Man and environment

An overview

Human beings are just one of the millions of species inhabiting the earth. However, having evolved, they have developed a few physical characteristics that are special, like, the capacity to walk upright leaving two limbs free to use as hands, he unique position of the thumb and a stereoscopic vision. Soon, human beings began dominating the other life forms.

While life forms adapted to natural changes, human beings desired to thinker with nature itself. Despite this, the other life forms continue to adapt as much as possible to the new condition created by man.

Physical aspects

The physical aspects of nature that human beings have affected are air, water and land. Our environment consists of three parts. Lithosphere consisting of land, rocks and soil; hydrosphere with the oceans, seas, rivers and other water bodies; atmosphere with gases like nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen that provides a protective cover to the earth on all sides. All the three are an integral part of the environment. And, human beings have meddled with all of them.

Man -led changes in nature

Take natural event, be it the natural lashing of waves in the sea, humidity in the air, or growth of a sapling in soil, all are various facets of the environment. He changes in nature brought about due to the actions of human beings also affect everything and everybody around.

Look at our cities and villages. You will find many examples of how things are changing. These changes force the other living beings to continuously adapt themselves to the new conditions. Thanks to the soil erosion caused by us, we see trees tenuously holding on to the little soil left, bending to one side, hungry goats chewing paper posters stuck on walls and cows and buffaloes feeding themselves on the morsels of food found in garbage dumps!

Shocking though it may found, fish, frogs, tortoises, earthworms and house sparrow are on the verge of extinction. Why is this happening?

When and why did things change?

In ancient times, man limited wants and lived in harmony with nature. Even now, most tribal communities live in peace with nature. But as population increased and wants grew, we became irresponsible in our actions and began exploiting nature.

Social aspects of the environment

Discretion makes man as partner in environmental programs. Actions of human beings have influenced the total profile of the environment. And it is through their actions now that a reverse transformation may be possible for a better environment.

The great Indian Bustard, black buck, Ongole Bull and blue jay still survive due to the traditions of the farmers and villagers of the area where these are found people here have all along been aware of the important role animals and birds play in their lives.

A variety of belief and superstitions protect ad preserve the animals. The taboo on killing cats and lizards protects them while at the same time reducing the numbers of pests like rats and insects. Monkeys are revered as belonging to the family of God Hanuman. Preserving the fish in the Aruku Mathsyagundam Lake is again our tradition.

The production of oilseeds, cereals and millets like Bajra and Ragi, are all a part of our tradition.

In Srikalahasthi, the religious belief that surrounds the spider, the snake and the elephant has protected the insect and the animals. The spider and the snake help us by eating up insects and pests, while the elephant does so by eating up wild varieties of grass. There are similar popular stories around tortoises, honeybees, crocodiles and parakeets.

Some animals are believed to be the vehicles of Gods: the peacock of Subramanian Swami, the bull of Siva, the tiger of Durga, the eagle of Vishnu and the mouse of Ganesh. These beliefs help protect these animals.

Our tradition reverses trees as well. The basil plant is nurtured in every house, the neem and tamarind trees are planted in the backyard and the people along the lake. The neem and peepal trees together are worshipped in our temples. We also grow flowering plants. The rose bay, hibiscus and others are popular. These attract the honeybees and bumblebees that help pollinate the fruit yielding trees.






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