Sunday, March 12, 2017

The quiet extinction

Today, I watch the sleet falling fast. Determined flakes pelting down, blanketing the stirring brown earth. But this does not bring me joy, or peace.

My heart is heavy now for our wild relations, and how voiceless they are in our human-centered world.

Who speaks for them, who cares about them?

Many things are breaking my heart right now, but that most of all.

Quietly they exist on the edges, pushed into the corners of the earth we still allow them, and even there they are not free to live out their lives. They are displaced, hunted, persecuted, poached, trapped, starved, until finally, the last of their species die.

Quietly they die.

This quiet crisis is happening now, to species beyond counting. This silent extinction of voices we cannot hear. It is easy to ignore it, this quiet is like silent drowning. They struggle to survive but cannot call out. They cannot adapt to the loss of habitat, the loss of species, the rapid changes in climate. They cannot change what we are doing to their air, their water, their home. They can only die.

It breaks my heart. I don't even want to live in a world without polar bears, wolves, elephants, eagles, giraffes, lions, frogs or bees. A world without animals is a world robbed of its wonder and magic. A world of profound loneliness. A world in collapse, bereft of meaning and the foundations for life.

Today, I just wanted to say that I care about their lives.

I wanted to say that if I could, I would gladly share half of the earth with them, my relations.

I'd say how my life would have no meaning without their presence. And I would thank them for their life-giving gifts to humans beyond counting, as we inhabit this planet together that belonged to them first.


  1. My heart is breaking over all of this. I have no idea what to do. Thankyou for this beautiful piece and for the link, saving half the earth sounds like a fine idea.

    1. Thank you for walking alongside me here, Nicole. At this broken moment, our love at least is worth something.

  2. David Abram wrote, 'We are human only in contact and conviviality with what is not human'. I think this means that for every species that we lose, we lose a little of ourselves. We need the diversity and abundance of the wild world to be fully human. So I share your sentiments. I don't want to live in a world without wild things either.

    1. I haven't thought of it in this way, but I'm sure you are reason why it is so very painful.


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