Biodiversity and vegan

The word biodiversity is made up of the words ‘bios’ (Greek for life) and ‘diversity’ (‘diversity’), which literally means ‘diversity of life’. In the Slovene language, the term biodiversity or biodiversity is also used.

Biodiversity is the degree of diversity of all life forms in an environment – in an individual ecosystem or on the entire Earth. Simply put, it is the number of different species of organisms that inhabit a given area, as well as the diversity of the ecosystems of an area.

Biodiversity is expressed on several levels:

genetic diversity is the diversity of individuals within the same species;

species diversity includes all organisms living on Earth (microorganisms, fungi, plants and animals), of which scientists estimate that there are between 15 and 40 million;

ecosystem diversity includes diverse habitats such as wetlands, deserts, fields, rivers, seas, oceans and many other biotic communities that are interconnected and inanimate;

molecular diversity, which was founded only in 2003 by prof. Anthony Campbell of Cardiff University, represents the richness of molecules in wildlife.

The importance of biodiversity for humans

Biodiversity is a value in itself and not because of something or someone. It is the foundation of human life on Earth. Man is an integral part of terrestrial biological systems and is completely dependent on the functioning of ecosystems, especially the composition of the atmosphere, stratospheric ozone, climate change and primary production, which are carriers of plants that convert light energy into chemical – food. Because they meet nutritional requirements, plants illustrate the most basic value of biodiversity. In addition to nutrition, wood, medicines, and experiential and recreational value are directly useful for humans. Biodiversity also offers indirect useful (ecological) benefits, such as the circulation of substances, climate change mitigation, self-cleaning function of water, habitat of plants and animals, … and means aesthetic, internal and cultural value. This is reflected in the awareness that there are still areas with high biodiversity, namely man needs contact with preserved nature to establish mental and physical balance.

Endangerment of biodiversity

Currently, biodiversity is disappearing faster than ever before. The greatest threats are the loss and fragmentation of habitats caused by deforestation, the destruction of natural areas due to agriculture, the expansion of settlements and infrastructure development, the draining of wetlands and the damming of rivers, and fishing in the seas.

Invasive alien species are also a major and rapidly growing threat. Plants and animals that enter new habitats either intentionally (through agriculture, trade in exotic plant and animal species, forestry, aquaculture, …) or accidentally (introduced together with imported goods) can prevail and cause damage, even extinction of native species. Their spread is growing due to climate change, trade globalization, faster transport and tourism.

Pollution, climate change and overexploitation of natural resources also make a significant contribution to the threat to biodiversity.

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