The Peaceful Rebellion

*Millennials and Generation Zs are terrified. The accelerating combustion of fossil fuels, the Man-driven Sixth Mass Extinction and the annual 250 billion metric tons of Man-made long-lasting poisons have compromised all life.

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Greta Thunberg addresses the largest ever climate demonstration in Finland. Image credit: Common Dreams

The youth of the planet are not sitting back quietly. They are forming peaceful movements. For example, Greta Thunberg, a teenaged Swede, began striking against school to bring attention to the climate crisis. Her actions have spawned a global outcry. Hundreds of thousands of school children from around the globe are striking for the climate.

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Millennials with the Sunrise Movement are campaigning for a zero-combustion economy by 2030. Image credit: The New Yorker

An American grassroots youth organization called the Sunrise Movement is advocating political action from the United States Congress. They are pressing for the Green New Deal, a race to a zero-combustion economy.

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On January 26, 2019, Los Angeles Extinction Rebellion launched with nationwide day of resistance and campaign #BeyondResist Image credit: ActivateNow.US

An international social movement called the Extinction Rebellion is focusing on mitigating the climate crisis, and slowing the Sixth Mass Extinction, thereby preventing an ecological collapse of Nature. Their target is to mobilize 3.5 percent of the population in order to attain global change.

These actions are bold yet extremely necessary because our only home, planet Earth, is under assault from every corner, on land and under the sea.


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All ancient forests, the most perfect CO2 warehouses on Earth, are so worthy of total protection from chainsaws, corporations and poachers. Image credit: Reese Halter

It’s the youths’ birthright to have clean air, fresh water, healthy soils, vibrant ancient forests and thriving oceans. Moreover, it’s the birthright of our brethren, the animals, to co-exist on this glorious blue planet. Currently, many animals are facing imminent extinction.

As a biologist, I am intrigued by pangolins, giraffes and donkeys. Each of these masterpieces is so worthy of our admiration and total protection. Allow me to tell you of their respective terrible plights.

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All 8 species of pangolins are facing extinction. Image credit: Maria Diekmann

Pangolins are nocturnal ant- and termite-eaters. These unique, toothless, long-tongued mammals are covered with keratin scales, an armor, along with a fetid anal spraying gland, to protect them from lions, tigers, and leopards. Incidentally, keratin is the same compound that makes up human finger and toe-nails. Collectively, pangolins are important insectivores, inhaling up to 90 million insects per night.

Nauseatingly, pangolins are the world’s most trafficked mammal. Four species of Asian and four species of African pangolins are being mercilessly slain in record numbers. In December 2016, Chinese customs officials seized 6,614pounds of pangolin scales, a record bust. An estimated 7,500 critically endangered pangolins were caught and skinned alive by poachers.

Gelatin is produced just below the skin surface. It’s removed by skinning the donkeys alive, then soaking the flesh before stewing it.

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Poachers are skinning are brethren alive. Shocking. Image credit:

The insatiable demand by Chinese medical practitioners to cure boils, inward growing eyelashes, and poor cardio-vascular circulation from eating animals, is quickly driving this timid, diminutive creature to extinction. By the way, keratin contains no medicinal properties whatsoever.

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Poachers with agonizing steel-jawed leg traps are rapidly slaughtering the remaining 3,500 tigers. Hideous biological annihilation. Image credit: WildWalks

The overwhelming demand for animals and their body parts is mindboggling. The brutality alone is enough to make an adult drop to their knees and weep uncontrollably. Syndicated crime, bribery, money laundering, and a diabolical thirst for power is disassembling 1.1 billion years of reproductive evolution in the equivalent time of several grains of sand in the hourglass of our storied planet. It’s vile, psychopathic behavior.

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With a repugnant sense of entitlement Tess Thompson Talley stole the life of this magnificent defenseless giraffe. Unacceptable. Image credit: Yahoo News

The tallest mammal in the world is silently going extinct. Africa’s giraffes are in deep trouble. In 2000, there were approximately 140,000 of these gentle giants. Their numbers have plunged to 68,400.

Humans are wiping Acacia trees, their food source, off the map with roads and settlements. Despicable poachers are slaying these graceful creatures for meat, hides, and other body parts. For example, giraffe tails are sought after by many African cultures. The demand for good luck bracelets, known as flywhisks, and even hair-thread for sewing or stringing beads leads poachers and worthless big game hunters to massacre giraffes for their tails alone.

Many sociopathic big game hunters murder giraffes with high-powered sniper rifles from more than a mile away, because they’re easy, large targets. Some people from Tanzania believe that eating giraffe brain and bone marrow cures the HIV virus. One practical solution would be to forgo unprotected sex and allow these quiet beauties, with legs longer than the height of a human, the freedom to exist in Nature.

Donkeys are members of the same family as horses and zebras. They, too, are in dire straits. China is buying up all the world’s donkeys. It is a brutal ending for these gentle, strong creatures.

Gelatin is produced just below the skin surface. It’s removed by skinning the donkeys alive, then soaking the flesh before stewing it.

Gelatin is a key ingredient in China’s ever-rising demand for donkey medicine, called ejiao. It is purported to cure everything from a hangnail to insomnia.

Since 2005, five million wild donkeys have been excoriated. Organized crime syndicates are scouring the African continent for the remaining long-eared donkeys that bray to keep in touch with one another up to two miles away.

As Asian populations begin to consume more meat and other animal products like cheese and milk, the incidence of human diseases will continue to go through the roof. Sadly, human illness is driving the skyrocketing demand for donkey skin.

Wild donkeys were central to the beginning of human civilization more than 5,000 years ago. It is disgraceful that Man is driving these mighty stevedores, our friends, to extinction.

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Unless the African donkeys are immediately protected they will be extinct next decade. Image credit: flickr

Is it any wonder why Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) now affects one in 13 by the age of 18 in the U.K. or that Generalized Anxiety Disorder afflicts an even higher percentage of the youth globally? They need to disconnect from their screens, reconnect with Nature and embrace the three tenants of the Extinction Rebellion:

  • We are facing an unprecedented global emergency.
  • The government has failed to protect us.
  • To survive, it’s going to take everything we’ve got.

Ladies and gentlemen, we can no longer afford apathy. Join #Strike4Climate, #FridaysForFuture, #SunriseMovement and #ExtinctionRebellion because together we are an unstoppable force for planetary goodness!





Dr. Reese Halter

Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.

Dr Reese Halter’s latest book is
Love! Nature

Tweet @RelentlessReese


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