(Photo: Claire Bullion)

On that day people will throw away
   to the moles and to the bats
their idols of silver and their idols of gold,
   which they made for themselves to worship.             Isaiah 2:20

 

Sadly, voles do not feature in the bible, but an alternative translation of the verse above is rodents. This verse is the conclusion of a passage which tells of God’s judgement on human arrogance for placing their trust in selfish human institutions. In our arrogance we have neglected the natural world, whilst plundering it for the precious metals and resources that have caused wars to be fought and vast tracts of land destroyed. This passage reminds us that all of our acquisitive tendencies will come to nothing in the end. We live in the time of the sixth mass extinction. Many creatures are being lost, each and every one of them with a role to play in the careful balancing of nature. Valuing the creatures we share this planet with, working to save them and their habitats, is an act of rebellion against the consumerism that drives so much of western society, and challenges us to consider what is of real value for our health and wellbeing.