Baubles, Beads And Carnivores
February 2011: When the colonisers of yore reached the far corners of our planet centuries ago, they plundered lands in exchange for baubles and beads. Communities that resisted were brutally subdued. What single-minded GDP-seekers are doing today to natural India and its human and wildlife communities in the name of development is similar.
One consequence of this forest loss is the displacement of dangerous carnivores from natural habitats… uncomfortably close to human settlements. This condemns future generations of humans and carnivores to a lifetime of conflict. Leopards in particular can live close to humans for surprisingly long periods of time, thriving on our food waste and domestic animals. But sooner or later the inevitable spectre of conflict rears its ugly head.
So? How should we kill our forests? Let us count the ways.
By Bittu Sahgal