On November 30th of each year, we honor the memory of those species* that have gone extinct in recent centuries. These extinctions were all caused in part or wholly by human ignorance, hubris, or callousness. They represent a failure of some members of our species to abide in agaya and ubuntu.
Our grief at the passing of these species is a way to open ourselves to love for all beings. By taking time on November 30th to acknowledge and grieve these losses, we strengthen our resolve to protect and save all that we can in the years to come.
Join a Novasutras meditation on extinction via Insight Timer Live:
Wednesday, November 30th, 2022
11:00 am PST / 19:00 UTC
We honor the memory of these beings that have gone extinct:
We have lost these, and so many more. We know of many hundreds of species lost just in the last few centuries. The rate of extinction in recent centuries is estimated to be 10 to 100 times faster than the rate of species loss during previous mass extinction events on Earth, or up to 1,000 higher than the background rate.
Sometimes, we manage to capture or record the presence of species, only to lose them anyway. What more could we have learned if these beings had survived in their native habitats? How much more wondrous would our world be if they still lived in it?
The loss of any species by human malice or error diminishes the beauty and complexity of Life on Earth. We are sorry for the extinctions our species has wrought. We choose now to remain in ubuntu and agaya with all Life.
Acknowledge, Grieve, and Act
Grief over what has been lost can open our hearts. But grieving is a process, best resolved through our actions in service to the living world. How can we imbue these past extinctions with meaning? What can we do to reduce the tragedy, suffering, and harm of species loss as we move forward?
We want not just to protect what we already have but to restore what we have lost. To bring the trees back to the barren hills, to let the rivers run freely once more, to allow the seas to surge with whales and dolphins again, to see the great profusion, the wonders of life that our ancestors knew and that our great-grandchildren could know again.George Monbiot
Long May They Live!
In Novasutras, we channel our grief and rage, through ecospirituality, into ecoactivism. We support work to protect the equatorial rainforests of the world, Earth’s Three Green Hearts, that hold most of the terrestrial biodiversity. We support global efforts to rapidly protect a substantial percentage of both lands and waters, giving so many endangered species a better chance to thrive.
Knowing what you know about extinction, what do you choose to do?
*Some of these are considered subspecies of species that remain, although in most cases the remaining species is endangered.