Look at that, two rants in a week. Lucky you!
This rant comes a little late in the game, as this issue reared its ugly head earlier this summer. But I wanted to address it nonetheless. I read all about this when it first happened, and I’ve had it in the back of my mind ever since. It’s a prime example of why I hate people (as a general rule).
In Alabama (sorry to call ya’ll out, bless your hearts!), beachgoers descended on the shores and, without so much as a care in the world, not only destroyed a colony of protected birds by invading their nesting areas, they used the birds’ eggs to “decorate the beach,” ensuring their path of death and destruction was complete. Are you freakin’ kidding me?
These birds are not placed on this beach for entertainment. They are going about their daily lives, just trying to survive, and in this case, you know, trying not to become all extinct and what-not.
Which brings me to another aspect of this rant that I want to address. I’d like to go on the record as saying that I have an amazing capacity to be outraged by any number of things at once. Yes, I’m concerned for the African girls who need to be educated, yes, I’m also concerned for America’s vast population of homeless that include veterans who fought for this country, and yes, I am concerned about immigration reform and all the pictures I see where kids are allegedly being kept in cages. Don’t try to tell me there are bigger problems in the world than colonies of endangered little birds; believe me, I am well-aware there are other issues. Sadly, we don’t have to pit one atrocity against another as there are more than enough to go around.
The difference is, the people who donate time, money and effort into charities that help people do not share the stigma that animal advocates do; if you defend the welfare of animals and fight for the humane treatment they deserve, you are a nut case (unless of course you’re talking about dogs and cats … then you’re right in line with other mainstream advocates). How did we become this divided in our view of world priorities?
Why does it have to be your concerns versus my concerns? In my mind, they are all our concerns. Not only that, we can care about more than one thing at a time.
Animals are a gift to us. We need to take responsibility for their welfare as we are most often the cause of their demise. In some cases, like this one, it is senseless stupidity. In others, it is deliberate; safari hunts, eating endangered animals for the thrill of it, wiping them out so we can expand our own flawed human needs… these are ongoing issues that need to be addressed. Sometimes, animals suffer because of our thoughtlessness and complete lack of awareness of the “bigger picture,” like the humble honey bee.
Will my own personal day-to-day world be impacted by the extinction of this tiny feathered critter? No, not one bit. But sadly, their world will be, and ours as whole will be. Unlike Jurassic Park, these animals and many others like them will not be cloned back into existence. It seems a simple request: can’t we respect all breathing beings and accept that they have a place on this planet, too?
The ego of humanity is simply astounding. We mistakenly believe that we are the ultimate culmination of evolution; realistically, you know, we’re not. A thousand years from now humans will be only another link in the chain. No doubt, we will do something to cause a mass extinction event to ourselves.
I want to believe that we will wake up from our selfish ways and start to care for all living creatures. Guess what? Respect for life, whether human or animal, starts at home. If our offspring is raised to have so little value for life, we need to look in the mirror and place blame where it belongs. It’s really not that big of a stretch to think that people who can destroy a colony of protected birds (or any birds) without so much as blinking an eye, in general think so little of life that destroying fellow humans will, within a few generations, become a familiar way of life.
Doom and gloom for a Friday night perhaps, but that’s just the way I see it. Come on, people; we need to do better. We MUST do better.