The capitalistic society has transformed us into slaves of consumerism. Our growing need for merchandise is ever-expanding and creates a huge pressure on the manufactures to deliver goods at a low cost and high rate. At the same time, there is even greater pressure on the natural resources and it is the animals living there who pay the biggest price in the end.
The Atlantic slave trade was a horrible business, and a result of the constant need for cheap goods, just like today. Africans were captured in their own habitat, mostly by other africans, and shipped to the Americas, where about 40% of them ended up in Brazil. There they were forced to work in the sugar fields and mines for their masters until they died. Later, coffee and cattle meat was in demand, so they imported even more slaves to increase their profit. Some of the slaves were lucky and managed to escape into the jungle where they became in one with nature and started their own tribes which still exist today. Most of the slaves were not that lucky and the descendants of these people are now living in poverty as modern slaves. They are forced to work at horrible factories and are paid a slave’s salary. Because they are slaves to their own needs for water, food, and so on, they are slaves to the dollar. The only choices they have are to join a gang and risk their lives fighting the police and other gangs, or take up work in one of the dangerous factories producing the goods we so badly want.
The growing population on earth is constantly in need of more goods. The pressure on natural resources is huge, and growing every day. The rainforest is set on fire to clear the fields for more cattle, to feed the needs of the enslaved consumer. This destroys the natural habitat of many animals who then go extinct when they have nowhere to go. Since the 1950s, 70% of all known species have disappeared from the surface of the earth. Since the dawn of time, there have been six major extinctions on earth, the last of which, we have created ourselves. It’s the only mass extinction ever created by an organism. The last time there was a mass extinction, an enormous meteorite crashed in the Mexico Gulf and a huge explosion filled the air with dust for about five years, blocking out the sunlight. This is what killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Today the descendants of these magnificent creatures are once again threatened by our constant need for more. The beautiful birds that fill the air with color and song may soon all be gone if we continue down the same path of unsustainable destruction.