The earth is our home. Unless we preserve the rest of life, as a sacred duty, we will be endangering ourselves by destroying the home in which we evolved, and on which we completely depend.
Edward O. Wilson
A mind-numbing 11.1 vertebrate animals lose their lives every second, 24/7, from being run over by a vehicle in the United States of America. That equals 1 million (1,000,000) vertebrate creatures every day. That equals 365 million deaths annually. Some experts say the figures may actually exceed 400 million deaths yearly – because millions stagger into the woods to die later.
For North Americans to kill 11.1 vertebrate creatures every second as they scurry across our roadways or fly through the air or swim in bodies of water around the clock, without end and without reason, must be the most unprincipled savage act in the universe. To kill 1 million a day and 365 million annually is beyond the scope of understanding.
On one of my bicycle rides from Canada to Mexico down the Continental Divide, wildlife experts placed colored flags for 10 miles alongside the road for every animal that cars, trucks and buses ran over. This was Route 3 in Canada that leads into Route 93 in Canada and continues south into the United States.
I picked up a brochure that gave the species of the animal signified by the flag color. On a bicycle, at 12 miles per hour, I had plenty of time to absorb that every flag signified a creature who had suffered an instant death or endured a horrible ending from being wounded by a vehicle.
The colors astounded me because they equated to bear, deer, antelope, eagles, hawks, black birds, geese, robins, blue birds, turtles, skunks, swans, mice, fox, coyotes, elk, moose, crows,
ducks, hummingbirds, rats, squirrels, bats, chip monks, wild pigs, mountain lions, lynx, beavers, rabbits, owls, martens, ferrets and prairie dogs.
This eagle could end up along with the rabbit as roadkill.
“My God,” I muttered. “We humans kill an astounding number of other creatures with no thought whatsoever. And, we kill them not
for food, but because they were going about their own lives. We kill them because they chose the wrong time to cross our asphalt jungles covering the wilderness.”
The Numbing Numbers
The figures include mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, but not insects or bugs. Every year our nation’s experimenters kill 100 million lab animals, hunters kill 200 million “game” animals, and motorists kill nearly 400 million wildlife creatures. For every dead animal counted, three or four more die unnoticed.
Today, wind machines rip through the air in California, Wyoming, Colorado, Pennsylvania and many other states. Their huge 50-yard-long blades travel at 179 mph at the tip and act like a razor on any bird that unsuspectingly flies into their whirling clutches. According to the Associated Press, turbines kill 573,000 birds annually in the U.S. (Source: www.livescience.com)
On the water, the propellers on our boats slaughter countless numbers of marine-based life whether it swims, paddles, hunts or rests on its home turf.
Across our nation with 319 million people, and across the globe with 7.2 billion humans, our machines kill countless billions of other creatures 24/7.
The United States faces a projected doubling of its population to 625 million within the next 80 years or less. The figures will double the mayhem, slaughter and outright extinction of countless animals.