January 31, 2019

Our wildlife is disappearing. What can we do?

James Harrison, 27 | Ed Harrison, 29

Extinction of plants and animals has always occurred in the natural world, but the severe impact of climate change on our planet is no longer deniable. The great expansion of consumerism through plastic production, logging, fossil fuels, industrial meat production, palm oil plantations and overfishing is rapidly stripping our planet of its natural resources. The world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things, but over the past 50 years we have lost over half the land animals on earth. Most of them silently disappeared without us ever knowing what they are, or what losing them will actually means for us.

Everything is connected, and the extinction of a species as small as a frog has consequences which we do not yet fully understand. While overall evolutionary distinctiveness of species may seem like they could recover over time, we need to realise that particular species, such as elephants and rhinos, would never re-evolve if lost. To put it bluntly, we have entered a biological annihilation of wildlife and if we go on at this rate, we will enter an extinction crisis on the scale of what wiped out the dinosaurs.

1903

Under the Skin
Screenprinting
72 x 54cm

www.undertheskin.co.uk
instagram.com/_undertheskin
facebook.com/undertheskinofanimals

Under the Skin is more than a series of prints that raises money for animal charities – it is also a platform to start a down-to-earth conversation about what is happening, to educate ourselves and others using the power of visual design and to inform our audience about environmental issues. Ultimately, we hope our project will inspire others to use their time, skills and passion to create positive change in the world. By sharing our research, insights and sustainable production process we also hope to highlight the potential that businesses have in the realms of conservation.

The threats we are facing can be overwhelming, but the beauty of such a challenge is that every single one of us can make a change. Be it through making music, signing a petition or organising an event, partaking in a fundraiser, running 5K or climbing a mountain to simply having a conversation with a neighbour or a friend, any action is better than no action. It all starts with acknowledging that we have to preserve what little natural places we have left in the world now, and that in saving other species, we are securing our own survival. There is hope, because we are waking up.