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Only after the last tree has been cut down;
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Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten.
- Cree Indian Prophecy

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Butterfly - symbol of healthy ecosystem

By Forest Ang

.......yes very cruel indeed, just imagine if someone break your ribs!.....

When I was young, I was fascinated with butterflies and I started a collection. I had a cupboard full of dead butterflies. I caught them with net and broke their thorax (yes very cruel indeed � just imagine if someone break your ribs!) and then put them into triangular-shaped paper. At home, I spread out the wings and had them dried. I had problem with fungi and had to throw many away. Over the years, the interest eventually dies....and then when I shifted house, I have to throw them away. I know a friend who also collected butterflies....his was thrown away after marriage. But there is one person, yes, only one, the owner of a butterfly farm that his hobby took him to what he is today. So my dear friends, not everyone will be successful in this endeavor. If you are planning to catch butterflies, then please be aware that your collection will never last. It is only temporary. It is only for your lust. It could be for your ego. It could be from peers� pressure. You will only kill the butterflies. You only destroy the ecosystem the very butterflies thrive. You only derive the beautiful butterflies their right to fly.

This farm I know which is under the pretext of propagating the insects, is in fact importing a lot of insects from other country like Indonesia. They are then exported to other foreign countries. This had caused the insects� population from other countries being greatly reduced. While it is a noble cause to propagate and to have human keeping the butterflies in enclosure for their bleeding purposes, the replenishment from the local jungles had in a way affected the local population of these insects. This will hasten the diminishing insects in our local forests.

Imagine a healthy pair of butterflies which would otherwise be able to reproduce was halted by a collector. Imagine the offspring from the pair would have given birth to many generations. In the process, many other inhabitants of the jungle will also be derived of their food - the birds that feed on butterflies and the ants that feast on dead one. Understanding our relationship with nature is extremely important. Understanding the ecosystem is the ultimate.

True - a friend pointed out that a collection as a hobby or just to frame it on the wall will not cause any damage to the population of butterflies. What is most damaging is the logging, clearing of jungles and forest fires, which are more destructive than the collection. I agree that forest clearings are the main culprit for the destruction � flora as well as fauna. But individual collectors just hasten the pace.

True - humans are inextricably bound with nature. The simple acts like eating, breathing and living affects nature. Even hiking affects nature especially if there are plenty of hikers. Imagine how many termites, insects, etc being tramped to dead by hikers each day.

True - individual actions have very little effect, whether collecting butterflies or advocating or campaigning for conservation. Stopping such activities is similar to stopping life for the individual - very boring. Imagine how much �boring� when there are no butterflies to watch when they go extinct.

Society is made up of individuals. We live and do the things we believe in. However, collectively, these actions become significant, especially considering the huge density. Only collective action has any effect at all. To change society, we must first change ourselves. We need to conserve more and not be too wasteful. Soon things we take for granted like good water and air will soon come to past. Soon butterflies we take for granted will soon come to past. Soon we are going to realize that money after all can�t be eaten!

This article was inspired from the MNS� forum

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