It can be stated that “the critical challenge of any society is not the development and performance of its economy but the fortitude of environment in harmony with human’s recurrent necessities”.
Incidentally to mention, labor and capital are frequently measured as the principal basis of production, the cost of which is the highest value. On the contrary, the critical element of the environment and its natural resources are overlooked. Maybe for the reasons the environment and its natural resources is commonly understood to be constantly obtainable, regenerating, and tapped or used to the greatest advantage with no enduring expenses.
Over the years, the environment and its natural resources are relatively considered as stable. But, like human and other living things as well the world, the environment grows old as a result of the eventual depletion of its natural resources. The relationship of humans with other living things and its natural environment has developed the barrier. Humans have disassociated the essential cycle of survival of the natural environment, from which insatiable development is only focus at the economic needs.
This paper will discuss and examine the interrelationships among humans, animals, and the natural environment, relating the analyses of the relationships by depicting the positive and negative impact each has on the other and the relative magnitude of the impact.
Crisis in the New England Fisheries
In an article (2009) on the ‘Skunked Crisis in the New England Fisheries’ has relayed the story of Georges Bank; an underwater ridge or sandbank located in the Atlantic Ocean which is 125 nautical miles from the Eastern part of Massachusetts, in the United States.
Georges Bank is a spawning area of fish and crustacean species, wherein school of fish was found to be rapidly regenerating and substantially abundant for a large number of fishermen that declared Georges Bank as a major sanctuary of fish and other market-valued marine species. American and European commercial fishing vessels have explored Georges Bank as a potential source of marine products for export, aside from the local consumption that mainly contribute to the gross domestic product of each country.
Based on the article, George Bank was declared as a restricted fishing ground in 1994, finding that vulnerability of Georges Bank to the continuing commercial fishing would deplete the regeneration of fish sanctuary. The article recalled the successful fishing expedition that made the English Gloucester Fishing Industry famous between 1821 and 1879. Gloucester Fishing Industry was the first to introduce the ready-to-eat fish cake and processed-packaged fish likened to the present canned Sardines and fish products. The US Federal government restriction to fish at Georges Bank was mainly to protect the natural habitation or fish sanctuary to enable the regeneration of species and preserve Georges Bank marine life from harmful effects of excessive commercial fishing and transport contaminants or waste residue of fishing vessels.
With so many details of history about Georges Bank, the article can be highlighted of the 1970 oil exploration of the US that expanded its oil drilling from Mexico towards the areas of New England. Accordingly the fishery sector has been affected by the oil exploration, from which Georges Bank was part of the oil exploration zones. However, a lawsuit of the Conservation Law Association in Massachusetts was filed against the oil exploration. The filing of the lawsuit was in advocacy of preserving and protecting Georges Bank as one of the national fishery resource area. The lawsuit was favored through a court order that banned oil exploration at the Georges Bank.
Positive and negative impact
Significant to learn in the brief summary of the article discussed above is to address the positive and negative impact of interrelationship in human, animals and the environment. As defined, the ethical parameter of utilizing an economic resource is to apply the correct, judicious and appropriate method of utilization (Josephson, 2002; in Hogberg et al, 2005). According to Hogberg et al, the moral philosophy of Socrates (469 BC) helps humans learn the “changing values of the society”, understanding and applying the ethical parameters on how to use the economic resource and the relationship of human to its natural habitation, thus, one of the important components of Socrates’ moral philosophy is the upholding of a sustainable community (Anthony, 2004; in Hogberg et al, 2005).
As exemplified in Hogberg et al’s empirical finding, animal agriculture (like in livestock and fishery) is basically a substantial economic source, especially of a rural population. On the other hand, commercialization of animal agriculture has developed the industry that distributes jobs with various forms of institutionalized source of income and creation of socio-economic opportunities. Hogberg et al’s empirical finding stipulates the positive impact on the utilization of economic resources as attributed by agriculture. The positive impact also emulate the ethical attitude or cultural relationship, wherein the relationship of humans to its environment must co-exist based on the need to correctly, judiciously and appropriately utilize the economic source.
In Africa and other tropical forest around the world, the interrelationship of humans to animals, plants and its environment is expressly upheld by the aboriginals, wherein they let the animals and plants regenerate so that they have continual food source (Terashima, 2001). In Terashima’s (2001) work, it found that the “cultural undertaking” of the primitive population towards the environment was to provide a “breadth of space” for the rainforest to produce food where animals and plants regenerates. As cited, one of the cultural undertakings of the primitive tribes were through hunting expeditions and finding foods from places to places so that they can provide “regeneration cycle” (Terashima, 2001).
The finding of Terashima (2001) is likewise positively addressing the co-existence of humans or its interrelationship with the environment and the ecological life of animals and plants. However, the development of societies as well the emergence of industrial development has negatively affected the way of life, from which judicious economic sourcing has been displaced in the subsequent desires of humans to acquiring change and development. Hence, it is a common knowledge that many forms of environmental abuse or exploitation are happening throughout the world. Like in fishing, the occurrences of Fishkill in high seas are due to the water pollution. In several instances, over fishing by commercial fishing vessels depletes the fish sanctuaries in the vast global waters, like Georges Bank that has been imposed with “fishing ban” due to over fishing.
The negative effects of economic resource “over utilization” are an adjunct to environmental degradation, wherein Mother Nature is not provided with the “breadth to space” in order for the animals and plants to regenerate. It may then express the general projection, today’s environment needs critical examination on the relationship of humans, animals and plants, and the decisive decision-making processes that every government can minimize the development of technologies and misappropriated commercial system of business in the rationale of protecting the environment and ecological regeneration.
To synthesize the positive and negative impact on the relationship between humans, animals and plants, the Japanese Ministry of Environment has proposed the inclusion of a program to be globally recognized environmental policies under the Kyoto Protocol. As cited, the formulation of program to promoting sustainable biodiversity will address both positive and negative impact of continued utilization of the natural environment, such as the aspects of the following components (Japan Ministry of Environment, 2008):
· Conservation as a strategic approach to actively preserve the good condition of natural environment.
· Restoration through recovery of natural environment destroyed by man-made and natural calamities.
· Creation by re-creating and recovering an ecosystem through development and creation of “green tracts” or environmental-protected zones, especially in urban areas where the ecosystem rapidly lost.
· Maintenance and monitoring the environmental condition of the environmental-protected zones or restored ecosystem to ensure regeneration process.
In sum, the crisis in the New England Fisheries manifests the exploration of humans’ substantial fishery source. However, the habitual fishing for household and commercial use was believed to subsequently exploit the fish sanctuary. Likewise the eventual exploration of mineral oil reserves in the Georges Bank has worsened the alarming situation. The continuing needs of man for economic resource has made him over-dependent, yet over-dependency has forgotten that the ecosystem also needs the breadth of space for its regenerative foundation.
The perspectives of interrelationship of humans, animals and plants must co-exist in an environment that will sustain the regeneration of all living species. However, the natural existence of environment may meet the devastating effect of man’s dominant nature in exploring and advancing lethal technologies that may obliterate all of the living creatures. It therefore proves that the critical challenge of any society is not the development and performance of its economy but the fortitude of environment in harmony with human’s recurrent necessities, upholding the regeneration of future population that will continue to co-exist and subsist in an interrelationship with animals and plants. Thus, a good environment of the future is needed to survive an ailing planet.
Article (2009). ‘Skunked Crisis in the New England Fisheries’. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
Hogberg, M.G., Fales, S.L., Kirschenmann, F.L., Honeyman, M.S., Miranowski, J.A. and
Lasley, P. (2005). ‘Interrelationships of Animal Agriculture, the Environment and
Rural Communities’. American Society of Animal Science, Iowa University Press.
Retrieved 23 February 2009 from http://jas.fass.org/cgi/content/full/83/13_suppl/E13.
Japan Ministry of Environment (2008). ‘Conservation and Restoration of Diverse Natural
Environment’. Retrieved 23 February 2009 from
Terashima, H. (2001). ‘The Relationships Among Plants, Animals and Man in the African
Tropical Rainforest’. African Study Monographs. Faculty of Humanities and
Sciences, Kobe Gakuin University. Retrieved 23 February 2009 from