Saturday, August 17, 2013

Why don't we?

Leaving a restaurant one early evening in July, I spotted this guy next to the road eating his dinner. This was not in a rural area and I was surprised to see him.

I identified him as a Woodchuck also known as a Groundhog. He was large and seemed nonplussed by me stopping and photographing him.

As I always do, I researched groundhogs and learned, in some areas, they are considered pests and poisoned, hunted and trapped. Why are they considered pests? Because of the enormous underground dens they create, which, if done on farmland, damages the land. But the truth is, they are killed off because they are doing what they do. How would a groundhog know he's on farmland? So they hunt them, trap them and poison them. Kill them off.

It never fails, in any of my readings about other species that inhabit the planet, that I come across most, if not all of them, described as pests or a nuisance or disposable is some area of the world and being killed. Maybe the human race is the pest. Maybe we need to look at ourselves. We've overrun the planet, it is past carrying capacity for sustainability and, we've overrun every other life form that tries to survive, despite us, on this Earth. But go ahead, bury your head in you smart phone, your iPad, your tablet, your Game Boy . . . The list is endless. Lots to bury your head in.

I'll never forget the cartoon I saw many years ago that showed two deer running into the woods with a hunter behind them looking through the sight of his rifle. One of the deer was looking at the other and the caption read, "Why don't they thin their own damn herd?" Yes, indeed. Why don't we?

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