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giraffe
“Unless we address overpopulation and development anew, neither gorillas nor giraffes will be able to co-exist with humans. And life will not be worth living for human beings.” Spokesperson for the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, December 10, 2016
Just learned from Sky News that the world’s tallest animal might be on the way out. That’s got to be a shocker to anyone, yes? Imagine all eight of Mick Jagger’s kids growing up without the even-toed African ungulate.
Seriously, though, why does Sky News not note in the same story that we’re witnessing the extinction of 150 to 200 species a day? And why are people still having babies in such great numbers as if overpopulation were not one of our critical collective crises? Of course, no mainstream news source is going to touch either issue with any kind of deep seriousness.
On behalf of the giraffe — losing nearly 40% of them in the last three decades — I’m obliged to beg readers to join me in solidarity to address the biggest mass extinction since the dinosaurs following a fresh paradigm in activism. 

It’s ironic, you might say, that we’re going to have to stick out necks out to save the giraffes. Meaning we’re going to have to take some personal risks. I’m focusing on giraffes here because they seem like a perfect “poster child” for all the species around the world that showed a 58% decline between 1972 and 2012. But I’m open to other choices; I’m sure the giraffes would be too.
What to do that would be new?
Well, for starters, I believe we need to give up on investing hope primarily in governments and non-profits devoted to saving the planet. YOU have to save the planet, you must risk what they will not. Put yourself on the line, as it were.
Once you empty the old glass of water into which you’ve poured your hopes and dreams to date, you will have to call a spade a spade in a way in which activists do not usually do in engaging with concerned citizens… for fear of losing people. Overly concerned with securing numbers and/or fund raising. It will be necessary to genuinely challenge people. And to do so with a sense of urgency.
As per the documentary Cowspiracy, the top ten non-profits fighting climate change do not discuss issues related to the methane produced by animals because that would lead to spotlighting supporters’ diets — the need to radically change! — and, thereby, threaten fund raising. You, however, will need to deal with what’s uncomfortable for other people.
That’s where the calf comes in. As per a recent Guardian article, everyone is going to have to face up to the fact that we will not be able to deal with climate change issues unless we all change our diets. And since virtually nobody else is going down that path, it will be your job to confront those you encounter each and every day. Again, with a sense of urgency. Encouraging them, in the process, to do even more with you in solidarity to pressure decision-makers in government and elsewhere. I can assure you that Gerry the Giraffe will appreciate the fact that you’re trying to do something to keep Big Ag development from reducing grazing land further than it already has.
What else?
Although there are many approaches/foci, one other crucial issue to address is overpopulation. This is directly related to the development that’s killing off giraffes. And since you don’t have access to hedonistic celebrities like Mick, or future saints like Pope Francis (who I think is still hawking the “Be fruitful and multiply” mantra), you’re going to have to be The Spokesperson for advocating something that’s totally verboten in our sick society.
Remember when China imposed a One-Child policy? In “progressive” communities throughout the U.S. (in all communities, actually) it became politically correct (and was deemed common sense) to put down that stance. Well, we’re all going to have to get on board with something similar. And if you think there’s any way around that, I urge you to review Stephen Emmott’s Ten Billion. The criticism of the work notwithstanding, I would argue that — in short — one of the main bases for denial respecting his thesis (that the planet cannot support increasing population) has to do with an unjustifiable faith in what technology is capable of down the road.
Well, to that objection I respond by pointing out that one could literally fit the entire world’s population into the state of Texas, if one embraced the population density of Manhattan for the Lone Star State. But… no sane person would want to live that way.
Just because one can do something doesn’t mean one should, no matter what the powers in Silicon Valley tell you. Regardless of what those obsessed with Development insist upon.
Stick your neck out for those giraffes. And for the calves and all of Mother Earth’s lovely creatures; we can do no less, yes? And let’s laugh in lighthearted transformation, as we enjoy moving toward a better way of life.
As we take Chicken Little seriously.
Rachel Olivia O’Connor is a freelance journalist. She can be reached at invisibleparadecall@gmail.com.

One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    One of the most ‘ soft’ animals Ike giraffe may be in danger of beukng extinct. Despite please to the government despite many steps taken for the rulers to ease the situation. Political vendetta has been on the rise.