Letter to Anglo-American re Their Behaviour in the Amazon

To Who It May Concern

Everything that is alive uses the environment in which it exists – otherwise it would not exist. Humans thus need never feel ashamed about using the resources that permit us to survive, even to flourish. 

One significant difference between ourselves and other species though is that we realise much more fully the significance of what we are doing to that environment. No animal could come up with a mission statement such as “Simply put, our products move the world towards a more sustainable future”. No animal could “reimagine” its primary occupation to “improve” the lives of other members of its species. And no animal reaches the depths of dishonesty that humans do. 

Just as you would not want outsiders prospecting in your 20 Carlton House Terrace, London offices, the Munduruku people do not want you in the part of the Amazon that is more than their workplace – it’s their home. No animal would invent ‘morality’ and then use and abuse it to justify, as Anglo-American does, its behaviour in the territory of other members of its species.

Apart from the egregious and outrageous trampling over the wishes of other people in order to increase the already high level of not necessity but luxury enjoyed by a few and, despite our astonishing ability to imagine the consequences of our behaviour on the planet, some of us still act in a way that, unchecked, would be suicidal for the species, in a way that threatens the future of their very own children. 

You probably have employees who believe they are doing their best for their families. You seem much more likely to have managers and shareholders who do not give a damn about those and other families beyond – perhaps – their own.

We all have the capacity to be the best that humans can be – noble and compassionate. It’s a capacity that the planet and all of our children need more than ever before. Be the best people that you can be – leave the Munduruku people and others like them in peace. Be more than just another animal – be humane.

Yours sincerely,

Mick Haining

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