May 17

Endangered Species Day
Reflection

Each species no matter how small has an important role to play in the larger life community. The ecosystems of which each is a part took eons to develop. Animals and plants cannot speak for themselves, protecting them is our responsibility. They are worthy of moral consideration and have an intrinsic value separate from any value they have to humans. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List is an authoritative indicator of the world’s biodiversity.  It lists plant and animal species threatened with extinction including corals, birds, mammals and amphibians. An alarming new report released by the United Nations says roughly 1 million species of animals and plants are on the verge of extinction, and experts warn it will have grave consequences for humans. One day set aside to think about, treasure, and hope to save such individual species is inadequate.  We need to deepen an awareness of the interconnectedness of all creation and hold decision makers responsible. Earth is our common home. We all have a right to be here. These species are important parts of the ecosystem of this planet. If they become extinct, they will never exist again. A life is a life and it should be valued. The human species does not have the right to destroy other life for its own selfish economy and comfort.

Prayer

In God’s hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all humankind.
Job 12:10

Action

Support laws that protect endangered species and that preserve our environment.  Join or contribute to organizations dedicated to protecting creation. If you can, plant trees and flowers especially garden flowers for bees and butterflies. Learn more. Watch the CNN Report.

Suggested Reading

In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety.
Hosea 2:18

Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species that we will never know — that our children will never see because they have been lost forever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence nor convey their message to us. We have no such right.
Pope Francis

We might summarize our present human situation by the simple statement: that in the 20th century, the glory of the human has become the desolation of the Earth and now the desolation of the Earth is becoming the destiny of the human.
Thomas Berry

Humankind’s greatest priority is to reintegrate with the natural world.
Jonathon Porritt

Sometimes a species is no longer considered endangered when its population rebounds to the point of consisting of a few dozen members. I wonder what status would be assigned to Homo sapiens if its population consisted of only a few dozen members.
Daniel Miller

What we most need to do is to hear within us the sound of the Earth crying.
Thich Nhat Hanh

We are the earth, made of the same stuff; there is no other, no division between us and “lower” or “higher” forms of being.
Estella Lauder

We’re in the process of bringing about the extinction of all of the species we most care about — including our own.
Alex Miller

Let’s stop fighting over who we believe created the planet, and work together against those that choose to destroy it.
Jack Barker

We take habitat away from wild animals and then kill them for invading ‘our’ space.”
Patrick Edwards

I’m always pushing for human responsibility. Given that chimpanzees and many other animals are sentient and sapient, we should treat them with respect.
Jane Goodall

The world of life, of spontaneity, the world of dawn and sunset and starlight, the world of soil and sunshine, of meadow and woodland, of hickory and oak and maple and hemlock and pineland forests, of wildlife dwelling around us, of the river and its wellbeing–all of this is the integral community in which we live.
Thomas Berry

 

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