Don't seem to be many posts to this group so I thought I'd make one ….
First, thank you to Care2 and all of you out there who actively take time to care and make a difference - I am heartened to know that there *are* others around the world who don't see that human beings have "dominion over the animals" and therefore some sort of god given right to mistreat, eradicate, disrespect, abuse, misuse, deny habitat, cage, or do any of the many other despicable things that animals with supposedly highly developed minds - human beings - should not even contemplate, let alone excuse or attempt to justify.
I recently heard a hunter interviewed: "I have 11 guns and if I want to hunt and shoot deer, I will. They're just pests anyway - and I eat them." For me, that is a demonstration of fairly low level brain functioning, lack of rationality, lack of compassion, and gross selfishness. That the interview had arisen as a result of hunters "straying" onto national parkland just added weight to the insincerity or ignorance.
Yes, I still eat some meat ( though less and less by the week) and I use animal products such as leather. I'm not perfect. I am a victim / product of my upbringing and a much less aware society than exists today, as I grew up in the 1940's and 50's. However, since I realised that it was somewhat hypocritical of me to defend the life of one animal (wild) and accept the death of another (domestic), I have moved very close to veganism - I hope to get there but it's hard to shake the habits of a lifetime.
However, there is neither excuse nor reason in destroying the habitat of wildlife and, when one considers that most meat feeds the wealthy minority of the world's population and that land use for crops rather than slaughter-animals would be much more productive, there is little, if any, rationale for killing domestic animals. We can feed the world without it.
I'm sorry - perhaps I'm on my soap box but I *know* that it is not this world that's "shitty", as many would say, but rather, the behaviour or ignorance of many of the people in it. I know that this planet is a beautiful place and that some of the most beautiful experiences in my life are those that animals have given me. Although I have only a small suburban block, our planting of indigenous trees, bushes and ground cover, provision of water, undergrowth, including,dead wood and habitat conducive to the food chain - which cost us next to nothing but time and labour - has brought a wide variety of birds, lizards, insects and such to our garden. To see these creatures, enjoying the habitat, feeling safe, and able to sustain their young, is a treasure indeed.
In the front garden, at the moment, is "Maggie", our resident magpie who struts around the front garden looking like a foreman inspecting a building site and is quite comfortable with our own presence and movement. In the back, are Rainbow Lorikeets, Indian and Noisy Miners, (Mynahs ?), scaly breasted lorikeets, pigeons, turtle doves and Rosellas, happily squabbling over breakfast and the best branch for the day. Occasionally we are visited by ducks, King parrots and a pair of Satin Bower Birds who seem to like to breed here and then migrate somewhere or other only to come back the next year. I know that perhaps it is not rational and almost certainly not the case but I like to think that these animals visit here because they know it is safe and they are loved. I feel immensely privileged that these creatures will happily go about their business within a few feet of me - displaying a trust that fills me with awe.
Yes, these are small animals, "minor" wildlife, if you like - perhaps not as impressive as Lions, Tigers and the Snow Leopards that I love. But my main point is that all these creatures, large or small, are as much deserving of their place in this world as are human beings - and sharing it with them can be our greatest treasure and bring endless pleasure and beauty to our lives. So while I care and support as well as I can the efforts to secure better futures for more exotic species (at least from where I sit), I've also found that I can actively do some work at home and doing so has injected untold beauty into my life and that of my family.
I applaud all of you out there who do what you can to support our natural environment and its inhabitants. You are valuable and caring people and I hope that you all receive as much wonder and beauty from the environment and wildlife as I do for it is truly a gift worth protecting.
"Take my advice; I don't use it anyway." (anon)