Every once in a while something shocks you. Strikes you down. Hits you hard. In the chest. In your heart. In your soul. Something that will stay with you forever.
Something that when it does, saddens me to the core. Makes me bleed.
A few months back it was an image of an orangutan. Covered in blood. Burned by humans, to death. The real face of the fight against palm oil. The real victims.
That image hit me hard. That image has changed me. It has made me more aware. It has influenced the way I shop at the supermarket. It has changed the products I buy. Palm oil is currently my enemy number one. I can fight with my wallet.
What absolutely knocked me for six was an image I came across on Facebook just the other day. An image so confronting that I will share it only on a link below. It was a photograph of a beautiful strong African male elephant killed by poachers. They hadn’t just sawn off his tusks, but had hacked off his entire face for the illusive ivory of his beautiful strong tusks. All whilst he was alive. Probably to save on time and bullets.
What???!!! Images like this distress me. Images like this and the orangutan haunt me. They make me feel sick to be human.
Unlike palm oil, this reality I can’t fight.
War, as much as it horrifies me to say this, I can deal with. Two sides, both human. Both with egos. The devastation it causes is tragic but is human created.
Famine, also so tragic, I believe is nature’s way of culling. Us, animals, plants…. It’s survival of the fittest. It’s Darwin’s theory of evolution.
What really hits me is human vs nature. One with a mind and an ego so big. The other much more fragile and innocent.
Both the orangutan and the stunningly strong bull elephant will remain in my mind forever. Both have lost their lives. But, both have made a life changing imprint on my life. Both have changed me as a human. Both have made me stand up ready to fight. To fight for the future of their species and of this beautiful planet we share. Neither, in my heart and soul, have died in vane.
I believe that education is the greatest teacher. Through awareness we learn. By acting on that knowledge we grow strong.
With enough noise, one man can change the world.