Saving Orangutans and Your Wellbeing: What’s the Connection?
Why Care About Orangutans? Reason #2
What’s good for orangutans is good for other endangered species, our planet, and our personal health and wellbeing. How much we are connected to and care about nature directly reflects our overall level of personal wellness.
This month’s newsletter explores the interrelationship of species health, environmental health and our own health and well being. Be sure to check out the Featured Resources at the bottom.
As always, we appreciate you joining us and encourage you to share the newsletter with others.
The Wellness Connection–Why Care About Orangutans? Reason #2
Below are key factors that link our health and wellbeing to orangutan survival.
- Orangutan survival depends on the preservation of their biodiversity-rich forest home. Orangutans are a clear barometer of biodiversity and loss of them reflects the degradation and loss of significant ecosystems in Southeast Asia where they are found. Since all ecosystems are part of the intricate web of biodiversity upon which all life depends, no ecosystem is insignificant.
- Humans depend on biodiversity the same way that orangutans and all other species do—for health, food security, and disease prevention/management. We are equally vulnerable to diminished biodiversity in our geographic ecosystems (i.e., communities) and at a macro level across the planet. Higher rates of biodiversity are linked to an increase in human health and loss of it is linked to greater difficulty fighting diseases including pandemics.
- Beyond human physical health, our mental health is also impacted by the natural world. Research shows that our mental wellbeing is positively impacted by a connection to nature and time spent in it. The flora and fauna of ecosystems we spend time in calms, comforts and heals us.
- Lastly, our concern for environmental wellness is a factor in our personal level of wellness. Environmental wellness is defined by the livability of our surroundings—quality of air, soil, water and safety of the food supply for example. Environmental wellness is also an awareness of the unstable state of the earth and the effects of our daily habits on the physical environment. It consists of maintaining a way of life that maximizes harmony with the earth and minimizes harm to the environment. It includes being involved in socially responsible activities to protect the environment.
Take the Nature Quotient Quiz in this newsletter to see where your level of connectivity with nature and the environment is.
What’s Your Nature Quotient?
Nature Quotient (NQ) is defined as a measure of your understanding of the natural world, the dynamics at work within it, and your personal connectivity to nature. It involves skills such as observation, curiosity, mindfulness, and empathy and compassion. (Source: Emily Murphy, 2022, “Grow Now-How We Can Save Our Health, Communities, and Planet, One Garden at a Time”)
The following 10-question quiz is adapted from Emily’s excellent book and will help you determine your current NQ.
Patrol Post Project Update
With a backlog of captive orangutans in OFI’s care center and more being released into unprotected forests, our Patrol Post Project is more important than ever. We are thankful to all of you who generously donated to date, bringing us close to 20% of our goal of $20,000. No donation is too small and every dollar you donate goes directly to this project.
Nothing Changes For the Better Until We Behave Differently
Saving orangutans and preventing the unprecedented extinction of thousands of other species while protecting our health and wellbeing requires behavior change. The necessary changes are everyday behaviors and habits that we may ignore or overlook. Take a moment to reflect on where you are and where you want to be.
Where are you, your family and friends, workplace, and community? Where do you want to be? See Change Ideas in the Featured Resources section near the bottom of this newsletter.
Top Facts About Orangutans (Video)
Love Wins: Mother Orangutan Reunited with Baby (Video)
Love, nurturance, tenderness, responsiveness, and protectiveness are powerful components of human attachment. What about Orangutans? Watch this video about a mother orangutan reunited with her infant at a care center in Borneo after the baby was kidnapped by an adult male orangutan (which infrequently happens). More often, mothers are killed by poachers to obtain the babies for illegal wildlife trade or when the mother encroaches on a palm oil plantation or village in search of food. If the babies survive, they are often rescued and taken to a care center for rehabilitation as orphans.
It is very rare to have an opportunity to have a mother and infant reunite like this. Note the care givers and their actions and the mother orangutan’s responses. True interspecies cooperation and love.
Behavioral Change Ideas (Infographic)
Biodiversity for Kids (Website)