Who’s the real vermin?

Blog by our Viva! Activist and trainee journalist, in India, HJ Srikanth

Vermin - the term, we humans often used to justify merciless killing of innocent animals.

And what wrong do those animals do?
The answer is nothing other than just existing.

In case of wolves, they are one of the most misunderstood animals on this planet. A study done by Oregon University at the Yellowstone National Park reveals the transformation that the Yellowstone has gone through in the last 15 years since the re-introduction of wolves. Yet the science is ignored, and they are mercilessly hunted across the US, and also in Norway and Sweden.

In the UK, the majority of the British public is against the badger cull. Regardless, the UK government wants to go ahead with it, even if science is in the favour of the badgers. The only reason for this badger cull to still go on is nothing but to please the farmers in the countryside.

And they won’t stop just there, the Prime Minister David Cameron is determined to repeal the fox hunting ban to please fox hunters! It seems some countryside votes and posh votes matter more to the Tory government than precious lives. Yet again, who’s the vermin here?

To combat man-animal conflicts, the Indian government came up with an ‘amazing plan’. It is to make it easy for the State governments to declare wildlife as vermin so that they could be hunted to extinction.

Australia’s iconic kangaroos aren’t spared either - almost 90 million kangaroos and wallabies have been lawfully killed for commercial purposes in the last 20 years.

Western Australia, for its part, started culling sharks to ‘protect’ beach goers. More than 70 million sharks are killed every year, with Indonesia being the top shark finning nation in the world.

Trophy hunting is yet another cowardly practice of killing defenseless animals with guns and claim victory. Some of them go for trophy hunting as though they are going on a vacation with their family, and even encourage their children to be a part of  that bloodthirsty cult.

Courtesy: Statista

And Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM)  is responsible for rhinos and elephants being driven to extinction - and not just elephants and rhinos, but tigers, pangolins and almost everything that breathes.

Every year, the dolphins and small whales are driven into the Taiji cove and are ripped apart from their pods, captives are selected and the rest are slaughtered mercilessly, despite of the global outcry. Faroe Island’s pilot whale slaughter, Peruvian dolphin-cum-shark slaughter, Norwegian whaling, Canadian sea hunt, Namibian seal hunt... and the list goes on.

The Hector and Maui’s dolphins are endemic to New Zealand, but even after the Maui’s dolphin population went below 50, the New Zealand government wouldn’t do anything to save them from gill net fishing and trawling activities.

Commercial fishing, mining and drilling activities are taking its toll on the ocean bed. Coral reefs are dying at an alarming rate due to various reasons like overfishing, coal mining, pollution and global warming. While the rainforests of the ocean, the coral reefs are dying, the rainforests of the land aren’t spared either.

The Amazon rainforests are disappearing at such an alarming rate. They are being cleared for palm oil plantations, driving thousands of species towards extinction, including the orangutans. Even though palm oil plantations play a major role in rainforest destruction, the foremost cause of rainforest destruction is animal agriculture.

And animal agriculture has impact on both animal lives and the environment. The plight of farm animals and fishes are mostly ignored, even though we put them through hell, torturing them and slaughtering them in billions every year.

 

Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years, claims WWF. But the very same WWF has defended Canada at CITES meet in going ahead with the polar bear hunt. Hypocrisy at its best!

We don’t just  kill other species, but also kill our own kind over greed, power and religion.

We infest the world with oil spills, plastic wastes and nuclear wastes. More than 270,000 tons of plastic floating in the ocean, and nuclear disasters have had their lion’s share, yet we never learn and still promote nuclear energy and nuclear weapons are developed from time to time. Even after Fukushima disaster, Japan is still going ahead with their nuclear projects.

We have been delusional to think that we could get away with whatever we do to our planet and our fellow dwellers. How wrong we have been! And now, planet earth is at the brink of Sixth mass extinction and we humans are responsible for it!

 

Yet we call the other animals vermin! But seriously, who is the real vermin here? Without a doubt, we humans are the real vermin on this planet.

Instead of blaming other species, we humans must take responsibility, and get the greed and blood-lust out of our system. We should realise that this planet doesn’t belong to us, but rather it is us who belong to this planet.


(Courtesy: Inside Divine Pattern)

Non-human beings are our fellow earthlings and they have every right to share this planet with us. The only way forward is to live and let live. That’s the only way to save ourselves and our planet. The sooner we wake up the better.