Women Leading the One Health, One Nature Movement
Author: Allison A. Sakara, NP, MSN, RN, PHRN
“In nature nothing exists alone.” ― Rachel Carson
Generally regarded as the mother of the modern environmental movement, Rachael Carson captured the world’s attention with passionate eloquence, exposing the dangerous effects that human activities were having on the environment. Her writings greatly impacted awareness of the interconnectedness of the environment and human health, setting the foundation for the All Hazards, One Health, One Nature (AHOHN) framework that is still influential today. And her legacy has inspired generations of women to become champions of environmental stewardship using their own talents, from advocacy and education to innovation and protection.
Rachael Carson lived her passion for nature throughout her entire life and career. From a young age, she had a love of the outdoors and eventually pursued a career in marine biology. After graduating from college, she worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an editor and became a well-known naturalist and author. It was during this time that she began to research the effects of human activity on the environment, becoming increasingly concerned about the impact on all nature, as well as ourselves. Eventually, this research led to the publication of her landmark book, Silent Spring.
Silent Spring detailed how the use of pesticides and other chemicals were destroying the delicate balance of nature. In this book, Carson recounted the devastating effects that the use of chemicals, such as DDT and other pesticides, had on the environment. She argued that these chemicals were destroying the delicate balance of nature and were causing a range of health issues in humans, from cancer to endocrine disruption. Her research was groundbreaking and instrumental in bringing awareness to the public about the dangers of human activity on the environment.
Since Carson’s time, women have continued to be at the forefront of the environmental movement. The contributions of women within all aspects of the AHOHN framework also is becoming increasingly important. Women have used their voices to advocate for and take active roles in protecting the environment and promoting the principles of One Health and One Nature. Organizing environmental campaigns, lobbying political leaders, and educating the public on the importance of environmental stewardship are but a few examples. Women also have been instrumental in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of new technologies and methods focused on more sustainable industries and ways of life.
Rachael Carson’s legacy continues to inspire women to take part in the fight for environmental justice and the preservation of species. Women are at the forefront of research and advocacy for improved animal care and welfare, and they are often the most knowledgeable about the connections between human and animal health. Today, over 74% of animal conservationists, animal welfare professionals, and animal caretakers are women. In addition, the majority of veterinarians (over 69%) are women.
According to the United Nations, 80% of those displaced by climate change and greater than 60% of those adversely impacted by environmental pollution are women. This comes as no surprise to the many women who have embraced the AHOHN framework. They are very in tune with the need to safeguard the environment and their communities in order to protect human health, as well as the importance of preserving the environment for future generations. Women are frequently the most knowledgeable about the local ecosystems and the most familiar with the needs of the people, animals, and habitats around them. Their perspectives and contributions to the AHOHN movement are an invaluable, driving force behind positive change. As a result, women are often the most qualified to develop sustainable solutions for the problems facing their communities and to unite One Health with One Nature for the benefit of all.
Rachael Carson has influenced generations of women to become involved in the protection of the environment and the promotion of One Health and One Nature. Through her groundbreaking research and advocacy, she opened the door for women to become powerful agents of environmental change. As we continue to face environmental challenges, we can all look to her as an example of how one person can make a difference in this world.
About the Author:
Allison A. Sakara, NP, MSN, RN, PHRN, is a nurse practitioner with decades of experience in pediatrics, hematology/oncology, regulatory affairs, software as medical device (SaMD) consulting, and disaster response. Allison is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the High Alert Institute.
The High Alert Institute is a 501c3 not-for-profit educational public charity dedicated to providing disaster readiness education and resources to unserved and underserved communities, industries, and charitable organizations in an All Hazards, One Health, One Nature Framework. Learn more about the High Alert Institute at www.HighAlertInstitute.org