Extinctions and Other Sad Environmental News

Here’s a well-written lament from The Atlantic about the ongoing extinctions of a huge number of native Hawaiian snail species.

Zooming out from just Hawaii, here’s a map of how many species are being pushed to the brink globally.

This is a sad photographic illustration of how littering - even when the litter is biodegradable - negatively impacts wildlife.

A Selection of Readings

Global Environmental Problems with Eating Meat

The Washington Post recently covered this topic with some details I didn't know about before - like Denmark considering a tax on all red meat and the fact that of all the nations studied, the US could reduce its health care budget the most by cutting out American consumption of meat due to our country's ridiculous average diet.  Check it out!

Parrot Intelligence

I'm now more than halfway through Carl Safina's Beyond Words (I discussed my interest in the book previously in this post) and the experiences and information he relates are very powerful messages about animal intelligence.  A much shorter but no less potent read is one of this week's The New York Times Magazine articles entitled "What Does a Parrot Know About PTSD?"

I've long believed that many people, either consciously or subconsciously, choose to deny the breadth and depth of animal intelligence out of guilt about their own practices and values.  Eating meat, supporting factory farming, purchasing leather/ivory/horn/bone products, damaging the environment, keeping pets in traumatic conditions as per the article (and judging animals solely as property in the eyes of the law) - these types of decisions are easier to explain away when the victims aren't sentient.