When reading or engaging in discussions about animal welfare, human-wildlife conflict, or zoonotic disease, things can become emotionally-charged very quickly. For this article, I recommend using an indica to help keep you focused yet calm and emotionally-regulated. Grinding less than 50mg of indica (much less than 1/4 of a 1g bud) and then smoking just a small pinch of that once or twice over a 3-5hr period is perfect for maintaining a calm state of mind when studying socially-, emotionally-, and even politically-challenging concepts. Black Flower Science Co. does not claim to be a medical professional and does not offer recommendations as a substitute for medical advice. All advice and recommendations are based on personal experience of the benefits of medical marijuana. If you are experiencing severe or declining mental health symptoms, please seek the advice of a medical professional.
A few weeks ago, I logged onto Instagram to find a horrific video of a young whale shark being lifted out of the ocean. Well, what’s so horrible about a whale being taken from the water? This particular whale had been decapitated due to a collision with a massive ship. (You asked.)
Despite being the world’s largest extant (still living, opposite of extinct) species, this poor whale’s size didn’t save it from an industrial creation of mankind.
(Right about now is where I hope you took my advice of smoking or otherwise consuming Indica before jumping into this article on human-wildlife conflict.)
Now, why the hell would I start off on such a depressing note? Because, unfortunately, that is the reality of human-wildlife conflict. Every single day, animals’ lives are taken due to either the willful ignorance or greed of human beings.
For our purposes, let’s define human-wildlife conflict as the interaction between humans and non-human animals. These interactions typically result in the persecution, injury, or death of the non-human animal, regardless of which species was at fault in, or the cause of said interaction.Tweet
Examples of conflict
What causes human-wildlife conflict?
Human-wildlife conflict takes many, many forms that can be separated into two major categories from the human perspective: intentional or unintentional.
Examples of intentional human-wildlife conflict would be such instances as the opening of roadside zoos or exhibition of wild animals for entertainment or profit, without regard for the animal’s welfare.
In this context, there is no consideration for the animal’s basic needs. Its overall well-being is compromised – on many different levels – to accommodate the desires for humans.
These animals are often stolen directly from the wild. You can be 1000% sure that each and every wild tiger, lion, or elephant you’ve been allowed to ride or pet are going to meet similar fates. (Yes, including those that the precious Instagram models like to pretend their “protecting.”)
They will end up being killed in a caged hunt or otherwise trafficked for their body parts in various international, illegal wildlife trade markets.
While these animals are awaiting gruesome deaths, they are plagued with a life-threatening lack of mental stimulation. These are the animals you see pacing back and forth, ripping their feathers and fur off, excessively fighting each other, and more.
(Note: Please do not be fooled. These animals may look “happy” in these photos that social media influencers share, but these interactions are highly unnatural.
Big cats, elephants, and apes do not desire human attention in the way dogs and cats do. They are not domesticated and are hardly tame. These interactions are not in the interest of the animal, but the human.)
An example of unintentional human-wildlife conflict is most often the infamous human-wildlife collision (HWC).
One of the most heartbreaking videos I’ve ever seen in my life was a stunningly realistic example of just how devastating human “conveniences” are to wildlife.
A simple train ride crashed into a lone Asian elephant and placed it in critical condition. You may have been under the impression that these collisions are unique primarily to Californian drivers and deer or Midwesterner motorists and coyotes.
This assumption is, unfortunately, inaccurate. The reach of humanity is far from limited.
Outside of these instances, non-human animals must face human-wildlife conflict in the form of pollution, degradation, and many times, a complete loss of their natural habitat.
Some species, like coyotes and raccoons, have been fortunate enough to rapidly evolve and adapt to the artificial habitats we have forced them into.
For example: Naturally, coyotes are a diurnal species. In urban environments, however, they have come to learn the general schedule of the local human population to avoid having to interact with them.
There are many different forms of human-wildlife conflict, too many to go into here. What you need to know is this:
Before you participate in a one-on-one animal interaction: is this in the animal’s interest? While you’re driving on the highway, are you heeding the “wildlife crossing” signs? In your life, are you being intentional about the way you conduct yourself to support the rights and weTweet
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