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Humans are always trying to make things better, faster, or nicer, but there are somethings,

like the worlds ecosystems that should just be left alone. Manipulating the worlds ecosystem to

benefit humans ends up doing more bad than good. Although most of the time humans have good

intentions, it is important to understand that the ecosystem is already perfectly balanced; it

should just be left alone and restored to its formal glory. In the book Monkeys are made of

Chocolate there are a series of essays Burgers vs Biodiversity in the Mangrove, The Good

Guys and the Bad Guys, Buffalo Herds, Beer and Disease Free World, Viagra Brings New

Hope for Vanishing Marine Turtles and The Cards Came Tumbling Down written by Jack

Ewing and a foreword written by Danial Quinn, that are about the ways that humans have

damaged the environment while also expressing that humans have the power to change and fix

what has been done.

In The Cards Came Tumbling down, Jack Ewing compares life on earth to a pyramid

made of cards. He explains how he realized that the pyramid was stable as he warbled the table

and removed cards from the top. But noticed that certain cards would cause a large disruption or

even cause the pyramid to collapse. This can be seen in life on earth, if we put the smallest oldest

organisms at the bottom and the newer bigger organisms at the top. Removing large animals

from the top wont cause much of a change. However, the pyramid of life is beginning to sag

(Jack Ewing 187) because of other human activities, for example the destruction or habitats and

ecosystems, chemicals and waste pollution, and global warming. Ewing gives a choice, to

continue living as we are and risk suffering the same fate as the parasite that kills its host, or to

go to work to restore the damage caused by past mistakes and learn to live in harmony with

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At times, the things that are seen as minute, useless or as a burden, can have the largest

impact if removed. In Burgers vs Biodiversity in the Mangrove Jack Ewing talks about how

mangroves were seen as ugly and useless. One person even suggested they should be filled in

with dirt. However, when he finally saw one in person, he saw the complete opposite of what he

had heard What I saw and experienced was so dramatically opposedthat I wondered if I

might be looking at something else (Jack Ewing 178). Ewing, quickly realized the importance

of the mangrove, as it was home to many species of animals and insects, Never again would I

entertain the idea of converting this bubbling caldron of life into the cattle pasture. A similar

occurrence is explained in The Good Guys and the Bad Guys where Jack Ewing talks about

the importance of predators. After a large number of bird species disappeared in the Barro

Colorado Island, it was discovered that the extinction of large predators, such as pumas and

jaguars, lead to the increase of their prey species, such as coatis and raccoons. Both of these

species eat birds eggs which is what caused the disappearance of the birds. Predators are needed

to have a well-balanced ecosystem as Jack Ewing says, Let the predators do their thing. Their

presence signifies a healthy ecosystem (Jack Ewing 58).

In Buffalo Herds, Beer and Disease Free World Jack Ewing talks about how important

natural selection is in making species stronger. He uses Malaria as an example, because of

natural selection most people that survived having malaria as children where immune to it, as it

has been working for years. However modern medicine declared war on malaria and created a

drug called dichloro -diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) to kill off all mosquitos carrying Malaria.

DDT helped for a while but then it created a super mosquito, Mosquitoes achieved close to 100

percent immunity (Jack Ewing 53). Afterwards, the people who had immunity to malaria lost it,
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and birds, insects, humans and the environment were harmed because of the use of DDT. In

Viagra Brings New Hope for Vanishing Marine Turtles

There is still time to fix the damage that has been done to the environment, as explained

in the foreword by Danial Quinn. Quinn stresses the importance of raising awareness and talks

about domino effect. Books like his Ishmael, The ecology of commerce by Paul Hawken and

monkeys are made of chocolate are examples of dominos that fall and change the perspective of

one person, then they become a domino that affects someone else. Jack Ewings changed mind is

what created Hacienda Baru national Wildlife Refuge, its examples like this that remind Quinn

that there is still hope in saving the environment.

Slowly but surely humans are starting to understand the worlds ecosystem is already

perfectly balanced and is no need of alteration. This can be seen in Jack Ewings essays as he

shares personal experience and knowledge of the environment. We learn the importance of

maintaining ecosystems such as the mangrove and the need we have for predators to maintain

balance. Jack Ewing shows us how some changes we make can be devastating for example the

creation of DDT, while others can be positive for example the life change that Juan Ramon and

ASANA are doing to help turtles. Danial Quinn, expresses that as long as we have people like

Jack Ewing starting a domino effect there will be hope for the environment.
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Works Cited

Ewing, Jack. Monkeys are made of Chocolate. Colorado: Pixy Jack Press Inc., 2005. Print.

Quinn, Daniel. Foreword. Monkeys are made of Chocolate. By Jack Ewing. Colorado: Pixy Jack

Press Inc., 2005. Print.