Everybody who’s anybody knows that polar bears come from the North Pole … right. Like hi, I’m a dog and even I know that. These white fuzzy bears are made to thrive in an environment where they blend in seamlessly with the frozen landscape. Although they’re massive, intimidating creatures, polar bears have been dealt a bit of a rough hand. Their natural home is literally melting out from under their paws because of man-made climate change, and they’re running out of hunting territory – some have even resorted to eating dolphins in their sheer desperation!
Humans love talking about how polar bears are in danger of extinction and that they need help – but for some reason, instead of working to save this animal’s habitat, they’re taking them from the wild and placing them in zoos.
Now, the whole concept of keeping animals in concrete boxes so you can look at them is super bizarre, from my perspective – but doing this to polar bears is like a whole new level of “What are you thinking?! Hoomans!” Not only does holding these animals in captivity mean that they’ll never get to express their natural instincts to hunt, swim for long distances, or forage – but it is also near impossible to recreate their natural climate. Like really, some polar bears are kept in enclosures in Argentina?! It’s as if humans have no ability to gauge temperature. Sure, the gesture is nice … in theory, but I have a sneaking suspicion that humans are only keeping polar bears captive for the sake of profit.
“Thanks for trying, but I’d like to go home now.”
If humans really wanted to help polar bears, they could start by taking steps to protect the Arctic. While it might seem easier to just keep polar bears in captivity to “save” them, in reality, that is like putting a band-aid on a much, much larger problem. Around 8.6 million acres of the polar bear’s native habitat disappear a year due to the rapidly warming temperature of the planet. What many people don’t realize is their food choices are driving that catastrophic temperature rise. The UN estimates that animal agriculture is responsible for around 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while the Worldwatch Institute estimates it could be as high as 51 percent. In addition to this, the livestock industry is a major driver of deforestation, and as we know, trees and forests are very important for maintaining a stable climate. Pretty crazy, huh. The good news is that people can help reduce this impact by simply choosing to eat less meat and diary.
So, I personally think that this little polar bear and his extended family would much prefer that humans worked on protecting the world’s ice caps by eating more plant-based foods instead of tearing these animals from the wild and putting them in zoos.
To learn more about how you can start making a difference for polar bears with your next meal, check out One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign.
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Image source: Imgur