Nature is not a choice, we are nature

Anouk de Plaa, Wageningen University

Image author: Anouk de Plaa

Nature is not a choice, we are nature
Nature is amazing and in all the countries I visit it keeps surprising me in all its diversity and beauty. Additionally, it is the one thing that always makes me feel better when I am having a bad day. Ever since I was a child nature has played a big part in my life, as I was always outside in the forest or on the beach. Already at a very young age I knew I wanted to do a job where I could work with animals and protect nature, no big surprise I became a biologist and conservationist. I have been extremely fortunate for all the opportunities I have had to work in amazing areas and with the most incredible wildlife species.

It breaks my heart to know that a number of species I worked with and areas I visited will seize to exist soon, if we keep going the way we are right now. Research has shown nature is essential for our health and wellbeing and also to defend our planet against the results of climate change. Personally, a life without nature and wildlife, that seems no life at all.

What strikes me as bizarre is that we seem to think that it is our choice whether nature has a place in our world, but we are as much part of nature as every other living being. It is not something we can just replicate or bring back once it is gone. Nature is not a choice, nature is us, and when nature disappears we disappear. Therefore we have to act now to make sure that we protect and care for the amazing wildlife we have!

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