“Biologists call it the sixth great extinction, bigger than the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. The loss of biological diversity on Earth is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, up to 1000 times that of past mass extinction events. Almost 900 species have gone extinct in the last 500 years, and another 16,000 remain endangered out of the 1.5 million known. While natural and anthropogenic climate change is the primary cause, it is sad to know that there still remain even more direct, human-induced factors. Unfortunately, the sale and trade of endangered species and their body parts is still one of the biggest causes. The sellers are often poor and impoverished, or simply unscrupulous. The buyers are people clinging to bizarre cultural or religious beliefs or simply so rich that eating rare animals is considered a status symbol
Nothing short of climate change and human overpopulation, which of course cause and aggravate the sixth great species extinction crisis (add poverty, agribusiness, growing meat consumption, global capitalism and class warfare to the list) could be more serious. I keep careful tabs on these issues, and the situation is grimmer than most realize, certainly including the lifestyle vegan crowd who think we are going to leaflet and potluck and consume (vegan products) our way out of this. Or that education and legislation are the winning tickets.
Education is needed of course, but it is too slow and too many don’t care whatever facts they confront; the state is controlled by capital and the power elite will drown the world in blood before they voluntarily or peacefully give up their power and privileges. Total global revolution is the only thing that can stop the holocaust and destruction of ecosystems, but OWS aside, and that’s nowhere on the near horizon either, as we quickly run out of time. The best chance we have on the planet right now is that the occupation movement in the US, in the belly of the best, matures into a transformational and revolutionary movement (see next post), but this will demand an alliance politics of unprecedented depth, breadth, and inclusiveness, and the visionary few in the vegan/animal liberation crowd who are seriously organizing alliance politics efforts and to have their vital voice be heard are reporting back uniformly that the left and environmental carnists and speciesists are ignoring and dismissing them as if the vegan/AL movement is irrelevant or less than crucially important — huge mistake on their part with ultimate consequences.
It’s hard to keep a grip in the face of these realities, so most retreat to fantasyland, but the truth — supported by the best science available — needs to be confronted and should just make us outraged and determined to know more, do more, and fight harder.