One could say writing this piece is a bit out of character for me. Seeing all the passion in previous winners and the extraordinary writing style they present is slightly unnerving for a prominently younger and less experienced teen like myself. However, when this contest revealed itself to me I couldn’t resist spreading my opinion on a traditional environmental issue that, quite honestly, keeps me awake at night. I’m going to be discussing animal poaching and the affects it has on us humans and ways to reduce this environmental issue.
Violently stealing a child away from its mother is bad enough as it is, but it is also incredibly disruptive to the natural flow of life. When humans get in the way of this function, they don’t understand how devastating the effects honestly are. Think of it as an almost Jenga effect. When taking out one species from a food chain, the whole thing collapses to the floor and becomes a tedious chore to clean up and build again. The prey of the animal that suffer extinction from this senseless sport, are then left with no natural predator. This then creates an imbalance within the food chain. With us at the top of this chain, we will have further to fall when poachers eventually cave the process in.
This is a tough topic when attempting to come up with an effective solution, someone who isn’t even out of high school (like myself, for example) obviously can’t travel to foreign countries and collect evidence to shove in the blissfully ignorant governments face. However, there are small things that I can do, as well as you, frequently to make a change. No matter how big or small those things may seem. For example, I regularly sign petitions that are comfortably easy to find on the internet. There are also many routes to make donations of small amounts that eventually add up. Even volunteering could make a massive difference.
Really, the people who hold the most power in their hands are in fact the government. Indeed, they pass laws against poaching but what does that actually do? This activity will always go on as long as the only repercussion is getting caught. Which, clearly, they don’t manage to do. I think rather than keeping animals in captivity away from their natural habitats, even with good intentions, the area of greatest distribution should become protected. This is due to the fact that poachers tend to attack land with a high population to get the most in a short time. There are many ways to do this; one way is to increase the amount of nature parks or conservations. This is mostly done already in America, but the countries that are in need of this the most are Safari countries like Africa.
As strange as it may sound, we could also focus our attention onto the poachers themselves. A lot of poachers are desperate for economic gain and therefore will go to extensive lengths to receive that. If employment can be found for these people, then their attention will be averted away from the poaching of animals and instead on something that benefits an industry.
As a collective, we can also use advertisement to educate people on what exactly they are purchasing and how they are being manipulated into funding this vile act. This would cause people to react negatively to how their produce is collected and therefore not want to buy products that have caused suffering to an animal or the environment in any way.
In conclusion, poaching is absolutely a dying sport. However, species are dying alongside it. We need to do all we can to finally push this toxic behavior out of our society and take a step closer to living in an equal world for all species to live peacefully on.