Picking up from my previous post on interference; this time looking at conservation, preservation and learning.
So once again I have to tip my virtual hat to the WildEarth.TV Safari Live Guides. Their work is hard. Six weeks straight, up before dawn, still going til long after dark, three hours twice a day driving over roads harsh enough to rattle even the toughest kidneys and joints, in all manner of weather and insect conditions, trying to be entertaining and educational (a tricky mix that requires far more finesse than I shall ever have). And that’s just the stuff we, the audience, get to see.
(By the way, if you – Bless your good heart – can make it through all this rambling, there’s lots of pictures at the end as my Thank You to you; of course you can always just skip to the pictures and enjoy those instead. hehheh ) 🙂
But maybe the hardest part of their work is the heart portion. Anyone with even a slight bit of compassion, who is not of a hardened heart, is rather certainly going to feel some kind of sadness when any one of the Animals passes away. Especially as knowledged as these Guides are, they can see an ending of an Animal’s life coming long before it actually gets there. And, their hands are tied. No matter if they wanted to, they can’t really help. Though there’s solid reasons for it, still that’s got to get hard on the old heart at times.
No wonder then if some small Animal is found injured, an Animal whose impact on the ecosystem is barely slight, a small bit of a plea from one impassioned person can become a vortex. Even folks who know how the story’s going to end (likely sadly), find themselves getting sucked in. They let themselves in perhaps because helping that one tiny Animal works out to be a kind of a much-needed emotional relief from having to leave so many Animals to whatever fate may befall them. At least they got to try and help one, even if that little Animal died, which everyone pretty much knew going in that it would. They might salve their caring hearts with comforting thoughts that hopefully they gave the tiny beast a peaceful death.
I don’t believe I could do what these Guides do and I am often left wondering how they endure it. Most likely they see the environment as a whole and the Animals and plants and all are of course just pieces of the whole. The sentimental heart (which is most of what my silly old self is) versus the rational mind (practically non-existent in my old head) for me would be the very difficult quandary. How can one Animal within an ecosystem be helped without affecting the whole? Hmm.
Say we rescue an orphaned baby Hippo, right? Okay, who with even a slightly loving heart wouldn’t want to have some part in rescuing a baby Hippo? The Aww-factor is pretty high there. Yeah, but is it really the ~right~ thing to do? By letting that baby Hippo pass away, precious predators get much-needed sustenance, right? Look at the Leopard, Lion, Cheetah, Hyena babies. The Aww-meter pings so hard it’s about to bust the gauge. These babies and their Parents gotta eat too, right?
Rather than the daunting task of playing God and deciding who gets to live and who dies, the non-interference program then can serve here as a kind of emotional buffer. I get concerned though that the concept might inadvertently carry over and discourage folks from the things that can be done. It’s not that we shouldn’t interfere but rather ~how~ should we interfere. What ways are smart, helpful and right. I think the answers are relatively simple (I like those the best), though the applications can be a bit thorny, depending on whom one’s dealing with.
What do all Wild Animals need? At a minimum, land. So there’s one answer. Preserve and protect the land. That’s a tangible and direct interference of a positive sort. Over the years, I’ve read various articles about folks who rescued wildlife (or attempted to with tragic conclusions) and inevitably there’s some folks out there screaming, “Leave wildlife alone!” Yeah, okay, then how about leave Wildlife-Natural spaces alone! How can wildlife be let to live if they have nowhere ~to~ live.
Stop urban sprawl. Reclaim those blighted inner cities and transform them into places folks ~want~ to live, instead of doing everything they can to escape to more and more new developments.
Don’t allow governments to give tax breaks to developers who ruin the land to put in commercial buildings that they leave sit empty ~deliberately~ for years, just to get the tax write-offs! At the very least cap those tax breaks to a five-year maximum and if at the end of that period the space isn’t fully productively utilized, not only do they lose future tax write-off’s, they lose the structure ~and~ the land it’s sitting on. The materials would be repurposed elsewhere and the land returned to Nature.
And, speaking of empty commercial buildings, we do not at all need more freakin’ malls! There are so many malls out there that aren’t being fully utilized or hardly used at all. Every day, as I travel home from work, I pass by a strip mall that has at least eight commercial spaces and only one small space is actually being used, all the rest are empty. Further down the road is a huge commercial building that’s been empty for every bit of ten years! Then, the ultimate insult to this injury, down the road from all that unused space is a brand new commercial building complex. What?! Absolutely infuriating!
It’s ridiculous to build more when what already is in place isn’t being completely used. Plus, there’s the internet, the biggest, global mall of all right at the fingertips. We don’t need to destroy yet more land, what little Natural spaces are left for precious Wild Animals, and use up more resources for buildings that don’t even get fully used. Geez!
All those new developments and wretched commercial buildings are hurting our Wildlife and ultimately ourselves. Instead, let’s create Wildlife corridors, everywhere possible, like these folks:
I so wish Pennsylvania (where I live) would build Wildlife corridors!
Teach our young/offspring and ourselves how to coexist ~with~ Animals, not just rule over Animals. Wildlife actually is ~far~ more willing to live alongside us than sadly too often we them (there’s some examples to this in the picture offering at the end here).
Even the Hyena, amazing and beautiful apex predator that it is, has learned to subsist off of our landfills! Landfills! This applies to Bears and other Animals as well. The Natural land and food sources these Animals need have been encroached upon so much, that they have no place to go and are desperately trying to figure out how to survive. And what do they get for trying to survive? Shot at or stoned to death. Nah, c’mon, we can do better than that, surely!
What else? Yes, birdfeeders are nice and fun, and it’s good to plant Native bushes to help bees, butterflies, Hummingbirds, Nature’s pollinators. Also, keep berms alongside roadways clean and clear so if an Animal is trying to cross, it can be seen and ~not~ become just another piece of road-kill. Learn to ~slow~ down, look and care. And if an Animal does become road-kill, have the kindness of thought to move the carcass off the road so at least scavengers can get some benefit.
I was thinking just this morning about the possible creation of Animal-alert radar technology to help drivers avoid striking Animals along roadways. Amp up that technology so that the Animals in that area actually get a name. Human animals tend to care a bit more about Beings that have names; it’s just another one of those human animal attributes. Knowing Nysie the Deer is in the area might inspire a driver to ~slow~ down and actually look for her, in so doing hopefully reduce the likelihood of running her over with the car. Also, Nysie happens to be a Mom, so by protecting her, her baby doesn’t become yet another orphaned Wildlife.
And of course there’s recycling, re-using, repurposing. Physically travel less, virtually travel more. Leverage more science and technology, and less fossil fuels.
Oh, this reminds me of a little big something I call Vourism, virtual tourism, via webcams visiting places all over the world without one drop of airplane fuel. I’d like to see Vourism evolve to B’Tourism, which would involve someone building virtual presence machines that could be rented for hours or days, the machine itself tended after by its physical site host location. Imagine a village or Animal sanctuary out there somewhere that hosts a B’Tourism machine and the rent could bring some coins directly useful to them. With B’Tourism, folks who otherwise might not be able to travel, can bring themselves to a place as near to actually being there.
Of course stopping these damned wars would be ~really~ helpful!
It’s not a matter of whether we should interfere that’s at issue here. It’s the kinds of interference, that’s the key to being successfully helpful for All. I think most folks who care do want to help and of course it’s constructive in keeping that care and positive action going when they can get some idea that what they’re doing does actually help. Webcams that show the benefit to Animals-Wildlife come in very handy to provide those sustaining reassurances.
Of course, I could look at the whole world in its current state and sadly resign, consider the matter just overwhelmingly hopeless. And some days I really do wonder. Then there are other days – Thank You, Divinity! – where hope, even if some might classify it as unrealistically optimistic, burns stronger and brighter than the darkness.
As long as the human animal exists, just its existence is an interference. Plentiful are the examples of negative, harmful interference with buildings, traffic, war, on and on. But there are a whole bunch of really good, economically beneficial and sustainable, directly effective things the human animal can do where we can positively interfere.
We can develop a culture of respect, care and action with the intent of benefiting All. And with that care we have in our hearts for all the Animals, we can preserve what is left of Natural spaces and Wildlife. Maybe even restore some places back to Nature! Ooh! We can. We’re starting on it. I hope we keep going with it.
For anyone who has read my really long rambling, soap-boxing here, I offer my deep gratitude to you with these bunch of photographs (none of any of the pictures are mine, they are collected from all over the internet). I hope at least some of these will ping your Aww-meter with happy and maybe some heart-warming force as well. Also, there’s a lot of (of course) Hyena pictures. 🙂
Take care, All, and Bless your good hearts!