Skip to main content

Sierra Club. Manatees. Tea Party and Egocentrism.

I recently rejoined the Sierra Club and soon there were two past issues of their official organ called, Sierra, in my mailbox. It's pretty good stuff, covering a wide range of issues from closure of coal-burning plants, pathogens in Christmas trees, off shore drilling, to animal welfare issues. The articles are informative but not too long, most run from 200 to 300 words. One can say that they are suggestive, but not exhaustive. Once your appetite has been stirred, if you really care, you can dig deeper on your own time. It's just a good fit. I would more likely enjoy a discussion with an intelligent friend over lunch than a 3-hour lecture by a wooden character in an auditorium

Speaking of animal welfare, in the November issue, it was reported that when the U.S. Fish & Wildlife proposed protecting the wintering manatees in the warm King's Bay in Florida by making the bay a manatee refuge, requiring boaters to reduce their speeds, the local Tea Party leader, Edna Mattos, said, "We cannot elevate Nature above people. That's against the Bible and the Bill of Rights."

Wow. Are these people really that out of touch? First of all, I am very skeptical about people who champion less taxes and less social programs, believing they are money pits, and yet the good majority of them have taken out a government student loan or two during their lifetime. Just like in the case of animal welfare advocates who, on their off time, take their families and themselves to the zoo for some wholesome entertainment, there's a bit of hypocrisy going on there.

And since when did Nature fall beneath humankind? Have we not been reminded repeatedly, by a recent succession of natural disasters, that we are nothing compared to the power of Nature? Nature is always above humankind. Nature works without malice. Can we say the same about humankind? To posit that Nature should never be elevated above humankind is to insist that humans, little imperfect blobs of protoplasm that we are, are the center of the Universe. How ignorant.

Comments

Catherine said…
Since when did we start creating laws and regulations based on the Bible? Where did she come up with this?

I recall someone saying in the documentary the 11th Hour it's a falsehood to say "saving the environment" since the environment will go on, but will it be one humankind and other beings wants to (or can) live in? Too bad our species makes such reckless decisions that impact all other life.

Popular posts from this blog

Northern New Jersey. Dog for Adoption. Simba. Pomeranian.

Here's a dog I want you to meet, Simba. He's an energetic little fellow who literally leaps in joy when it's time for a walk. I mean, Simba leaps vertically like he's on a pogo stick. He's very amusing. Simba was rescued from a pound down in West Virginia, and he's now with us in northern New Jersey. I love small dogs, and he's become my most recent favorite. Simba certainly qualifies as a lap dog. Last Sunday, after walking him, we sat in our patio area at the shelter and I gave him tummy rubs and back massages while he laid like a pillow on my lap. I've been told that Simba doesn't like having a collar put around his neck, and so he wears a harness instead. Interestingly, Simba is microchipped. So, he belonged to someone who cared for him. He's a good boy and only two years old. All predict that Simba will get adopted quickly, like most toy dogs do.

Bloomingdale Animal Shelter Society

UPDATE: Adopted by the Small Animal Rescue of Princeton, NJ

Poem. Captivity, Longing. Cruelty. Misery. Free the Animals.

Thumbing through some Robert Frost poems, I was led to this one by Maya Angelou . I don't know if Frost ever had an influence on Angelou, but certainly any American poet living today would be familiar with Frost's work. Frost and Whitman are my favorite poets, and the romantic poets ( Keats, Byron, and Shelley ) I can't bear. I find their work dense, abstruse and impenetrable. It's just a matter of taste and connectivity. I am no expert on verse, but I will accept the opinion of those who are. They warn us that Frost's poetry is deceivingly simple. If we were to try our hand at it, to put complicated emotions into simple verse, we would be tied up in knots.

Anyway, Angelou's poem below, Caged Bird, touches on the plaintive cries, the longing for better things, that captive individuals must go through. You can apply the core meaning or sentiment of this poem to any situation involving imprisonment or captivity, human or animal. Think of the dog in a dank, dark ba…

Hiking. Protection Against Snake Bites. Gaiters.

You might wonder what on Earth are these? They are called, "gaiters," and fashion has nothing to do with them. Gaiters act like shin guards against briars and other thorny plants, worn by those who work outdoors like forestry rangers, ranchers, and farmers. Gaiters come in different styles and material, but they normally protect the ankles up to the knees.

This pair provides protection against snake bites. New material called SuperFabric makes protection possible without putting on the usual thick, cumbersome gaiters with polycarbonate sheets embedded in them. This pair is flexible and light, made by Whitewater. I got this pair from http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/

I believe that such protection is necessary for hikers considering that rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths are not rare along the trails, and they can be difficult to spot on the ground. I am willing to accept the prevailing theory that snakes, like most wild animals, will avoid hikers if given enough tim…