The effects of deforestation on animal suffering

It is a statistical fact that every day a large amount of forest is destroyed. The main cause inflicting this destruction is without any doubts deforestation. The cutting of trees, for the consumption of man is a full time threat to the world’s natural forests along with the animal species which inhabit the area. Factual statements say that over eighty percent of the Earth’s natural forest has been destroyed due to mankind, a large number when seen in perspective. This makes one think, “how long can it last for?” The growing population demands more every day, and if up until now the depletion of woodland has been so severe, then what can we expect in the future?

It is proven that if the current rate of destruction is to continue, most countries will lose their rainforests and woodland within our lifetime. This is a critical state. It takes only a couple of minutes to cut down a tree, but takes thousands of years to grow one. Place all that data together, and you’re not likely to have much left within a hundred years. It is said that “If the world continues at the current rate of deforestation, the world’s rainforests will be gone within 100 years-causing unknown effects to the global climate and the elimination of the majority of plant and animal species on the planet.”* It is due to this that measures must, at all costs, be taken. Some countries have already developed ideas, and plans to fight this, and some have gone to the extent of implementing them. Costa Rica for instance, has protected a full one quarter of its land from deforestation. Perhaps if others were to follow this example, the world would be saved from certain doom.

If we think ahead around a hundred years, and if there are very little trees… What will be done to make up for the wood which is not being obtained? Some new substance will have to be developed. If that were done now, as a prevention, then there would be no need for such critical states to be reached.

Most animals inhabit some sort of woodland. There is a very limited number of species who can live in the open, because that directly implies being able to sustain severe environmental conditions. These could be extreme temperatures, both high and low, lack of light, among many other factors. Now… By destroying forests you are disturbing the eco-system therefore changing the environmental factors. This leads to the extinction of hundreds of animal species, some of which we might not even know about. A question arises at this point… Why are we doing this? Is it human nature to deplete the earth’s resources and lead us to destruction? Is this a conscious decision? Or are we doing it unconsciously out of instinct? If a natural habitat is lost, the animals inhabiting the area mostly die. It is very difficult to adapt to new conditions…

How would you feel if “something” came along and started destroying your home? Would you regard that as a perfectly natural action?…Perhaps humans lack sensitivity… Do animals feel anything? Do they suffer? Or are they heartless beings with no feelings? There is no particular way to determine which one of the above is true, but take dogs for instance. You deprive them of a toy they’ve had for years, and they automatically appear to go sad. If they had no feelings how would this be possible? Therefore I think we can safely conclude animals do feel… However, perhaps we would rather live in an illusion where we strongly believe animals have no heart… That way we could inflict endless amounts of suffering in them, and not feel the slightest guilt.

Even though there are numerous forms of “animal torture” such as experimentations, captivity, and simply hunting, it is obvious that deforestation is a much more indirect form of suffering. People aren’t doing anything directly to the animals, yet they must become aware of the consequences of their actions. Separating an animal from its family and destroying its home, is a rather severe type of animal torture.

Certain particular animal species exclusively inhabit particular parts of the forest which makes them vulnerable to deforestation. If that area is destroyed, species inhabiting it could go extinct. There is an almost terrifying figure representing the extinction of animal and plant species, and it is around 140 species per day. That is an extremely high number when seen in perspective. That means that everyday hundreds of thousands of animals suffer unbearable amounts…

When there is a war… people suffer. It becomes an international dilemma. The media covers it twenty four hours a day, and they show the faces of all the people who have lost their loved ones, their homes, everything that belonged to them. It’s almost as though the world cries with them, as day after day more people die, and more suffering takes place. However, they seem fine about doing the very same thing to another species. Their minds and hearts are as cold as ice, and it is indifferent to them, whether they are causing pain or not, just as long as they get their job done, and the money that comes with it.

It is almost as though people take pleasure in slaughtering animals. Because, despite how unconscious one might be, you cannot be oblivious to the damage you are inflicting in the animals who inhabit the areas which are experiencing deforestation. Perhaps people like the media attention, for the world to know what they are doing, even if it is something terrible and not worthwhile being known for. Soon, we will be back in the roman times, where society crowds around arenas to watch battles… Gruesome battles between men, for with the lack of compassion people have today, it could well become a right to fight another man, not a crime.

How can humans rise before everything and state that they are superior and more evolved beings than all other species, yet act in such insensitive ways? It’s a constant contradiction. How can humans feel good about making money (be it through deforestation, illegal animal parts [i.e. elephant tusks etc.], or through animal experimentation for market products, among others) knowing that they are torturing animals?! There simply isn’t a logical explanation for it…

Maybe you could state that animal torture is derived from lack of sensitivity in humans. Because, let’s face it, if people were more filled with love and affection, it wouldn’t be possible to harm an innocent animal, be it directly or not. Though the focus of attention of this article is to criticise the effects of deforestation on animal life, and the extent of suffering animals endure because of us… I simply can’t let other, possibly more important areas, go unmentioned. Experimentation of animals for instance, a heartless action… How can people do this!?

There is little more that can be said regarding the issue at hand, for the true essence which should be transmitted can’t be expressed through words. To simply conclude, there is a very basic solution to this entire concern… If a larger effort were made to preserve nature in it’s purest form, by this I mean forests, woodlands, etc, then we could definitely reduce the suffering inferior species undergo, and save the planet from certain doom.