Humans who dwell on planet Earth, we call to you.
Turn your ear to us. Hear our cry for survival.
Open your heart and listen to our pleas.
We fear that we may die long before our intended time.
Do you know us? Are you familiar with our names?
We are the Western Lowland Gorilla, the Leatherback Turtle, the Amur Leopard and the North Atlantic Whale.
We are the Black Rhino, Mountain Gorilla, and Blue Whale.
We are the Sumatran Elephant, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, the Black-footed Ferret, the Tiger, and the Green Turtle.
We are the Bluefin Tuna and the Galapagos Penguin.
We are the Polar Bear, Sea Turtle, and Mountain Plover.
We are the Macaw, Pronghorn, Swift Fox, and Tree Kangaroo, the Dolphins and Porpoises, and Monarch Butterfly.
We are the Georgia Aster and the Rafflesia Flower.
We are the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid and Arizona Agave.
We are Whooping Crane and Burying Beetle.
The list goes on and on. Many species are already gone.
We struggle to continue. We are choked by fishing nets.
We search in vain for a safe place to raise our young.
We eat food contaminated with lead from hunter's bullets.
Our children die from the plastics that fill their stomachs.
The land and waters poison us with their pesticides.
We starve for lack of food no longer present in polluted waters.
We are driven from our homes and confused by melting ice.
We bear our young and watch them die before they grow up.
We wither and fade in soil that no longer provides nourishment.
We are overfished, underfed, cast aside, and quickly forgotten.
Hear us, people of our planet. We are your sisters. We are your brothers. Hear our cry to live. Hear our appeals to share the benefits of this planet. We, too, cherish life. We, too, deserve to live. We, too, are worthy of care and consideration. Respect us. Give us a chance. Change your way of living so we can live. Hear our cry for life.
Hear us!

Joyce Rupp in Prayers of Boundless Compassion