Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Refugees Aplenty on Earth
The lesser prairie chicken is a refugee. Black-footed ferrets. Salt Creek tiger beetles. Prairie fringed orchids. Literally hundreds of species, flora and fauna, from the former prairies are homeless and vanishing. The tallgrass prairie is the most endangered ecosystem on the planet, once filled with great diversity that made central North America rich in abundance, health, and resilience -- a culture of uniqueness that thrived on interactions of give and take, niches of refuge and hope. There is a world of refugees out there, the vast majority not human, and yet all connected to the same root violence, fear, and distrust we force upon them.
Posted by Benjamin Vogt at 8:00 AM
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It's more like genocide. Intentional, indifferent, or inadvertent, vast tracts of the biological wealth of the planet have withered and died in our footsteps.
Brian -- I used that term once, "genocide," and incurred wrath and ill will for me and my business by someone -- incredible anger, because to use that word for animals was a diminishing of its power for use with humans. But I think it's the reverse. We are committing genocide every second upon countless species, and in the end, it's against each other, too.
Although the standard definition of genocide doesn't cover anything but humans, there's no other word in common usage that seems more apt. Considering its origin during the Holocaust, however, maybe "biocide" and "ecocide" need to come into more widespread use.
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