lust grew and grew and grew until mankind lost sight of its roots, its connection with nature. The golden days of the earth had passed.
In contrast to the once-bountiful natural world, oil, blood, and trash litter the ocean today. Sea turtles wash ashore, their stomach full of plastic bags. Black waves pound the shores, decimating marine life populations. This week, there was a major oil spill in Bangladesh. Several endangered Irawaddy River Dolphins washed ashore, dead (“Oil Spill in Bangladesh Threatens Aquatic Animals”). Whales, dolphins, porpoises, sharks, seals, and turtles are all slaughtered. Over 100 million sharks, which are vital to marine ecosystem health, spiral to their abyssal death without their fins each year (Stone).
Skyscrapers cut into the sky. Plumes of greenhouse gases rise from factories. Polar Bears search frantically for food and starve. Once-mighty glaciers crumble and fall. Bulldozers and ravenous flames level forests, leaving an ugly scar on the earth's surface. Harpoons, bullets, and arrows fly through the air. Tigers lay dead and cold while poachers rip their fur off. Elephants shudder in their own blood. A monkey screams while her brains are torn apart for an experiment. Dolphins are kidnapped from their families and trained to fight in the military. Sonar testing shatters the ears of their wild counterparts, causing them to strand.
We are waging war against the earth, killing its lungs and injecting poison into its blood. Over a quarter of the planet's wildlife is estimated to become extinct by 2050 (Handwerk). The fishing industry is also expected to collapse by then. The most alarming part is that by destroying the earth, we are destroying ourselves. Fish contains high levels of mercury due to industrial run-off. By consuming it, we are not only contributing to the death of bycatch, nor the destruction of marine ecosystems, but also poisoning ourselves and our children.
How sad would it be if a child from the next generation asked their mother what happened to whales, to tigers, to the planet? How sad would it be if they never saw the icicles glistening in the arctic sunlight or the glaciers that carved the earth? How sad would it be if we poisoned our children because we failed to do anything?
Now is the time to take action and protect animals and the environment. We cannot afford to lose our planet – it is the only one we've got. I want my children to see dolphins leap from the water, to not worry about problems put on them because of my ignorance. Now is the time to save planet earth, before it is too late and extinction becomes reality. Let the harmonious times come once again. If they do not, I fear mankind won't be around much longer.
Handwerk, Brian. "Global Warming Could Cause Mass Extinctions by 2050, Study Says." National Geographic News. National Geographic, 12 Apr. 2006. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.
"Oil Spill in Bangladesh Threatens Aquatic Animals." ABC News. ABC News Internet Ventures, 12 Dec. 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/oil-spill-bangladesh-threatens-aquatic-animals-27550559>.
Stone, Dan. "100 Million Sharks Killed Every Year." National Geographic. National Geographic, 1 Mar. 2013. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/03/01/100-million-sharks-killed-every-year-study-shows-on-eve-of-international-conference-on-shark-protection/>.