The first time I heard him say it I nearly spat my teeth across the room.

“I’m in construction and my wife’s a witch, she talks to dead people”, says my husband by way of introducing us at one of those obligatory and yawningly tedious work functions.

Now, just to be clear, before we step into this important piece of prose, I am actually not a witch and while I can talk to dead people, hands down having a tête-à-tête with animals I find far more captivating. And that’s what I do, I translate intuitive conversations I have with the Kingdom Animalia forever hopeful that I can put that skill to good use.

Climate change and man’s impact on the planet is a widely discussed and divisive topic these days. Personally, I have a nagging concern for the planet and the fact that she’s not in tip top shape. That and a penchant to chat with wild animals has inspired me to strike up a series of conversations to see how everyone’s tracking in this current environment. Not surprisingly, these exchanges aren’t painting a pretty picture and the harsh reality is they are seriously struggling as you will see in this small collection of abridged discussions.

The American Bison is a massive chap who, when we set up for a chat, exuded an energy of defeat and sadness. To those that haven’t bought into this global warming idea yet, his opening words may sound a little dramatic, but I find this shocking. They are biding their time before they too become a statistic on the “register of extinct animals”.

In the words of the American Bison, I quote –

“We are living in a natural gas chamber. The air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat is all toxic.”

I am hearing their digestive systems are being affected, their hearts are weakening, their teeth are rotting and they’re struggling to manage the terrain as their hoof structure changes. And why wouldn’t it if your daily diet was full of poison!

Wise, pragmatic and not one to mince words, the Wolf shares a similar plight to the Bison. They show me a dense and warm air at muzzle height filled with pollution at which point I hear they will die of this toxicity before food supplies dry up. The winters are becoming increasingly more difficult to manage as their fur is changing and less insulating. The wolf spokesperson tells me the smaller voice is getting ignored (ie, all animals) and that “humans are capitalists, narcissists and savages”. Clearly not a fan of the people and they certainly don’t pull any punches! The choice of language wild animals use I do find fascinating.

All animals, both domestic and non-domesticated, hold great lessons for us if we would just sit up and listen. They say what they mean, they don’t sugar coat, they never try to people please and they’re concise which brings me to a recent conversation I had with a particularly flustered Octopus talking about the pollution in our oceans and the warming of these waters. In an octopussy style bluntness I share this quote –

“We can’t survive this, this is like an oceanic holocaust. Clean the decks, get your boats back in port and stop messing up this ocean.”

He lets me feel the temperature of the ocean – it’s hot and uncomfortable and my head is spinning like I have a neurological disorder. They are physically struggling with temperature changes, pollution and the food supplies not being enough for all.

Closer to home in Australia, our Koalas, Kangaroos and Snakes are begging us to stop the clearing and expansion. There is nowhere for them to go and there is not enough room for them to recede. The snakes tell me they have an important role on this planet, but humans are selfish. People will never lack water, but their water is drying up and they’re having to move further afield to find hydration. Now I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of getting up close and personal with the snake population, but I can’t help but be disheartened when I hear them speak with this sense of despondency and hopelessness.

Hands up who loves the koala? Okay that would be everyone – they’re one of Australia’s favourites. They are pleading with us to stop the progress and destruction. An enlightening conversation with this Koala and it would be remiss of me if I didn’t share this quote –

“You have to stop. Progress doesn’t need to be endless. Why are you not happy and content with what is right now? Humans struggle with the idea of being present because they’re wanting something more, bigger, better, newer, undiscovered, not yet invented. Take steadier steps, you don’t have to run at life. We can all live together, but you have to stop the clearing, there’s nowhere for our babies to go. If you continue we will not be here in 25 years.”

Can you imagine a world without koalas! Like all animals becoming extinct, that would be an absolute tragedy. The entire article written by Elizabeth Kolbert for the National Geographic is eye opening, but the title alone takes my breath away – Animals are disappearing at hundreds of times the normal rate, primarily because of shrinking habitats. Their biggest threat: humans.

As we, the human race, are responsible for the decline, so too we are central to rebuilding this magnificent planet. While I entertain the idea that my meagre input isn’t worth a great deal, as one drop contributes to an ocean full of drops I know that it maybe more vital than I think. We are smart people and the fight back is imperative to the health of us all. Be that single drop and let us (re)build the ocean – together we can fix this!