Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/01/23/what-we-lose-when-we-lose-wildlife
Beyond what value the natural world has for us and it is indispensable, those many many lives are valuable in their own right and need no justification to be here and thrive. .
Very nice point, whole heartedly agree with you, fortunately we live where we see Cooper hawks frequently in our yard and trees, coyotes semi regularly, Bald, and Golden eagles occasionally, and a Bobcat with kittens maybe once or twice a year, and, wild horses pretty frequently. There have been notices that some neighbors have seen Mountain Lions nearby, and occasionally a Black Bear or two. Plus a menagerie of other birds, including smaller raptors, song, and game birds, with many, many Quail and Doves, plus a magnificient view of the mighty Sierra Nevada range. Definately not a paradise but not bad place to live.
Regarding Michigan, the UP and Isle Roayle NP has fairly good population of grey wolves. I suspect that few Michiganers visit those parts. But the wolves are about to lose their Endangered Species Act protection.
Also, the invasive eastern coyotes - which have become very common in all of the eastern US except the far south are often 50% gray wolf. I’ve seen such coyotes as big as a smaller German shepherd. One such coyote with rabies attacked a family a couple years ago near where I live.
The US’s failure to eradicate rabies in wildlife is one more way the US is behind the civilized world. The Canadian provinces have nearly extirpated rabies in wildlife through vaccine bait programs. But in the wealthiest-country-in-the-world USA, state and local governments can’t do this because the “can’t afford it”. I wonder why that is?
The effect of this is really dramatic in attitudes toward urban racoons in Toronto versus Pittsburgh. In Toronto, they are loved even when they are nuisances; they are even the mascot of Porter Airlines. In Pittsburgh, they are feared and loathed because they so frequently have rabies.
If trophy hunters must be served there are many private land holdings ( hunting presserves ) where this sport could be accommodated. Also, there should be very little hunting on public lands. Taxpayers already pay an exorbitant amount of money to have our borders, airports and government infrastructure protected from criminal elements. Yet, the poachers and those dealing in the illegal trade of protected species, seem to be on the low priority list, currently. Cattle grazing and vehicle off-roading, again and again, appear to be less scrutinized than people who some marijuana in city and community parks.
The natural picture is a vast landscape done in water colors, which is then left out in constant downpours. We are washing away, literally, our animal and plant diversity and it doesn’t have to be this way. It should make everyone sick because eventually it will make us all sick.
Hard to really say who belongs where anymore, we’ve thrown so much of the current landscape out of balance.
One thing is for sure though, as habitat is expropriated by humanity, we WILL be forced to live with our fellow creatures as they move into what is left to them. And what we occupy. It will be a tough situation for all.
“But I still believe we have a fighting chance.”
Yes, but we are now fighting a rearguard action to prevent the collapse of the bridgehead.
When we lose the biosphere and the non-human organisms that evolved here with us, we lose innocence, beauty, the web of life, the awesomeness of evolutionary biology, peace and quiet, clean air, water, and land.
As our species erases the oceans, coral reefs, rainforests, deserts, old growth forests, thousands of species per year, we erase life itself.
We have become a cancer tumor, eating up the earth, ultimately killing our only home.
I’m rather on the fringe when it comes to protecting all life forms, and despite being snared in this miserable excuse we call “humanity” along with all its constructs and contrivances, I think all surviving species and ecosystems will be much better off when the last human is extirpated. I don’t completely disdain good intentions – she makes a few meek yet salient points – but this young woman might seek out another employer, instead of mouthpiecing for the likes of the Sierra Club, one of many green-washing allies of corporate Amerika that have done great harm in abetting the rapacious advances of capitalism.
Yeah, but we’ve been created in God’s image, that give us “special” status and value! Of course, all this is bullshit, but most people believe it.
American Exceptionalism following marching orders to manifest destiny ever since 1845.
Trophy hunters should be “served,” the same way Meat Loaf was served in the delightful dinner scene in Rocky Horror Picture Show.
While I fully appreciate the sentiments of this article, it is, at the same time, indicative of the pervasive mindset that the natural world exists to benefit man. Rather than the headline suggesting that we are going to be inconvenienced by the loss of wildlife, it should be asking “What have we done”?