It would surely be lonelier...
And less interesting.
It would be much emptier…
And more boring and less fun.
We are facing the prospect of a world where few animals are around. Lions have almost disappeared from West Africa; African elephants are on their way to extinction by 2030, or sooner. Int the U.S., over 300 black bears were killed in two days in Florida last weekend; a third of them were reportedly lactating females. A handful of wild red wolves remain in North Carolina, where they are frequently mistaken for coyotes and shot (the state refuses to make it illegal to kill coyotes to save the wolves). And on, and on...
According to the 2014 Living Planet Index, world wildlife populations dropped 52% over the last 40 years.
Can you imagine a world without animals? Being able to do that might be really important - because I believe it's the denial that something so terrible could actually happen that keeps more from being done to prevent it.
There is no one answer, and certainly not simple ones, but solutions do exist for problems that can and must be addressed. Wildlife corridors and overpasses are successful everywhere that they've been tried. Poaching and wildlife smuggling and the pet trade in exotic animals can all be stopped. Marine sanctuaries work and actually improve fisheries around them. And above all, climate change is threatening all animals, including humans.
I think a lot of people are waking up to the possibility of a world empty of animals to keep us company on this planet.
Missing animals are: Toby the dog and wild ponies; red panda; monk seal; white-cheeked gibbon.
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