As well as my love of art, I have a huge place in my heart for not only our wildlife, our ‘farmed animals’, but also our domestic pets and animals.
Having now lived on this planet for 51 years, I have seen decade after decade where we are always encouraged to ‘donate’ to the thousands, if not millions, of wildlife charities, But in all those decades, very little seems to have been accomplished. In fact, our wildlife seems to be in more trouble now than it was back when I was a child. Numbers are ever decreasing due to the need for agricultural land, over fishing, poaching and all manner of human based greed. I have to say I will never give my money to any international foundation/charity – you only have to check them out to see where most of the money goes. I’d rather donate (and have) to those that are on the ground, and actively doing something. But hey, ‘charities’ is a whole different topic!
Palm Oil is the problem here. (As well as rubber). Its demand and usage in consumer products is leading to massive clearances of tropical rainforests, (Indonesia, Malaysia for the most part), and it breaks my heart to see these beautiful Orangutans being shot, burned, hacked or whatever is deemed an efficient way to ‘get rid of them’, so that these multinational Corporations can go in and grow palm plants and make huge profits. They don’t care what they destroy – be it wildlife, our rainforests or even the lives of the local – mostly poor people. I’m not talking about the glad handing rich who do the deals with each other. These Corporations fully understand that they can get the locals (mostly) on side by telling them how better off they will be. Theirs is not so much greed as just wanting to have a better life – and you see this everywhere. We are all, in some way, slaves to the system.
It seems to me that no matter where you look these days, someone somehow has managed to ‘get in’ and tear down even more of our forests, or simply destroy vast swathes of land – taking with them all the wonderful diverse animals, plants and trees – and all in the name of profit. It’s the same with our oceans… and on it goes.
The beautiful Orangutan in the photo was shot in the chest.
As they worked to save the unlucky animal, the noise of chainsaws echoed through the forest. Thousands of acres had already been demolished to make way for palm oil and rubber plantations, or huge tracts of planted trees that make miserable homes for orangutans and other wildlife. The only thing remaining was a tiny patch of forest, and in it a solitary resident: a large male Sumatran orangutan, one of only 7,300 left in the world.
You can read more here if you wish. Glad to say they managed to save “Friday” the Orangutan.
There are so many blogs, sites and so on around the internet that deal with this, and many other problems, so I won’t relay the entire story here, as I have posted a link above, suffice to say that I for one, absolutely adore these beautiful creatures. I started reading about this problem some years ago, and back in 2013 when I was getting more into my digital painting – I saw a pic of a baby Orangutan and simply had to paint it. So in honour of the Orangutans of Sumatra… here it is.
(Corel Painter 12 and dozens and dozens of layers!)
We have one planet we call home, yet bit by bit the parts that are so rich in resources and minerals are being exploited and/or destroyed, or totally changed from what they should be, to what those who have the money and power want them to be. How stupid is that? Everything is connected – and eventually what we destroy, will eventually destroy us. As I have said often in the past “Humans are the only species who shit in their own nests”.