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Fri Jun 10, 2022, 06:25 AM

Our entire civilisation depends on animals. It's time we recognised their true value

Asked to consider the value of animals, many people’s first thought would be about money. During the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, the price of dogs became a popular talking point. Others might think of the less tangible, but also very real, value they place on their relationships with companion animals, especially pets such as cats and dogs. Fewer would immediately consider the ways in which our entire civilisation rests on animals. The fact is, though, that our society and economy are embedded in a natural system that is maintained by the activities of animals, and without them, we would not be here.

Animals are vital to the functioning of the biosphere in innumerable ways. Their interactions with plants, fungi and microbes sustain the conditions on which we, along with all other life, depend. For example, the great whales that sit at the pinnacle of marine food webs are linked to some of the most fundamental processes that shape conditions in our world. They eat other marine creatures, including krill, and in the process take nutrients from deeper water to be released via their faeces into the ocean, where they fertilise blooms of planktonic algae.

As the plankton grow, they extract carbon from the atmosphere and release oxygen as a byproduct, keeping carbon dioxide concentrations in check and replenishing oxygen at a level that sustains animal life. Those same photosynthetic plankton, powered by sunshine, are at the base of the food webs that feed the rest of marine animal life, including fish and, ultimately, whales. Some plant plankton also release a gas called dimethyl sulphide, an important contribution to cloud formation, which sustains freshwater security on land.

Tropical rainforests are another vast and vitally important system that removes carbon from the atmosphere. While we tend to think first of their trees, these complex ecosystems are held together by pollinating insects, a kind of animal glue. The myriad plants that inhabit these moist, warm forests are nearly all pollinated by bees, wasps, ants, butterflies and beetles (and some by birds and bats). Rainforest plants produce fruits, animals eat them and, in the process, move seeds around the forests.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/09/civilisation-depends-on-animals-time-we-recognised-their-true-value-aoe

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Reply Our entire civilisation depends on animals. It's time we recognised their true value (Original post)
AZProgressive Jun 2022 OP
Irish_Dem Jun 2022 #1
2naSalit Jun 2022 #2
in2herbs Jun 2022 #3

Response to AZProgressive (Original post)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 06:27 AM

1. Earth and its inhabitants are our most valuable resources.

But look how we treat them.

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Response to AZProgressive (Original post)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 07:19 AM

2. This needs to be...

A topic that is touched upon every day until our species stops its destructive lifestyle.

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Response to AZProgressive (Original post)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 08:57 AM

3. I don't believe most people recognize that animals, especially domesticated animals,

require the same necessities that people do. Just image, if people started to view animals as a living thing how that relationship would change the thought process of humans -- and humans would become more humane.

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