Love is hard to explain
I was asked why I want to save the wild orchids. To me it is so evident that I was stunned by the question. My silence of perplexion was interrupted by a suggested reply;
– Is it because the forest eco-system will collapse without them?
– So it is all about esthetics?
I should say it is all about moral. You do not shoot down children and women like that smiling Norwegian monstrum, and you do not allow smiling cavemen (rich or poor) exterminate supreme beings. It is wrong!
The ongoing extermination upsets me as much as a mass murder, so to understand my feelings and motivation, imagine somebody phoning from that Norwegian island asking for help, and the response from the police is ‘we are busy chasing the invisible man’, and a doctor replies ‘we are busy playing golf’, a journalist replies ‘we are busy covering the suicide of Amy Crackhouse’ and a boatman says ‘I bring my gun too, sounds like fun’.
Would you be upset if you learnt about such answers? This is how upset I am about society’s priorities and indolence regarding the extinction of species. Asking me if I want to save species from extinction due to esthetics is like asking a regular Norwegian ‘why did you go out in your own pathetic boat to help the youngsters, was it because you are a snob’?
Some orchid clubs worldwide seem more occupied with their exhibitions of man-made orchids as platforms for personal glory and awards, rather than being concerned about the survival of the original supreme and wild (real) orchids. Those that do not need man. Those that were here before man. Those that die from ignorance and greed. The environmental organizations are busy chasing the invisible man (carbon dioxide) rather than a real murderer. Where are the eco warriors?
I do not want to save Dendrobium pachyglossum (Orchidaceae) because she is important or beautiful, I do because I love her and it is the only decent thing to do, like the campers who went out with small private boats to save wounded youngsters from the Norwegian madman’s orgy of death.
In the case of orchid conservation, the really interesting question to ask is why most people do not care?
Especially people who join orchid societies, people who become orchid researchers, people who happily pay large amounts for orchids to adorn their houses? Are the living and fantastic orchids simply substitutes for knitting societies, a buttonology career and colourful wall paper, or is there any passion outside the egocentric reign?
Are the Southeast Asian orchids too far away, in too strange countries? Administrative regions (countries) are late inventions. We are all citizens of Earth, and if an administrative region is run by murderous madmen like in Burma, nothing constructive is expected. We shall all be cursed by future generations when they see the pictures of gorgeous but extinct species and learn about how content we were while the orgy of destruction lasted. Do not wait for the authorities to arrive, we must all row!
Saving the wild orchids, and their forests, is all about love.