This immortal, man made material has  double sided effects. We can’t imagine a life without plastics and  we can’t imagine a natural world with plastics!
Few years ago some Holstein Friesian cows were about to be killed in US. The reason was to stabilize the milk cost and to cull -out  the so called unproductive animals.
The productivity, was definitely much better than some standards of developing countries and therefore they were imported and given to Indian farmers, after charging only the fright expenses.
As an insurance veterinarian I was asked to insure those exotic cows.  I was happy that this imported cows were going to add value to our local cows through breeding by transferring their genetic material.
But unfortunately most of those cows died. The autopsy study revealed that they had ingested a lot of plastic bags while grazing, as stall - feeding was not common in villages.
Most animals lack the organ of apprehension - The reflex feeling while accepting the food through the mouth. Prehension is the process of seizing or grasping or otherwise getting food into the mouth.
Some time earlier in our life we used to pack our food items in a polythene bags by clipping with staples. Today it is avoided, to avoid accidental ingestion of metal objects. We can eject out such particles as our tongue can feel it.
But not all animals can. Different species use different techniques to prehend food - for example, horses and goats rely considerably on their lips, whereas cattle, dogs and cats don't use their lips to any extent, but rather, gather many foods with their tongues.
Animals like ruminants have no sense of prehension and have the habit of engulfing the food very fast and they go to a safer place and sit calmly to regurgitate the food leisurely. This is the reflection of their old wild habit before domestication as they had to avoid the predators. While doing so inorganic materials like plastics can go and block the gut/food passage, resulting in fatal bloat or constipation.

Turtle with plastic bag. Photo: Melbourne Zoo
A Florida 6-month-old bear cub couldn't eat or drink for at least 10 days after poking head through jar.The team had to tranquilize the mother bear and then grab the cub to remove the jar and save.
A Skunk got her head into a plastic jar.
Kitty rescued from PVC pipe - the rescuers named her 'Piper'.
Poor Swans sharing their fatal food

There is so much plastic in the water that it outnumbers zoo plankton by six to one! In fact, one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals around the world die each year due from swallowing or getting tangled in plastic.
Plastic is made from petroleum and it lasts almost forever. Every piece of plastic ever made is still in existence. This immortal man made material has double sided effects. We can’t imagine a life without plastics and we can’t imagine a natural world with plastics!
Let us try to greatly reduce the use of plastics, especially those plastics we use only once and throw away.
Yes, we can make a difference and can help to protect the wonderful products of nature!.


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