Friday, May 11, 2012

Animals: Pertinent to Our Survival


In a time where IPhones and fast cars are celebrated more than natural things, it is safe to say that humans have drastically affected this planet. It is hard for people to remember that we were not always the superior species to walk this vast realm, but that before us Earth belonged to the animals.

Is it a scary statistic to learn that almost 99% of living organisms that were here when the Earth was created are no longer in existence. Every day, more and more of our beloved creatures are forced out of their homes and into extinction. Although oftentimes not a primary concern to most humans, there are plenty of reasons and statistics proving why they should be concerned.

Even in a basic environmental science class, you learn that all life forms have a purpose. Even still, some people have no regard or comprehension as to how even bacteria serve a purpose in keeping things going smoothly. Animals serve a superior meaning than just being cute and adorable and fun to look at behind glass. They are a key component in our survival and people should be very concerned about the growing numbers of animal extinction.

Alexa Baldecchi, a junior at Ramapo College, said that she understands that animals are important for the deeper reasons. “We rely on them to pollinate our foods, population control of other animals, and to maintain our ecosystem.”

Baldecchi also said that she is very concerned about the mistreatment of many habitats. A concern of hers is not only what the destruction will mean to one species, but also what it will mean for thousands of species including human life. Using the terminology of a “domino effect,” Baldecchi pointed out how everything is dependent on something else in some way.

Wildlife's Role in the Global Ecosystem

Our wildlife needs to remain robust and lively now and for years to come. Animals and other wildlife help to maintain the food chain and keep the ecosystem at a neutral place. If we so carelessly eliminate one species and think to ourselves, “it is just one species,” then we are not looking at the larger picture. Even destroying one species could have serious impacts on several others; and this is a large concern today.

Some scientists are concerned for reasons many people would not consider – an example: species and plants that have not yet been discovered that can serve for medicinal purposes. The continuing of habitat and species destruction could lead to irreversible damage to the well being of humans. Again, it is important to understand that all living things serve a purpose, sometimes even after they are not living anymore; and even more shockingly, animal feces.

There are certain organisms that actually ingest and recycle feces from other animals and depend on it to survive. This is a perfect example of how even the “littlest” things are important for the ecosystems of this planet. Everyone should get familiar with the three categories in which an ecosystem is divided into – producers, consumers, and decomposers.

Producers are the green plants that are supplementing our ecosystems. They serve many purposes, like providing air and food for other living organisms. Consumers are animals that according to, get their energy from producers. Already the two are connected. The third living organism category is the decomposers. They are the plants and animals that break down dead plants and animals into organic materials that are recycled back into the soil. In an ecosystem, nothing is to be wasted or used in vain. Survival is the common law, whereas humans forget this fact.

Although many components of this issue are beyond our control, there are still things that can presently be done to counteract destructive acts. Firstly, there are plenty of organizations that one can join to activate against the destroying of habitats and endangering of animals. Also, donations can be made to many organizations that support this cause. Additionally, it is important to be informed and help inform others. 

Truthfully, some people are just not aware of how bad the situation is and can get. Oftentimes, unless someone is looking for this type of information, it will not just fall into his or her lap. The more people that talk about this subject and bring it to the forefront, the better the chances are of a positive following.

It is never a wrong time to stand up against something that you feel strongly about. Some people are under the impression that you cannot support this cause if you don’t recycle every item, or compost your garbage, or use cloth diapers instead of store bought ones; however, that is factually false. Even the smallest of efforts can make big differences. Similarly, one good act or step towards preserving our creatures’ habitats can lead towards other causes.

“This is a cause I feel strongly about,” Baldecchi said. “I’m going to do some research, and see what I can do to help this cause, even if it’s just lecturing people.”

Alexis Lopez is a junior at Ramapo College majoring in Communication Arts with a focus on journalism.

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