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Green: Environmental Devastation and the Last Hours of an Orangutan's Life

A heart-wrenching story of one of many victims of violent deforestation

Green is a must see heart-wrenching documentary about an innocent victim of our violently destructive ways, in this case a female orangutan. She is just one of innumerable casualities for which we are responsible. While some people continue to deny the incredibly devastating impacts that we humans have globally, and very few have the opportunity to see them first-hand in foreign countries and in remote locales, they are realities to which we all contribute and we must, and can, reverse them now. Ignorance, or supposed ignorance, does not mean a lack of responsibility. We are indeed responsible for ruining our one and only planet, in some cases irreversibly.

Here is a detailed description of this award-winning documentary. 

This is not a documentary for the faint-hearted but it is a documentary that should be viewed by as many people as possible. Winner of Best Documentary Short in the recent Durango Independent Film Festival, and directed by Moez Moez, "Green" documents the last hours of a female orangutan's life.

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She is first seen packed into a duffel bag, her head bumping from side to side as she is driven in the back of a pickup truck. She is taken to a clinic but it is too late to save her. It is almost as though the life is being sucked from her as her environment is destroyed. She becomes just another victim of deforestation and palm oil plantations.

The film portrays the beauty and diversity of Green's once lush ecosystem through from elephants, a variety of primates to dragonflies. However the loggers soon move in and the destruction commences.

The documentary tracks each of the threats that orangutans face—from the timber industry supplying the exotic furniture trade or the pulp and paper market through to the palm oil industry feeding the insatiable demand for food, cosmetics and biodiesel. The illegal pet trade thrives in the middle of the destruction. The film also documents the soul-destroying situation of wild animals in captivity.

It pulls no punches. We cannot absolve ourselves from it as it is us, the global consumers, who are the cause. A list of "credits" at the end of the film runs through not only the various companies involved along the supply chain but finishes pointedly on "the consumers around the world." Unfortunately this is one credit where you won't want to take a bow.

I can say no more. Watch Green, weep, share it, and let's all change our over-consumptive ways that kill innumerable animals and devastate pristine habitats around the world. Of course we also need to stop making so many of us!

Just because we don't experience something first-hand doesn't mean we should ignore it. We must and can change our ways. It's very easy to boycott products that cause unspeakable harm and reprehensible violence to innocent animals and to their homes. And, by doing so, we can also help our children and future generations inherit a better world. 

 

 

Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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