One summer afternoon in 2014, I was skipping through TV channels when I bumped into the Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax movie on Star Movies. The movie had just begun and I was relieved. My grandmother has read out the book to us as a bedtime story and it was now time for me to relive those moments visually.
The movie was quite a treat. Here’s why – how much thneed is too much thneed? What happens when we run out of thneed? And they did run out of thneeds, and why? Because Once-ler used up all the Truffula trees and didn’t replace them. Does this sound familiar?
“Everybody needs a thneed!
A fine thing that all people need!
The thneed is good, the thneed is great,
Let’s hope we’re not too late!
It’s a super trendy hat,
It’s a tightrope for an acrobat,
A net for catching butterflies,
Daily use for EXERCIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISE!”
Click here to listen to the full song.
And The Lorax preempted that this would happen.
Just like thneeds, we humans are discovering day in and day out that some part of an exotic tree, plant or an animal is good for their skin, health and what not. World Bank data shows that our forest cover globally is on a downward spiral. Since the year 1990, there has been no looking back; it has just been constant plummeting thanks to “industrialization”, “increased spending power” and in other words, “greed”. We have successfully erased the meaning of sustainable development from our dictionaries because our future generations might not have Earth to live on.
Oh, but wait! NASA just recently discovered seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a star. We could probably move there, eh? No. That’s not funny and more importantly, it’s not even possible. These planets are 40 light years away! So it’s time we stopped kidding ourselves.
Back to the point: it is definitely time that we all open our eyes and be aware of what we use and how these products are sourced. Trust me, I am all for natural products but definitely not at the cost of another life. It’s not worth it and is definitely uncalled for. Lets take the instance of palm oil. There is a lot of controversy around this but so many animal species (most of which that are endangered or on the road to extinction) depend on palm trees. With Sumatran and Bornean orangutans standing first in line, we have the likes of the Bornean pygmy elephant, Sumatran tiger, Malayan sun bear and the Sumatran Rhino who depend on these trees. Yet, the ‘slash and burn’ method has resulted in severe deforestation and the death of several other species that we might not even be aware of.
With the population ever increasing in India, encroachment into forest areas has led us and the poor animals into a vortex. We end up with leopards roaming around in schools, snakes appearing in our bedrooms out of nowhere, deer caught in the headlights on highways because roads are now penetrating into forests so that we can reach our destinations faster. But these problems are because of encroachment by humans and yet we blame animals? Now that sounds funny for sure. Instead what we do is crush one of the 2500-odd tigers trying to capture the poor thing with a freaking bulldozer!
On a related note: as animal lovers, some of us forget that silk too is made by killing, baking and boiling cocoons of silk worms. I almost got carried away by “ahimsa silk” and then I read this: Ahimsa (Peace) Silk – Why I think it doesn’t add up
Similarly, milk and other dairy products are from tortured cows whose babies don’t get to have their own mothers’ milk. It doesn’t matter if these cows are treated well like in the Swiss meadows because none of those picturesque situations exist. you might want to read this before you start an argument about this point: