According to Kim’s article (2009), the population of the orangutan, which has been named as “Person in the forest,” has been decreasing. In fact, orangutans which have been found in Indonesian islands are almost close to the number of extinction. Many researchers have tried to find the reason and published the result of their research. The reason for orangutans’ extinction is that humans destroy forests for getting palm oil. As the palm oil plantation is orangutan’s main habitat, destruction of this place has influence on orangutans. In other words, human’s demand has threatened the palm oil plantation, as well as orangutans. Thereby, the orangutan is now faced with extermination.
The problems causing the extermination of orangutans should be taken care of by humans immediately for three reasons, which are that the problem making orangutans extinct might cause other destructions of the ecosystem in the earth, that people can live without hurting orangutans if they make little more effort for that, and it can affect humans in the future.
First of all, extinction of orangutans might cause other ecosystems to be disturbed. According to the Honolulu zoo (n.d.), Orangutans eat a variety of fruits and insects. Fruit, which takes a considerable part of most orangutan’s diet, has become a principal resource. That’s because when eating fruits, orangutans don’t eat the peel, instead they eat the seeds. The seeds have been distributed though orangutan’s feces into soil. Thereby, forests, which are habitat of the orangutan, get help from them. In other words, these interactions happen in nature by giving and receiving each other’s effects. Though this interaction, if orangutans have been threatened, this kind of a circulating system might be broken off. Se-jeong Kim said, “There are not enough trees for orangutans to rest in or food for them to eat” (2009, para.6). It gives notice that the orangutan’s extinction is in progress, and it can affect other parts of the ecosystem.
Secondly, people should live without hurting Orangutans’ habitat. Orangutans’ habitat has been disturbed by human’s activities. Orangutans are killed for the illegal wildlife trade. Poachers kill the mothers and then sell their babies as pets (Christian Science Monitor, 2009). In addition, logging is human’s activities hurting them. It causes orangutans mostly living in palm plantations to lose their habitats. As an example, the palm trees providing palm oil are decreasing because of logging to get palm oil. “Palm oil is used as an ingredient in cookies, crackers and other processed snack foods” (Ruffin, 2007, para. 10). Although the companies using palm oil to produce their goods have been recommended to use other oils that have less effect on the environment, they are not trying to use other alternatives. Orangutans are threatened not only by the loss of their habitats, but also by being killed by humans and by humans’ selfish activities directly. Therefore, the decrease in the population of orangutans cannot be stopped unless harmful human activities are stopped.
Thirdly, we have to respect and protect orangutans as our relative ape. Lone Drescher-Neilsen said that orangutans are the most similar animal with mankind, because they have a mental ability to solve problems like a human (Drescher-Neilsen, 2009). It means that extinction of the orangutan could affect humans in the future. Although they have a high intelligence to know how they could survive, if they can’t live, humans, who know how to live, also could not survive. If living things can not survive, it is impossible for humans to survive, as well, Cathy Rose A. Garcia said (Garcia, 2009). That is, destroying forests is the same as destroying our houses, and threatening orangutans is same as threatening ourselves. Therefore, we have to protect them, because it is human’s future.
Economists, opponents, claimed that natural resources should be used by humans because the human being is also one part of the ecosystem. Paul Abrams said, “Republicans have decided to use their claims that spending is not consumption, (and) that it does not create or preserve jobs” (2009, para.1). They argue that if people spend the natural resources, people make new things in the human society and those will be another piece of the environment on earth. But, it can never be true. Since people have developed industry by using natural resources, the environment has been extremely destroyed by human activities. The problems are that people are using them so much faster than an appropriate rate to be renewed by themselves, and that some of environment destroyed cannot be remade in the natural process. Therefore, spending as what people have done lately is more destruction than consumption.
In conclusion, humans should find ways to live in harmony with nature, and especially orangutans. Before people use palm oil for their desire, a large number of orangutans had been in existence in the forests. Now, however, orangutans are faced with their extermination. It means that orangutan’s extermination is not a natural process. It is an obviously predicted disaster from what people have done to the environment. Such behavior that humans cause now will soon cause orangutans to be exterminated, as well as threaten human’s life. In other words, by disappearing, orangutans, which interact with nature, make various fruits disappear as well. Moreover, although the orangutan has an intelligent ability, what they are going on extinction shows that humans would extinct eventually. Consequently, for these reasons, humans should keep the orangutan, and find a way to live together.
Abrams, P. (2009, February 16). Winning the economic argument: show opponents this graph, and ask them to explain. Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved May, 30, 2009, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-abrams/winning-the-economic-argu_b_167301.html.
Christian Science Monitor. (2009, May 28). Earth Talk: Orangutans’ homes in the trees are threatened. CSmoniter.com Retrieved May 30, 2009,from http://features.csmonitor.com/environment/2009/05/28/earth-talk-orangutans-homes-in-the-trees-are-threatened/.
Drescher-Neilsen, L. (2009, May 1). This environmental destruction amounts to orangutan genocide; Comment. The Independent. Retrieved May 7, 2009, from LexisNexis.
Garcia C. (2009, February 29). Book Imagines World Without Humans. The Korean Times. Retrieved May 30,2009, from http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2009/05/142_19855.html.
Orangutan. (n.d.). Honoluluzoo. Retrieved May 30, 2009, from http://www.honoluluzoo.org/orangutan.htm.
Ruffin, R. (2007, October 18). Keep DMZ a Place Of Peace. The Korean Times. Retrieved May 30, 2009, from http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2007/10/137_12129.html.
Sejeong, K. (2009, May 3). Indonesia Campaigning for Orangutans. The Korean Times. Retrieved May 30, 2009, from http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/special/2009/06/176_44254.html.