Awesome news, Green Monsters! In a world that so often seems to undervalue wild animals’ right to live, and seemingly considers money as the be-all and end-all of our existence (the Earth has lost around 52 percent of its wildlife in the past forty years – need we say more?), Argentina has made a bold statement that celebrates the country’s native animals and forests. The Argentinian Central Bank recently unveiled brand-new peso notes and many were surprised to see that instead of the usual array of historical figures included on most other currency bills, the notes featured stunning pictures of southern right whales, jaguars, tarucas (also known as north Andean deer), condors, and guanacos!

The government introduced the new bills as part of a strategy to tackle the country’s rising inflation problem, but we think it’s pretty cool that they decided to honor their nation’s wildlife while doing so. According to Argentinian digital media company, The Bubble: “(T)he new government says that, while it is time to face reality and admit we do indeed need 200, 500 and 1000-peso bills, in this case, politics will be cast aside and the new bank notes will include animals representing Argentina’s diverse fauna instead of prominent political figures from a not-so-distant past. Animals, the government says, shouldn’t be a divisive issue.”

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So far, images of the 200 peso and 500 peso bills have been released.

Argentina Plans to Launch New Peso Notes Featuring Animals!

Pretty amazing, don’t you think?

Argentina Plans to Launch New Peso Notes Featuring Animals!

So often, animals are devalued in favor of industry interests. In Argentina, deforestation and habitat loss is a huge threat to wildlife.

Argentina Plans to Launch New Peso Notes Featuring Animals!

But seeing animals placed on currency makes us think about what we should really value. The monetary worth of these notes or the animals and biodiversity they represent. 

Argentina Plans to Launch New Peso Notes Featuring Animals!

 

The message Argentina is sending out by putting animals on the notes, instead of historical figures, is that the country’s wildlife is a vital part of their heritage and deserves to be respected … and that is a message that we can all get behind. The specter of mass species extinction – driven by human activity and desire for monetary gain – is a very real likelihood during our lifetime. The fact that Argentina’s endangered wildlife is celebrated on the peso notes reminds us that we humans should value nature, instead of money. To find out how you can help save the planet’s increasingly belegeaured animal species, check out some of the posts below.

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