Death of the Amazon | TeenInk

Death of the Amazon

December 17, 2018
By drahcir-swims GOLD, Highland Park, New Jersey
drahcir-swims GOLD, Highland Park, New Jersey
19 articles 6 photos 0 comments

The juicy beef burger before you releases tantalizing aromas

The melted cheese slowly oozing and melting

Your purebred American heart.

So go on

Enjoy that burger

And let me tell you a story.



Stretching across the vast expanses of South America

Was the Amazon rainforest

A wilderness haven ringing with

The squawking of toucans beneath lush foliage

The roars of jaguars and snorts of tapirs that shake ancient kapok trees

And the splashing of red piranhas and spirited otters.

A wonderfully wild cacophony

Exuberating in the vigor of Life that pulsated

At the heart of the Amazon.


But then, monsters

Under the moniker of humans

Thrust their crude, abominable bulldozers

Into the endless sprawls of forest

And felled the silent giants


Which had withstood torrential monsoons rains

And surging floods

Which had provided shade for generation upon generation of

Indigenous medicine men and children

Who would sing songs of worship and revelry

To the deity of the Amazon

Mother Nature.


But now

Within the span of a few short seconds

The eons-old kapoks and brazil nut trees

Topple to the ground with thunderous crashes

That crush the spines of the dew-laden young flowers

Just thrusting their heads out of the rich loam.


The earth-shattering tolls of death

And the devilish screeching of the saws

Of industry and agriculture

Strike fear into the hearts

Of richly-plumed birds

Majestic caimans

And chattering monkeys

So that they flee before the raging inferno

Of humanity’s greed

And into the yellowed pages

Of tattered history textbooks

Never to be seen again.


And when

The earth is a barren desert

Thick with the rotting stench of death

Endless hordes of grunting cows

Are poured forth into the desolate wasteland

Their hides diseased and matted with grime.

They trudge through rank piles of manure

Under a dirty sky of smog

Their ears ringing with

The buzzing of vast swarms of flies

An ugly, wretched travesty of

The wild cacophony whispered by

The bones of the Amazon that lie suffocating

Beneath the earth.


So go on.

Dig into that good ol’ hamburger

Relish in the savory juices that dribble

Down your chin

But maybe think a little.

Remember the Amazon.


Perhaps you don’t want to kill

This planet

Just yet.

The author's comments:

The hamburger has become iconic of American cuisine. I hope this piece challenges readers to think about the environmental impact of this omnipresent food staple.

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