Forests: A Natural Habitat

One of the more common insults thrown around with regard to environmentalists is the term “tree hugger”. The impression given by this insult is that people who are against deforestation have such a bee in their bonnet about saving trees that they do not care about living, moving creatures. The suggestion is that it would be more understandable to try and save animals than trees, so deforestation is not as big an issue as the slaughter of animals.

What is often ignored, though, is that the loss of forests as an issue is inseparable from the issue of animal welfare. There are many species of animal who make their home in the forests that are under threat. When large-scale logging takes place for any reason, these animals are deprived of their natural habitat – and those who are unfortunate enough to be present while it is happening are often killed. Many of these species are endangered already. Depriving them of their natural habitat can only hasten their departure from our planet.

There is a great necessity to ensure that when trees are cut down, it is only done in the absence of viable alternatives. The easy option is to cut down trees and bank the money, but this is a short-term gain at best when one considers that for the financial gain to continue, there needs to be a resource there. Deforestation is particularly problematic because it destroys in a short space of time something that took a very long time to create.

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