We, by and large, are make-believers. We believe if we cut down trees to make way for various constructions, the birds and beasts displaced as a result will be able to sustain themselves. We believe every stray dog miraculously finds enough food, never thus having to go to sleep on an empty stomach. Many of us believe that we do a bigger favour to our pet by abandoning him on some highway than giving him a mercy death because he will somehow manage to survive and we will be spared the guilt of taking a life. We are wrong! We will be doomed to a greater degree because now he will get emotionally and physically tormented, pained, abused, terrified and die a slow painful, death- it would have been more merciful to have him put to sleep if you wanted to get rid of him. This way you are just averting your eyes, and the poor creature will still reach the same conclusion. Of course there are so many volunteers and NGOs to rescue strays, but a dearth of funds, shelters and enough manpower comes in the way of the welfare of a majority of stray dogs. If you add your domestic ones to that, imagine the situation yourself.
Similarly, when you cut that lush tree for a garage, you tell your children not to fret. The friendly bulbul or the homely sparrow and the enthusiastic squirrel will find another home. We are again make-believing and telling fantastic tales to the younger generation. Maybe yours was the only tree that could support those species of fauna and felling it had wiped out their only chance of survival. Haven’t you sinned? Can you honestly say that it is not your concern? Why, don’t they have enough right to live and use this planet as you? What makes us so supreme that our greedy consumeristic needs need extinction of species to satisfy? Why do we need so much at the cost of other creatures’ woes?
Fear of climate change, shortage of breathable air and curse of living in a green deprived world are no motives for us to stop this blind race for luxuriously convenient lifestyle that we call development. How would it hurt if we reach a place in three hours or thirteen, if it means saving a whole patch of green cover wherein abundant species of flora and fauna thrive! We can save so much fertile land of farmers from turning industrial and thus useless if our demand for luxury items declines drastically. The displaced farmers would then, in turn, not go and clear our forest fringes to grow crops and the instances on man-animal conflicts would automatically decline. It is all a chain reaction. Why don’t we stop triggering it? It is time, we- the people and the government – start thinking on these lines instead of opting for non-sustaining, nature abusive decisions just for revenue generation.
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