Sri Lanka – the abuse of animals.

Unfortunately, animals are used all over the world are used as tourist bait. People pay good money to be photographed with monkeys and snakes, elephants and all manner of exotic animals.

Some of these animals are kept in terrible conditions, caged and bored to death.

The snakes often have their fangs pulled out.

Wild animals are caught and abused.

Biodiversity – the big disaster. The Anthropocene.

The tragedy of our destruction of biodiversity has been like a slow-motion car-crash that I have been observing throughout my life.

The destruction is ongoing, continuous and horrendous.

I have witnessed it in the UK and as I’ve travelled the world I have seen the evidence everywhere I have one.

In The UK.

The plants and animals I used to see regularly are disappearing fast. As a boy, I used to play in meadows full of wildflowers. I used to collect caterpillars, newts, frogs, toads, slowworms and grass snakes. They were common. Hedgehogs were everywhere. The fields were full of the buzz of insects. Big flocks of swifts and swallows swooped and fed. Streams were full of sticklebacks, dragonfly and caddis.

Those fields are sprayed with pesticide and herbicide. The streams are polluted or culverted. The hedgerows have been grubbed up, trees chopped down and ponds filled.

Where can the wildlife live?


The rainforests – the lungs of the earth – are disappearing at an alarming rate. Flying over the Amazon the sight of the vast areas of cleared forest is alarming. But the same thing is happening in Borneo, Australia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Africa. What was once impenetrable jungle (only fifty years ago) has roads running through it. The loggers and hunters have moved in. The farmers follow. The forest, along with the creatures it supports, is burnt.

I was quite shocked by a statistic that came out of the David Attenborough programme last night concerning the biomass of organisms.

60% Livestock

36% Humans

4% Wildlife.

That is what we have done in the last hundred years.

Our seas are being denuded of fish by huge supertrawlers. Our rivers are likewise overfished. Travelling down the Mekong I was amazed to see that through the whole length there were fishing enterprises taking even the smallest fish to batter into fish paste. What hope is there?

In Vietnam, everything that moves is killed. Even the paddy fields have traps to catch and eat insects. The jungles were silent.

I am appalled by the cruel, inhumane way we treat animals. They are caged in tiny cages, driven mad and killed in the most horrendous ways – being boiled alive, skinned alive or cut open to extract blood or gall bladders. Such insensitivity.

What is wrong with people?

This is not sustainable.

The delicate balance of nature not only supports this wondrous array of life but provides our climate, our food, our oxygen and atmosphere that keeps us alive.

Already we are seeing the huge fires due to global warming, the floods, droughts, heatwaves and changes in air and sea currents.

Nature can bounce back but we have to help it. We have to stop the destruction, reduce our population, stop the waste, put back the forests, the ponds, streams and hedgerows and start to act responsibly (and far less cruelly).

I think we are on the brink.

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 May 2016

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Poetry – Precious



Every tree


Every stream and hedge.


We’ve put

Every plant and animal

Living on the edge.


For those of us who care

We look towards our leaders

To provide the direction.


It’s always up to us

We need to place the right ones

In every election.


Every bug


Every fish and shrub.


Every single organism

Is a member of our club.


Every tree


Every stream and hedge.


Yet we’ve put

Every plant and animal

Living on the edge.


Opher – 13.9.2020

Poetry – Extinction Rebellion I love you

Extinction Rebellion I love you


Sitting in the smoke of a burning world

As the deniers continue buying,

The producers go on producing,

And the rest of us give up trying.

One group defiantly stands

Against the absurdity,

Protecting the last tree,



Extinction Rebellion

I love you.

You know there’s nothing left to do.


Bring it to a stop

As the last bird warbles

And nature’s for the drop.

We’re selling the world for baubles.


Standing on the rim of the Arctic desert

As the oilmen sink their well,

The politicians’ hard sell,

And all we can do is yell.

Only one group takes action

In desperate disbelief

Saving that last leaf

From grief.


Extinction Rebellion

I love you.

You know there’s nothing left to do.


Bring it to a stop

As the last bird warbles

And nature’s for the drop.

We’re selling the world for baubles.


Opher – 11.9.2020

To Nurture Nature! Or to die!

You are all most probably sick to death of me going on about the huge damage that was wreaked on the habitats near where I walk. They mowed the wide verges down the entire length of the road and completely destroyed the vestiges of wild habitat. The plants were in full flower and alive with insects. The seeds and insects provide the food for the hedgehogs, voles, owls, kestrels and kites.

I used to go on a walk eager to see what wonderful creatures I was going to find.

Since the destruction of all those acres of habitat, I haven’t seen anything.

The verges are now becoming green as the decimated plants regrow.

But they are devoid of flowers. It is too late now. The flowers have passed their season. There will be no seeds for the animals.

These verges are devoid of most insects. Countless multitudes of insects were destroyed. Those are the food for the birds, hedgehogs and shrews.

The birds and creatures will have another hungry winter.

Further down, on another lane, there were areas of verge which had not been mown.

It is easy to see the rich profusion of life – flowers, seeds, bees, butterflies and other insects

We are being urged to keep little wild patches in our gardens for the insects, for the wildlife, yet, for no apparent reason, acres of wild habitat are mown flat, wiping out whole communities of plants and animals.

If we want to have the beauty of nature around us we have to protect it!

If we do not look after the planet I fear we will have no future!

Destroying habitat – Irony!!

While walking up my hill – past the scenes of devastation where they have mown the wide verges, I saw a sign at the entrance to a field. So I went and had a look.

The ultimate in irony:

The sign was about how wonderfully they were managing the land and providing habitat for wildlife such as the grey partridge.

It says that the chicks need plenty of insects and seed.

To the left of the sign was the wide verge that had been mown flat – destroying all the habitat full of insects and seed.

To the right of it was the field freshly ploughed with no strips of wildland for the partridges, no stubble,  no seed, no insects.

Was this some kind of sick joke???

No wonder nature is taking such a battering!!

Poetry – How to rest easy

How to rest easy


I can rest easier knowing

That there are great tracts of wilderness

Left untouched.

They give meaning

To life on this planet

And reinvigorate my spirit.

For these regions

Are the light of the world

On a planet

That, despite the drone of engines,

Is rapidly

Falling silent.

They give me hope.

When we come to our senses

Perhaps those areas of wilderness

Will act as a reservoir

To replenish

The life

We have destroyed.


Opher – 5.8.2020

Poetry – The Plastic Jungle

The Plastic Jungle


The flies are disappearing

The beetles are all going.

There are few caterpillars for the birds

It’s a sterile world we’re sowing.


It took five billion years

To create this interlocking mesh.

But it only took a few thousand

For us to create this mess.


With libraries of books,

Knowledge and civilisation.

We still do not understand enough

To correct this situation.


We seem content to let them go

Without a second thought,

While cluttering the plastic jungle

With the rubbish that we’ve bought.


Opher – 27.7.2020

Poem – We fell asleep in one world and woke in another!

Such a great poem to music and images.

Is nature giving us a reminder?

Nature doesn’t need us – we are guests! I hope we remember that!

I don’t know who did this. It was sent to me by my mate Graham in Oz. (The music’s a bit cheesy but I love the words!)