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Saving the Monarch Butterfly is Part of Saving Ourselves

Sobriety Home Launches Program to Help Save Endangered Butterfly Symbol of Metamorphosis

Sobriety Home Launches Program to Help Save Endangered Butterfly Symbol of Metamorphosis

Think “butterfly” and you probably think of the graceful monarch butterfly with its signature large orange and black wings. It’s hard to imagine summer in North American without them. But you might need to. According to scientists the monarch’s population numbers are in free fall. There’s been a 90 per cent decline the monarch population and things look bad for this symbol of summer.

“The situation is desperate,” Karen Oberhauser, a conservation biologist with the department of wildlife and conservation biology at the University of Minnesota told Public Radio international recently. What’s shocking about the Monarch situation is that it’s happening for mainly one reason.

Although deforestation is contributing to the insect’s decline, research done by the World Wildlife Fund suggests the overwhelming cause is North America’s large-scale use of herbicides in farming that destroy milkweed. Milkweed is the only plant on which monarch butterflies will lay their eggs, and it is the main source of food for monarch caterpillars. While the situation sounds dire, what’s exciting is there’s something we can do. Plant milkweed.

That’s why we at Sobriety Home Treatment Centre have joined the campaign to bring back the monarch at our centers. Monarch support groups are selling milkweed planting kits online and having butterfly support events. This simple act of bringing back this natural and common weed in a wild garden could make a difference. We simply plan to do our part by growing Milkweed on our properties.

Aside from their beauty, Monarchs are a beautiful example of survival in face of adversity.

Sometimes an apt metaphor for surviving addiction.

A theory says that addiction traps up in a juvenile phase, where we become obsessed with needs for cycles of relief and reward. Perhaps like a caterpillar, if we can overcome this trap we will emerge like a butterfly, spread our wings and fly.

We see this often, as successful clients, arrives downtrodden, unhealthy and exhausted but as they heal and recover, remerging healthy and radiant. Soon when they return to their lives, we hear how they’ve spread their wings and moved on to new and better things. Monarchs can perhaps also teach us is the power of persistence. While they lay their eggs in milkweed every year, The monarch’s migrate enormous distances to winter in Mexico and the Southern USA. It’s amazing to think this tiny insect makes this enormous trip through every form of weather. They then make the same huge voyage to return to plant eggs.

The tragedy is that now when they arrive there is often nowhere for them lay eggs. They must find milkweed. While many environmental challenges have few answers and no simple solution.

What’s intriguing is there is something we can do. It’s not that hard and it’s likely to yield results. If there's milkweed in your neck of the woods., Protect it or leave it be. Milkweed is a hardy plant and will grow quickly once planted.

Planted carefully in appropriate places it’s unlikely to interfere with normal gardening and farming.

So let’s see what we can do to save the monarchs. It’s easy and practical. When we save the Monarch, we may be saving ourselves.

To find out what you can do to help the local Monarch population here are some resources:


The Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Help the Monarchs campaign

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