Confessions of an animal conservation student




I have to admit, there have been many times over the past 4 years where I have broken down in a heap on the floor and asked myself “why am I doing this?”.


The study of animal conservation science will expose you to terrible truths, some of which leave you flummoxed and wondering how the hell you can ever make a difference.


Our planet is warming, our oceans are dissolving the animals that live within them, we over-hunt, exploit and trade beautiful and rare exotic animals, we track and poach elephants and rhinos for their body parts and we sanitise the face of the planet by knocking down trees and burning the remains. Thousands, perhaps even millions of species are threatened by us. We plough through this earth tearing down everything in our wake and still stand tall and proud to be human. I am not proud to be human.


Every day I have to wake up to the reality that our once rich earth is now a desert. We are sinking, we are losing everything. But how many of us actually do anything about it? In my experience, more than you would think.


On those sad, down days, when I cannot find the strength to continue this plight to understand how to protect the many endangered species on our planet I remember the people I have met along the way. I think of those people who have inspired and driven me to work hard to do what has to be done. I watch documentaries such as “Chasing Coral”, “A Plastic Ocean”, “Missions Blue” and “Racing Extinction” to remind myself of how many people are out there in the world fighting to save the wildlife they love.


What do you love? Do you love tigers, elephants or giraffes? Are you a primate lover and want to protect orangutans and gibbons? Are you a marine enthusiast and care about corals, weedy sea dragons and dolphins? Or are you someone who cares about an animal I can’t even name and probably needs the most protection compared to the rest?


If you care about a species whether it be animal or plant, the truth is, YOU are the only one who can protect it. In my experience, people who don’t know can’t care, and people who don’t care won’t help, so it is down to you to put in the work and save that species from its likely extinction.


How can you do this? You don’t necessarily need a degree, but passion is a necessity.


You can volunteer for a foundation that focuses on the organism that stole your heart. You can read, read and read some more. You can write blog posts, make YouTube videos and share powerful photography to expose your species of choice to the people who don’t even know it’s in trouble.


At the end of the day it is you who will save the planet. You cannot save everything, but you can save your little bit, just like I can save mine. And I fully intend on doing this, no matter how hard it is, no matter how much it hurts, I will save my species.


Will you join me?


#conservationchatuk #conservation #doyourbit #lightonecandle


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