Why is Wildlife Important?

When reading the April 2015 issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine earlier, I thoroughly enjoyed Bill Oddie’s column, ‘Wild at Heart’. In the article, he discusses how so often at wildlife campaigns and events, journalists ask ‘Why is wildlife important?’ For me, the answer is simply that I couldn’t imagine a life with it. A world with no trees, birds or other animals is unthinkable. Not only is the existence of photosynthesising plants essential to our own existence (I wonder how many people realise that), but a world without nature would, for me, indicate the beginning of an apocalypse; a rapid downward spiral into an empty void. Biodiversity matters because it supports what we take from the natural environment, which is plenty.

Oddie said that asking ‘Why is wildlife important?’ is like asking ‘Why is music, art or theatre important?’ The fact is, all of these shape our society. Naturalists often get tainted with a negative image whereby people assume that because their priority is the protection of wildlife, they don’t care about the wellbeing of their own species. For instance, is the protection of rare species such as the Great-Crested Newt a more pressing matter than the current state of the NHS? The answer, of course, is that all issues are important, but my point is that humans will never be extinct. Unless, of course, there is a sudden meteor shower and we are all wiped out. We are the master race. In my humble opinion, the priority should so often be the wildlife. The extinction rate is ever increasing, and currently stands at 1000 times the natural rate, all to fuel mankind’s ruthless desire to better their own lives, careless of the consequences.

I want to end with a compelling quote from Mahatma Ghandi, which was included in Oddie’s article:

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals.”

10 thoughts on “Why is Wildlife Important?

  1. Hi Rebecca, I love reading your posts and agree absolutely; we need to support wildlife because it supports us. From the bees that pollinate our food crops to the worms that compost our waste, it’s all too easy to overlook the everyday miracles of nature. We must never forget that we cannot survive without these deceptively simple things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. It makes me so angry that people disregard nature. To think that so many species were here before us and we took everything for ourselves often makes me ashamed to be human. I hope we can somehow reverse the damage we’ve caused.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very thoughtful and I did have a student once argue with me over an article I used about rhino poaching. What’s the point? So I began to get my answers as I was like Bill Oddie. But most of my students were always very positive about wildlife so maybe there is hope. I like the Ecocide movement too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so sad when people can’t see why we desperately need wildlife. If a love for the natural world hasn’t been passed down over generations it often just doesn’t occur to people that it’s vital to our way of life.

      Like

  3. I remember nature walks too, and the nature table where we were encouraged to bring in wild flowers and pine cones and things …. great for learning to identify stuff but maybe not so good for the plants we picked?

    Liked by 1 person

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