Today, here and now, I am a witness once again of the destructive capacity of human beings. Beyond the window of this modern bus I look at the biggest of atrocities. Not long ago, this place was criss-crossed by beautiful rivers with green tonalities. Each sunset, since hundreds, rather, thousands of years, these shores celebrated the most authentic hymn to life, the most beautiful of sounds. Birds of every kind, animals of all sizes and colours, plunged this place on its ancient dance, resonating amongst the majestic trees. Even though it’s difficult to believe, something terrible happened some years ago, when you took your first steps, when you made love for the first time, when you first looked at the eyes of your new-born baby. In the meantime, this is what happened.
That sublime cry of life was silenced. At one point, the minuscule human beings thought we were smarter, more important, more needed. We took away everything. We managed to silence the howling from the chief of all apes, we knocked down the biggest and strongest elephant; we exterminated the most dangerous of snakes and trampled the most lethal spider. Sitting on this comfortable seat, I travel what it once was, the precious skin of our mother earth. Today, a sad wound after the clawing of the scariest of all animals that ever walked the face of the earth. You.
On this greyish day of July, I observe in amazement how harmful we can become. There is not much more to look at beyond the glass. Palm oil, that led the greedy few to much power, devastated this forest. The landscape is monotonous and boring. The palm trees planted by man suffocate this territory, aligned on a tragic and perfect geometry as thousands of soldiers do on their military march. I have already been hours on this cold metal frame and have not seen a single animal, not even a sad and lost bird that with his colourful feathers cries out to his mother, our mother, for a deserved revenge, a revival. This soil that once saw the fascinating tiger run, is today empty. Today, these are merely passageways between a line of thin logs, separated one to another by the exact distance, to allow the circulation of vehicles which collect the precious oil. It has been long ago since the last feline fell. Our greed swept away this sacred place.
And I wonder, is human being so important? Are we perhaps more needed on this bluish planet than any other living being? I refuse to believe so. Today, here and now, I cry out to life, dry our mother’s tears and apologise. It may be our generation, the one which will have to endure the enormous responsibility that means the survival of our beloved earth. Tell me, do you join us on this fight?
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All images © Contemplate the Planet
Photographer: Javier Pérez-Cuadrado de Santiago