Creatures Great and Small

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As Christmas approaches, we remind ourselves of our duty to love one another, and to preserve and nurture the world we live in.

An essential element of that world is wildlife. As Pope Francis said recently, animals are God’s creatures, too.

Yet, as a new – and harsh – political era dawns in America, we must face the sad reality that the country’s wildlife is in grave danger.

I received an email from the Center for Biological Diversity this morning spelling out the threat to wild creatures posed by America’s new Republican Congress. Here’s an excerpt from the message:

The new Congress is already licking its chops to cripple the Endangered Species Act, take wolf-killing nationwide and deny protections to animals and plants teetering on the edge of extinction.

They want to reverse the victories we’ve won under the Act to protect wildlife and wild places from the clutches of industry. We stood in their way, so they bought themselves a Congress. Destroying the Endangered Species Act is what Big Oil, Big Ag, mining and heavy polluters demand as payback for their flood of cash that got these right-wing bullies elected.

Even before they officially hold the reins of power, the right-wingers have launched a crusade against Mother Nature. As the email noted:

The spending bill passed this week was full of attacks on the wild. For the second time ever, Congress interfered to keep a species from being protected — before it was wolves, now it’s the sage grouse. It’s not just about wolves or sage grouse, though — it’s an ugly attempt to go after the Act and all wildlife in peril. They want politicians, not scientists, to decide whether species are in danger.

As you might expect, greed reigns supreme in a Republican Congress. These people are driven by the  lust to ravage the earth’s bounty, to consume and destroy, to plunder and loot, without a thought for succeeding generations, without a sigh for the beauty and tranquility they sacrifice.

In such a political environment, organizations like the Center for Biological Diversity are our last line of defense.The center’s lawyers fight legislative attacks on the Endangered Species Act in court. And the group’s scientists provide factual ammunition for these battles.

Thankfully, the center is not alone. There are several organizations devoted to defending Mother Nature. The National Wildlife Federation, for example, reports victories in their fight to save America’s bison, bears, meadowlark, mountain lions, “and so much more.”

Needy children, impoverished veterans, the homeless and all of the human creatures abandoned by a callous society may understandably take precedence at this time of giving. But animals deserve a place in our hearts, too.

Supporting wildlife and wilderness preservation groups is one thing “we the people” can do to protect what’s left of our birthright from soulless looters.

Click for more on the Act.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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