Saving the Cheetah


Some will argue that “saving the cheetah costs too much.”  They are right, of course.  They will say “saving elephants costs too much.”  They will be right again.  Tigers.  Eagles.  Dolphins.  Whales.  Right again, too costly.  “Think of the demand for product that derives from these creatures, think of the jobs, think of the land that they need to survive, land that we humans need to accommodate our numbers.  And God, after all, gave us dominion over all the animals, the Bible says that.”

But what about humanity?  Is humanity’s survival at risk, for the same reasons?  Is it too costly to worry about humans who don’t pay their own way?

But, …  Could it be that unless we are willing to pay the price for the life of our fellow creatures, human and inferior, life will not be worth the price we have refused to pay for it?  Maybe there is no economic argument that can be mounted in its defense, perhaps we just know it in our bones that deliberately allowing the disappearance of the Jaguar effects us all, causing a wound that will never heal.  Indeed, keeping the wild alive may be absolutely necessary for our own survival.

As Moses kept the Children of Israel in the dessert for forty years, in order that two generations of slaves would have the time to die off and be replaced by men and women who knew hardship and freedom, so too do we need some time for economically driven human beings, slaves to aggressive consumption, to die off, and be replaced by free men and women, men and women free enough to choose life for their children to the 3rd and 4th and 7th generations.


created on 05/11/2000