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Ageless Stranger
08-11-2008, 02:22 AM
I'll just apologise up front if I seem woefully uninformed or ignorant.

Just recently I watched gorillas in the mist and it's got me thinking. Just what is our responsibility to the animals on this planet? Is it our right to trample over their habitants for our own ends, even if those ends are very beneficial to ourselves? Or should we halt any progress their endangers animals and their way of life?

I believe that animals have a right to life that is equal to our own and it pains me to see beautiful animals such as the Siberian tiger are nearing extinction. As the most powerful/influential species on the planet, and taking into account the damage we have done to animals as a whole, I do consider it our responsibility.

I'm interested in hearing your opinions.

JoNightshade
08-11-2008, 02:34 AM
Stranger, I think your poll is a little vague. For instance, I would choose both one and three. I think we have a responsibility to protect animals and their habitats, but if I have to choose between saving a gorilla baby or a human baby, I'm going to choose the human 100% of the time.

veinglory
08-11-2008, 02:39 AM
Indeed. And the obligation to protects does not imply a belief in animal rights philosophies.

Ageless Stranger
08-11-2008, 02:41 AM
I agree with you there but I what I mean when I say choosing between animals and humans is more to do with things like building factories over animal habitants to create jobs. I too would save a human baby over an gorilla baby every time, but I think most of the times that that humans choose between the wellbeing of humans and animals, the reasons can be very selfish.

StoryG27
08-11-2008, 02:50 AM
I'm with Jo, I could pick one and three. I do believe we have a responsibility to protect animals and their habitats, but human survival and rights come before animals' rights.

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 02:54 AM
I'd go a little further. If it comes down to some silly snail darter or the livelihood of thousands of loggers, I'll go with the loggers.

I am very much for animal rights, protecting habitats, but as I said, if it comes down to saving the habitat for some obscure animal over jobs, I'll go jobs.

Still, I'm very concerned about the rain forest, which is a habitat for millions of animals, the American wetlands, and the American prairie.

Ageless Stranger
08-11-2008, 02:55 AM
I suppose one of the difficulties lies in where the line should be drawn.

veinglory
08-11-2008, 02:57 AM
I will sometimes side with the human animal and sometimes the non-human. But the basis is not always obvious. If a 1000 jobs drives a species extinct, what if that species contained an potent anticarcinogen that could be discovered and save 1000 lives? That opportinoty would be lost. There are selfish reasons to preserve biodiversity.

tiny
08-11-2008, 03:01 AM
We have a responsibility to protect them from outright cruelty, from losing their habitat when there are other options, and from being driven to extinction if possible. But I personally see it less about their rights and more about our humanity. It's the right thing to do.

Ageless Stranger
08-11-2008, 03:05 AM
Whoa, two excellent points I hadn't considered.

I do agree with you veinglory. We live in a very delicate system and forget that to our own detriment.

Silver King
08-11-2008, 03:13 AM
...I believe that animals have a right to life that is equal to our own...
They really don't. As you move up the food chain, the predator's existence far outweighs the importance of its prey's "right to life." That's part of the natural order of things. Humans are at the top of the chain. Can we do a better job of managing the environment so that other species can thrive without facing extinction? Of course we can. But were it not for the power of reasoning and evolution, and a good deal of farming and livestock management, humans would have wiped out most if not all edible creatures by now and faced extinction themselves.

So whatever animals are still around should be grateful to humans for not wiping them out sooner! :D

Ageless Stranger
08-11-2008, 03:15 AM
But surely as we, the predator, slowly drive our prey to extinction, their right to life does indeed become more important?

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 03:28 AM
We have a responsibility to keep the food chain going so we have an adequate food supply.

regdog
08-11-2008, 03:40 AM
Human beings aren't the only species on the planet we just act like it.


And I refuse to believe we are the apex of evolution. Think about it we can't fly (planes etc don't count), can't swim fast, can't breath underwater, have a limited sense of smell, hearing and sight. And we don't have a prehensile tail so we can't swing from a tree by our butts.

Ageless Stranger
08-11-2008, 03:43 AM
And we don't have a prehensile tail so we can't swing from a tree by our butts.

That would be pretty sweet. :tongue

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 03:46 AM
Human beings aren't the only species on the planet we just act like it.


And I refuse to believe we are the apex of evolution. Think about it we can't fly (planes etc don't count), can't swim fast, can't breath underwater, have a limited sense of smell, hearing and sight. And we don't have a prehensile tail so we can't swing from a tree by our butts.
But we can think, create, imagine, invent. Our brains put us at the apex.

Silver King
08-11-2008, 03:52 AM
But surely as we, the predator, slowly drive our prey to extinction, their right to life does indeed become more important?
In the context of less numbers of a given species equals more importance for our concern for their survival, then yes, it does take on greater meaning. But it still doesn't equate to any animal's "right to life." That's a system of beliefs invented by humans to protect us from ourselves, and it was never meant to include other species.

What your argument proposes, I think, is to extend certain "rights" that have been developed to help humans flourish to also include some or all other animals.

If that's the case, who or what gives voice to other species? Us? You and I? PETA?

Oberon
08-11-2008, 04:30 AM
My T-shirt, bumper sticker for today: "You don't own the world, the World owns you." A young man once was talking to my mother (Google Mardy Murie if you want to meet her) about how we have to keep nature in balance. She said, "We don't have to balance nature, nature does that by itself. You may not like the way it balances." We are on a fragile planet, and everything we do has an effect on it. The more we chip away at the infrastructure, and that includes all the animals, plants and habitats, the closer we come to losing it all. We can make jobs for people without endangering habitats, we just need the nerve and the ingenuity to do it. We need the animals, they don't need us. Being top of the food chain applies only to predation, not civilization. It's not a question of rights, it's a question of survival. We have to think in terms of survival, and eliminating more habitats and more rain forests - think oxygen and medicine - is the wrong way to go. Each species as it goes extinct is like the canary in the mine, it is a warning that things are not good for survival. It's not the animal itself, it's the place. And I'm sorry, but creating jobs for a few people, even a few thousand people, for the present century should not depend on destroying more animals or more territory for life-giving plants and functioning ecosystems that could help support us in the future.

It's in my DNA, I make no apology.

Silver King
08-11-2008, 04:43 AM
...I refuse to believe we are the apex of evolution. Think about it we can't fly (planes etc don't count), can't swim fast, can't breath underwater, have a limited sense of smell, hearing and sight. And we don't have a prehensile tail so we can't swing from a tree by our butts.
That's true. But we've developed tools to compensate for all of the above, and then some. I'd say the "apex" was achieved about sixty years ago, technically, and the rest was a rapid progression leading up to the "space age" and who knows what the hell else awaits us next.

Ever stop to wonder that it's only been about one hundred years since humans learned to fly? It's astonishing when you consider the technological strives we've made since then. We're out in space now, exploring other planets and scanning the universe for signs of life elsewhere. One day soon, we'll learn where it all started by peering far enough into the past to glimpse the birth of our universe. Then maybe we'll see God's face up close, a mixture of super novas and black holes, infinite light mixed with never ending darkness, unlike any image we ever expected to see.

Williebee
08-11-2008, 04:54 AM
Hey Oberon? Yay, Mom!

As to the "apex" thing, I agree with SK's take on our place in the food chain, but I'd ask us to consider that it's more like we are "currently" at the apex. And we have to hope that nothing better comes along.

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 05:20 AM
Considering how long evolution takes, I'm not holding my breath.

joyce
08-11-2008, 05:28 AM
I agree with Oberon. As I've stated before, my signature line says how I feel.

Tocotin
08-11-2008, 05:37 AM
We are animals too.

Pup
08-11-2008, 06:07 AM
As to the "apex" thing, I agree with SK's take on our place in the food chain, but I'd ask us to consider that it's more like we are "currently" at the apex. And we have to hope that nothing better comes along.

I don't think we are. The better species are already here. Sure, we can force extinction of species that are adapted only to a specific environment and can't readapt quickly, but suppose we wanted to wipe out the most common species of fleas? Or cockroaches? Or flies? Or spiders? Or, for that matter, e. coli? Or any of the various viruses (if you count those as living) and bacteria that use us as hosts? We won the war with smallpox, but it's a neck-and-neck arms race between most other germs and our antibiotics. I think we'd have a lot of trouble making extinct even the most common species of rats and mice.

True, some of those co-exist with us without directly harming us, while others place us farther down on their food chain. But if the idea is that we have the power to kill or save all other species, I don't think we always do.

Fenika
08-11-2008, 06:15 AM
But we can think, create, imagine, invent. Our brains put us at the apex.

It put us at One apex, and there are animals that beat us in many intelligence subcategories.

And for all the people that think we are so great for being smart, how many actually apply themselves?

JoNightshade
08-11-2008, 06:25 AM
We are animals too.

This is an important point. People always want to separate "humans" and "nature." But in fact we are a part of nature. Our technology, our industry - everything we do and build is a part of nature. There is no separation there.

Which begs the question, what are other species doing to preserve other species' habitats? What does the lion do to preserve the gazelle? Absolutely nothing. We are indeed unique in our concern for the world.

My point is that we have no intrinsic "natural" responsibility to protect any other animals, except to maintain our own self-preservation. However, I believe that responsibility was given to us by God.

joyce
08-11-2008, 07:36 AM
This is an important point. People always want to separate "humans" and "nature." But in fact we are a part of nature. Our technology, our industry - everything we do and build is a part of nature. There is no separation there.

Which begs the question, what are other species doing to preserve other species' habitats? What does the lion do to preserve the gazelle? Absolutely nothing. We are indeed unique in our concern for the world.

My point is that we have no intrinsic "natural" responsibility to protect any other animals, except to maintain our own self-preservation. However, I believe that responsibility was given to us by God.

The lion doesn't kill off every last gazelle just for the sport of it. It kills for food or when threatened. We humans almost wiped out the buffalo, just for the sport of it. We've wiped out quite a few species for selfish reasons alone, like the Carolina Parakeet. Ladies wanted to wear a feather of it in their hats. We just don't kill for food. We kill because it's fun, we want the land it lives on, it's in our way, etc. etc.

In maintaining out our "self-preservation", we better hope we don't kill off all those animals. We need them stupid cows for meat, milk, leather. We need them chickens, pigs, goats, sheep and a bunch more just to survive. We even need them so we can do medical testing, to keep out dear butts alive and doing good. We need them for so much.

Sure it's our responsibility to take care of them. They've been filling our needs for centuries now. Besides, as far as I'm concerned.....we're all in this together as one big family. Since we are suppose to be the "Kings and Queens of the jungle", we need to make sure we keep the jungle healthy and in shape. I'd hate to see good ole Mother Earth give us our eviction notice. Just my humble thoughts.:)

jgold
08-11-2008, 07:38 AM
Yes! My Biology degree finally comes in handy!




Which begs the question, what are other species doing to preserve other species' habitats? What does the lion do to preserve the gazelle? Absolutely nothing. We are indeed unique in our concern for the world.


We are also unique in our destruction.

The difference is that lions don't set out to slash and burn a forest so that a road can go up in a convenient location. The lion is only concerned with today's meal.

Eliminating one species could end up eliminating ten. You never know how those plants or animals affect each other's survival, so it could be just as important to save a nasty little slug as it would be to save a beautiful Siberian Tiger. A useful organism could get lost.

Lack of diversity is bad. The moral obligation aside, it is a practical question of our survival as just another species on the planet.

Joe270
08-11-2008, 09:48 AM
Since 'Gorillas in the Mist' was in the OP, I thought this might fit in here:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/08/05/congo.gorillas/index.html


An estimated 125,000 Western lowland gorillas are living in a swamp in equatorial Africa, researchers reported Tuesday, double the number of the endangered primates thought to survive worldwide

I started a thread on this in Politics and Current Events, if folks want to comment on it.

Beach Bunny
08-11-2008, 11:56 AM
This is an important point. People always want to separate "humans" and "nature." But in fact we are a part of nature. Our technology, our industry - everything we do and build is a part of nature. There is no separation there.

Which begs the question, what are other species doing to preserve other species' habitats? What does the lion do to preserve the gazelle? Absolutely nothing.

Uh, no. The lion keeps the gazelle population healthy by weeding out the sick and the weak. There's a balance between the lion population and the gazelle population. The gazelles keep the lions from starving to death. The lions keep the gazelles from dying from diseases. If you removed one species of those species from that environment, then the other would suffer. You can see it happening here in North America with the deer population. Their top predator has in many cases been removed and scientists have seen an increase in diseases and other signs of unhealthiness in the deer. Some conservation areas periodically have controlled hunts to try to keep the deer population healthy.

We really don't know enough to allow our actions to bring about the extinction of any species. So, if it is a choice between 1,000 jobs and the extinction of a snail, then I vote for the snail. Let's use our ingenuity and creativity to find those 1,000 jobs elsewhere.

You think "It's just a snail. It couldn't cause that big of an effect." But, we really don't know that. What depends on the snail for its survival? And then what depends on that? And on around the food web until maybe the trees that are being logged depend on the snail or one of the other animals for growth and feritilization. Or maybe the Bald Eagle is part of that food web. Or maybe salmon which we fish for food is in there somewhere.

We know a lot about the ecosystems, but we don't know it all. What we do know is that a little action can have very serious, deleterious effects. And we don't know what all those actions are.

When it comes to doing something "small" to the environment we need to think about the future, not what we want or need right now.

My $1.25 on the subject. No warranty expressed or implied come with this post.

chevbrock
08-11-2008, 12:13 PM
When you talk about our well-being and the environment, most have spoken about them as two separate entities. But when you think about it, the preservation of the environment is as essential to our survivial as any other animals.

Take for example, the Amazon jungle. HUGE jungle, home to thousands of species of plants and animals. Also great soil for growing crops. But the Amazon jungle is responsible for producing an insane amount of the world's oxygen and disposing of an insane amount of the world's carbon dioxide.

Sure, the farmers need to earn a living. But if we can't breathe, there aint gonna be no one to sell it to, is there?

Unique
08-11-2008, 01:21 PM
Animals have a right to exist in their own habitats. Humans have a right (privilege, responsibility ... ??) to allow this. Obviously, I'm not speaking of domesticated animals here.

Where needs conflict - humans are supposed to be the *smarter* species. It's up to us to figure out how to accomodate both.

We don't have the right to annilihate because they're in our way.

I hope I never have to choose between an animal and a human. Of all the humans I've met & dealt with in my life, sometimes saving the animal is the better choice. I hope I never have to make it. I'm not wise enough and I can't see into the future.

Yes, I really mean that. YMMV

Tocotin
08-11-2008, 01:24 PM
I hope I never have to choose between an animal and a human. Of all the humans I've met & dealt with in my life, sometimes saving the animal is the better choice. I hope I never have to make it.

I absolutely agree with you!

robeiae
08-11-2008, 04:46 PM
This is an important point. People always want to separate "humans" and "nature." But in fact we are a part of nature. Our technology, our industry - everything we do and build is a part of nature. There is no separation there.

Which begs the question, what are other species doing to preserve other species' habitats? What does the lion do to preserve the gazelle? Absolutely nothing. We are indeed unique in our concern for the world.

My point is that we have no intrinsic "natural" responsibility to protect any other animals, except to maintain our own self-preservation. However, I believe that responsibility was given to us by God.
Well said, imo.

Wanton cruelty and the senseless killing of living things--let's not forget the flora--is something that society should work to control and eliminate, whenever possible, imo.

But mankind and all of its actions are every bit as natural as any other species and its actions. We tend to view nature as apart from civilization, but that's flawed thinking. And it's thinking that creates a sense of control on the part of mankind, control that goes both ways: control in the sense that the world is man's to do with as he pleases, and control in the sense that man can "fix" nature to save it.

There's nothing wrong with being careful, with maintaining natural habitats and the like. But not every species is destined to survive indefinitely--homo sapiens included.

regdog
08-11-2008, 04:47 PM
But we can think, create, imagine, invent. Our brains put us at the apex.


But we are not the only creature who can do those things. Apes can think about a problem and use tools to solve it. Gorillas make beds to sleep in. Orangutans use large leafy branches as umbrellas.

Octopus have been known to place rocks and shells around caves for protection. They also can figure out how to open a jar with a screw top lid to get a crab out of the jar.

We in actuality are nothing more then the fifth branch of the great ape family.

In fact 25% of our genes are the same as those of a banana. We really need to get over our species superiority complex.

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 04:55 PM
Hmm. I'll agree with you the day I read some Shakespeare-like literature by a gorilla. Or the next time octopii send a rocket to the moon.

jgold
08-11-2008, 04:56 PM
But we are not the only creature who can do those things. Apes can think about a problem and use tools to solve it. Gorillas make beds to sleep in. Orangutans use large leafy branches as umbrellas.

Octopus have been known to place rocks and shells around caves for protection. They also can figure out how to open a jar with a screw top lid to get a crab out of the jar.

We in actuality are nothing more then the fifth branch of the great ape family.

In fact 25% of our genes are the same as those of a banana. We really need to get over our species superiority complex.

I keep thinking that some day an advanced species will refer to humans as clever for being able to use tools and build stuff, just like we do with apes, the octopus and ant colonies.

NeuroFizz
08-11-2008, 05:01 PM
I always chuckle when these discussions come up, because the issue of animal rights seems to include primarily the cuddly animals. Yet, the same people piping up on the subject are surely going to get that exterminator out if there is evidence of termites chomping on the house. Where are the termites' rights? And that little mosquito is just trying to get a blood meal so she can lay her eggs and keep her species going. Swat her? Where are her rights? And if a cockroach runs across your food preparation counter at home, it's time to spray so much Raid on it that it drowns before it is poisoned. Rights?

But a cute, white baby seal, or a gorilla and it's so-human behavior--rights, rights, rights. And of course, those lab rats must have someone to stand up for them but heaven forbid if a feral rat is found in your garage eating Fido's dog food, or a rat nest is found in your house's crawl space, or in your walls...

How about agriculture and the management of animal pests? I believe there are still government-sponsored bounties on gophers in some Mid-West states. How about those pine beetles? What if we buy an apple and it has a worm in it?

We get all bubbly about animals of convenience or animals that are just plain esthetic, but if they are animals of inconvenience, kill the muthas.

Tocotin
08-11-2008, 05:01 PM
Hmm. I'll agree with you the day I read some Shakespeare-like literature by a gorilla. Or the next time octopii send a rocket to the moon.

Then not too many humans would pass this test either.

regdog
08-11-2008, 05:03 PM
Then not too many humans would pass this test either.
:roll::ROFL::roll::ROFL:

HeronW
08-11-2008, 05:04 PM
Hunting an animal because the powdered bone of whatever part infers potency is crap, yet it's done all the time by lackluster man. Women who adore the feel of fur should see how having a shock stick shoved up their ass feels stunning them into submission before their skin is ripped off.

That said I am a carnivore, but I don't believe in feeding cattle, pigs, and poultry the ground remains of their own kind to save on herbivore feed. Mad Cow anyone?

We can be intelligent and raise healthy feed animals, kill them humanely, and ensure a safe food consumption. We can also stop the gambling over cock fights, dog fights, bull fights, and all the other peurile macho crap that men do in the name of animal entertainment.

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 05:16 PM
Then not too many humans would pass this test either.
We've all done it collectively, as a society. Each standing on the shoulders of the next to reach for the skies, pulling everyone with us as we achieve more astounding goals, push our skills and intelligence to new limits.

Tocotin
08-11-2008, 05:26 PM
We've all done it collectively, as a society. Each standing on the shoulders of the next to reach for the skies, pulling everyone with us as we achieve more astounding goals, push our skills and intelligence to new limits.

I don't think myself important enough to take credit (or blame) for what humanity has done. But if I am to follow your logic, then I'd say I'd rather not take part in the endless parade of destruction which mankind is inflicting upon itself and the whole world. A few Shakespeares don't matter that much in the grand scheme of things. Lol. Seriously, I'd rather be a stray cat watching said world from the fence.

But, again: lol. Shakespeare or Phelps or Einstein aren't my pieces of clothing to wear at this parade.

NeuroFizz
08-11-2008, 05:29 PM
There is a HUGE difference between taking a stewardship approach to our planet and the organisms that live on it, and arguing for "animal rights."

Kitrianna
08-11-2008, 05:43 PM
In a perfect world this discussion would not be necessary. We wouldn't interfere with the animal populations and they would only hunt us when they wanted an easy meal. Alas this is not the world we live in and while I am a proponent to staying out of their affairs, unfortunately humanity has no choice but to protect the wild populations because we can't seem to leave their habitats alone.

It angers me to see people endorsing the mass hunting of a particular species, such as sharks, because they've killed a few humans over the years. If that was a reason to exterminate something, then we should start with ourselves. We are responsible for the deaths of more of our own species per day than any wild animal is probably in an entire year.

Just something to consider the next time a great white tries to make a meal of you because you went swimming in his yard.

NeuroFizz
08-11-2008, 05:47 PM
In a perfect world this discussion would not be necessary. We wouldn't interfere with the animal populations and they would only hunt us when they wanted an easy meal. Alas this is not the world we live in and while I am a proponent to staying out of their affairs, unfortunately humanity has no choice but to protect the wild populations because we can't seem to leave their habitats alone.

It angers me to see people endorsing the mass hunting of a particular species, such as sharks, because they've killed a few humans over the years. If that was a reason to exterminate something, then we should start with ourselves. We are responsible for the deaths of more of our own species per day than any wild animal is probably in an entire year.

Just something to consider the next time a great white tries to make a meal of you because you went swimming in his yard.
Guess you've never had your little daughter trip over a fire ant mound in your backyard...

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 05:49 PM
But, again: lol. Shakespeare or Phelps or Einstein aren't my pieces of clothing to wear at this parade.
Unlike many, I'm an optimist. I always look at the brightest and best of Mankind, the one's who strive to make things a better world artistically, scienfically, medically, humanly, and environmentally. They offer hope to a better tomorrow.

Tocotin
08-11-2008, 05:53 PM
Unlike many, I'm an optimist. I always look at the brightest and best of Mankind, the one's who strive to make things a better world artistically, scienfically, medically, humanly, and environmentally.

... and grammatically (sorry couldn't resist).

I'm an optimist too, by the way. But I still don't think we're going in the right way, although yes, we're having fun.

robeiae
08-11-2008, 06:04 PM
Unlike many, I'm an optimist. I always look at the brightest and best of Mankind, the one's who strive to make things a better world artistically, scienfically, medically, humanly, and environmentally. They offer hope to a better tomorrow.
Thank you...but ease up on the looking at me all the time. It's getting a little creepy.

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 06:18 PM
I'm an optimist too, by the way. But I still don't think we're going in the right way, although yes, we're having fun.
I guess your definition of optimist is vastly different from mine then.

Tocotin
08-11-2008, 06:21 PM
Maybe. Or I just believe we are still able to change the direction, and still have fun.

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 06:25 PM
Whereas I believe we're already headed in the right direction.

Tocotin
08-11-2008, 06:28 PM
Them subtle differences. You're a bigger optimist than me then, which doesn't mean I'm not one.

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 06:41 PM
Hardly subtle at all. The difference is you still think we're going in the wrong direction with time to right things.

I think we've been heading in the right direction for 35+ years. I was at the first Earth Day helping clean out the local rivers. I remember when companies simply dumped their untreated hazardous waste directly into rivers and streams. I remember pollution so bad you could walk on many lakes in the united states. I remember a river in Ohio catching on fire! I remember air pollution so bad most major cities, not just LA, had smog obscuring them. I remember people not caring one bit about the environment, about animal habitats. I remember clear cutting of forest for wood was the norm. I remember when strip mining was acceptable. I remember DTD poisoning the eagles.

Now I see comebacks by many species that were on the brink of destruction, eagles, timber wolves, black footed ferrets. Our lakes and streams are clearing up.

No. Hardly a subtle difference at all.

StoryG27
08-11-2008, 06:42 PM
If people are so passionate about animals and their habitats, make a difference when and where you can. I know when I was growing up, we had a ranch and it basically became a sanctuary for a lot of wildlife because we felt some species (black bear specifically) was being pushed out. My dad (a veterinarian who works at the animal shelter) said that if there were more people like me, there would be no shelters. I don't go out and make big statements about dogs being neglected and mistreated, but when I see a stray I take it in, spend money to make it healthy, and keep it or I find it a good home. If you're concerned, do what you can where you are. Then worry about the bigger issues. I think people are passionate about different animals for a reason. If we all only cared about domesticated pets, the wildlife would suffer. If we all only cared about black bears then wolves, cougars, and grizzlies might suffer. Focus on your passions and use them to actually DO something positive.

I love what people like Steve Irwin have done for conservation, talk about a talent and passion to draw people in and make them fall in love with some hard to love creatures. If you've got a talent like that, use it. I guess I get tired of the "we're ruining the world" cries from people who don't do much about it, especially when I see a lot of good people doing their part to restore and protect. I am fortunate to see a lot of the good in humanity around me.

Kitrianna
08-11-2008, 06:51 PM
Guess you've never had your little daughter trip over a fire ant mound in your backyard...

Actually I have been bitten repeatedly by fire ants on several occassions. Mainly because I didn't grow up around the buggers and didn't know what to look for. It hurts like a b**ch, I know. My deepest sympathies to your daughter, but fire ants are not a native species to the U.S. They were introduced by careless *gasp* humans.

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 06:52 PM
If you go to http://www.care2.com/, you can sign up and do just a little to help the environment. They have a Click to donate (http://www.care2.com/click2donate/) area where you click on Save the Rain Forest or Save the Big Cats and with each click, advertisers contribute dollars to those causes. Its a small thing, but its something.

Kitrianna
08-11-2008, 06:53 PM
Thanks SF. :)

Tocotin
08-11-2008, 06:54 PM
I think some people are doing the right thing, yes, but only some. What needs to be done, is being done too slowly sometimes, and sometimes it's dismissed as secondary compared to more necessary needs. You're talking about USA I presume? I've been living in Asia for one-third of my life and my experiences tell me not everything is going so well, just because not all countries can afford to concentrate on environmental problems and such. We won't even know when we cross the line and it becomes too late; the world is too complicated and messy to allow us to.

robeiae
08-11-2008, 06:57 PM
Actually I have been bitten repeatedly by fire ants on several occassions. Mainly because I didn't grow up around the buggers and didn't know what to look for. It hurts like a b**ch, I know. My deepest sympathies to your daughter, but fire ants are not a native species to the U.S. They were introduced by careless *gasp* humans.That seems like a cop-out. So what if they aren't "native" to the U.S.? What does that matter?

And btw, animals and plants proliferate and move to different locales in all sorts of different ways. Traveling with other, larger animals is a common way of doing that. So the "careless" humans are still doing what they are doing as a functioning part of nature. *gasp*

Kitrianna
08-11-2008, 06:57 PM
Ack! Tocotin...you live near those giant hornets, don't you *shudders* Yes, yes I am addicted to Animal Planet and National Geographic Channel.:)

Kitrianna
08-11-2008, 06:59 PM
The point robeiae is that once again we, as in the human race, are responsible for not only other animals suffering, but our own in this case. We tinker with nature and look what it gets us. Fire ants where they don't belong and "killer" bees.

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 07:01 PM
I think some people are doing the right thing, yes, but only some. What needs to be done, is being done too slowly sometimes, and sometimes it's dismissed as secondary compared to more necessary needs.
I notice you're living in Tokyo. How is the air there? I remember hearing something like 25 years ago that the air pollution was so bad, traffic cops could only stay outside to direct traffic for a few minutes before they had to go inside for oxygen.

Have things improved in that area?


The point robeiae is that once again we, as in the human race, are responsible for not only other animals suffering, but our own in this case. We tinker with nature and look what it gets us. Fire ants where they don't belong and "killer" bees.

We tinker and make mistakes as we expand our knowledge. I believe we also learn from those mistakes. The Great Lakes are full of zebra mussels because no one knew anything about them 35 years ago. There's carp in the Mississippi, again because we didn't know. But we do know and we're trying our best to take care of it.

As stewarts we're often ignorant of the things we do, but we try to correct them as soon as we realize we screwed up.

NeuroFizz
08-11-2008, 07:04 PM
In case anyone is taking my posts the wrong way I do strongly believe in stewardship of our planet and its inhabitants. But I just see so much hypocrisy (potential and real) in the animal rights movements, so I'll not have anything to do with them.

Kitrianna
08-11-2008, 07:07 PM
In case anyone is taking my posts the wrong way I do strongly believe in stewardship of our planet and its inhabitants. But I just see so much hypocrisy (potential and real) in the animal rights movements, so I'll not have anything to do with them.

Don't forget the careful spin they put on the facts to make more people sympathetic to their "cause". I won't join an organization myself, but I'll still try to help animals if I can...except insects. *shudders* Six legged freaks...

NeuroFizz
08-11-2008, 07:09 PM
The point robeiae is that once again we, as in the human race, are responsible for not only other animals suffering, but our own in this case. We tinker with nature and look what it gets us. Fire ants where they don't belong and "killer" bees.
Animals taking advantage of new opportunities to colonize new habitats is a staple of Nature that has been going on for millions of years. We humans are not unique in aiding this process. And for every instance in which a pest has been "imported" we have successes where we have brought animals or plant species in to help with an environmental problem. Should we only count the bad examples?

robeiae
08-11-2008, 07:14 PM
The point robeiae is that once again we, as in the human race, are responsible for not only other animals suffering, but our own in this case. We tinker with nature and look what it gets us. Fire ants where they don't belong and "killer" bees.
But you're avoiding Neurofizz's point, I think. The "native" stuff is inconsequential.

Fire ants are dangerous to people. So, can people treat their property to kill fire ants, in order to protect their families? And what about termites? Tenting kills billions (trillions?) of termites every year. Is that morally wrong? And rats. Live and let live in your home?

That said, I'm with the Ferret and Neurofizz: good stewardship, whenever possible.

veinglory
08-11-2008, 07:17 PM
Ah yes. Success like in New Zealand when we imported rabbits which destroyed both not only wild areas but farm pasture, so we imported stoats which ignored the rabbits and ate the native birds driving many to extinction.

I can think of a sum total of one import tha helped the environment, dune retaining grass. Against that there are mice, rats, stoats, ferrets, weasels, feral cats and dogs, frogs, pigs, goats, starlings, rabbits, wild horses... and insects, plants and diseases to numerous to even think of mentioning.

Biodiversity is in the toilet and we have just gotten used to what destryed ecosystems looks like on continents like America where most of the native excosystems and a majority of the species are already extinct.

Kitrianna
08-11-2008, 07:18 PM
Personally and you would notcie if you paid attention, I don't consider insects to need protecting. I'd rather see them flattened under my shoe or a nice rolled up newspaper, but hey...it's morning and not everyone's eyes are open. I like the animals that are big and have REALLY sharp teeth. :D The rest of 'em aren't bad either.

Tocotin
08-11-2008, 07:19 PM
Hm, I have never heard about the traffic cops. Are you sure it was in Japan, not in China or Thailand?

The air in Tokyo has improved recently because of high oil & gasoline prices; people aren't using cars that much any more. Also, Tokyo has a very efficient and well-developed railway & subway system. Overall, it wouldn't be that bad if not for the heat ;)

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 07:25 PM
Hm, I have never heard about the traffic cops. Are you sure it was in Japan, not in China or Thailand?


Here's a Time article from 1967. What I spoke of is mentioned at the bottom of the third paragraph. (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,843491,00.html)

robeiae
08-11-2008, 07:26 PM
Ah yes. Success like in New Zealand when we imported rabbits which destroyed both not only wild areas but farm pasture, so we imported stoats which ignored the rabbits and ate the native birds driving many to extinction.

I can think of a sum total of one import that helped the environment, dune retaining grass. Against that there are mice, rats, stoats, ferrets, weasels, feral cats and dogs, frogs, pigs, goats, starlings, rabbits, wild horses... and insects, plants and diseases to numerous to even think of mentioning.

Biodiversity is in the toilet and we have just gotten used to what destryed ecosystems looks like on continents like America where most of the native excosystems and a majority of the species are already extinct.
In the Everglades, we have a snake problem (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/06/0603_040603_invasivespecies.html), from pet pythons and the like being released into the wild. We allso have a bit of a parrot problem, mostly because of a place called Parrot Jungle being destroyed by Hurricane Andrew.

But you know, the world has never been a static place. There's no question that man's activities have altered ecosystems, but they always get altered, on way or another. Man certainly does it faster and with some spectacularly bad results, but that's part of the system, as well. And again, I think we should be wary of what we do, but no matter how careful we are, our presence will change things, since man has ventured into almost every ecosystem on the planet.

robeiae
08-11-2008, 07:30 PM
Personally and you would notcie if you paid attention, I don't consider insects to need protecting. I'd rather see them flattened under my shoe or a nice rolled up newspaper, but hey...it's morning and not everyone's eyes are open. I like the animals that are big and have REALLY sharp teeth. :D The rest of 'em aren't bad either.
I don't understand how you can think insects don't matter. If we wiped out every insect on the planet, every ecosystem would crash, the food chain would be destroyed. Insects are animals, too. And that was Neurofizz's point: hypocrisy.

Kitrianna
08-11-2008, 07:34 PM
Did I say EVERY insect? There are billions of the little and sometimes not so little buggers. They are some of the few animals on the planet that don't need protection. Insects are notoriously adaptable and breed at a rate that would leave a rabbit envious, but I am tired of defending every statement to you because you seem to assume you understand my point. I understand it is Monday and it isn't a great day, but give me a break and stop jumping down my throat every chance you get.

Woodsie
08-11-2008, 07:35 PM
I voted for the first choice, but recognize the third as a very close second.

In my opinion, our position in the ecosystem as the dominant species gives us the responsibility to look out for the other species. Even if it's only for self preservation (keeping the food chain in perspective). On the other hand, if I were in a situation where I had to choose between a human life and an animal (even if it was endangered) I would choose the human (unless I knew too much about him). :) On a larger scale, when we're talking thousands of acres of natural habitat being destroyed for the advances of the human race, I would have to be a lot slower with which choice I would make, so I don't have an answer for that one. Humans have the means to destroy the habitats of other species and we effect their individual life spans as well as the life span of their species in it's entirety. The reverse is not an option, so there will eventually be a day where we have wiped out too much and end up destroying ourselves. Great respect and wisdom are needed, when making decisions for animals, to prolong our lives and health as humans.

NeuroFizz
08-11-2008, 07:40 PM
If we wiped out all of the insects, we would have one hell of a pollination problem for all of those wonderful plants we are trying to keep from decline or extinction. We would also have some serious problems with many of the fruits and vegetables we rely on for food.

And while we are on plants, why just animal rights. Why not plant rights as well? They are living organisms. Support your local crabgrass...

Stewardship (taking best care of our planet, including its living organisms) doesn't get bogged down in the ethical hyprocisy of the rights movements.

robeiae
08-11-2008, 07:43 PM
Did I say EVERY insect? There are billions of the little and sometimes not so little buggers. They are some of the few animals on the planet that don't need protection. Insects are notoriously adaptable and breed at a rate that would leave a rabbit envious, but I am tired of defending every statement to you because you seem to assume you understand my point. I understand it is Monday and it isn't a great day, but give me a break and stop jumping down my throat every chance you get.
I'm not "jumping down your throat." If you don't want to discuss it, fine.

But if I don't understand your point, you can explain it, no? As to Mondays...I like 'em.

Kitrianna
08-11-2008, 07:44 PM
Normally so do I, but this morning I'm screwing my eyes up running through online classifieds trying to find an apartment we can afford by Friday. This Monday sucks.

joyce
08-11-2008, 08:44 PM
I just feel we are all a part of the circle of life on this planet. We as humans have done some pretty stupid things to the environment, which affect us as well as the plants and animals. We also have tried to correct some of those stupid mistakes, such as the use of DDT. I'm not a "tree hugger" by any means, but I do try my best to make the environment around me a little better place to live in for all concerned. I've stated on this board before that I've turned my yard into a habitat that animals, birds, insects and anything else that wants to live there, can thrive in. It was a simple task that has given me many hours of enjoyment.

The Indian River where I live is sick. I'm an avid fisherwoman and have lived in this area my whole life. The run off of fertilizer from all the lush green lawns have made the river sick. You can no longer make a living off the river. You can't eat the clams (if you can even find them anymore) and your lucky to catch a fish. If you do catch one, it's filled with sores and is sick. I very rarely will even eat one and have been a "catch & release" type person for years now. If I had to vote for a green lush lawn or a healthy river, I'm for the river. We as humans don't need perfect grass to live.

I think we are trying, but we can still do better. We all need each other, plants & animals included, to survive. If we remove them from the grand scheme of things, we as humans will perish.

Shadow_Ferret
08-11-2008, 09:56 PM
So, on the way home today I'm listening to this local conservative talk show host (don't look at me like that, I was waiting for the Brewers game to start) and he starts talking about rattlesnakes. Saying that years ago there was a bounty on rattlesnakes. You'd get money for bringing dead one in. Now, according to him, there are people actually crying that the rattlesnakes are near extinction.

Then he says, "They're rattlesnakes! Why wouldn't you want to wipe them out? THey're poisonous."

And I felt an aurism burst and started shouting at the radio. Rattlesnakes eat things. They are predators. What do they eat? Mice, rats, vermin. You get rid of the rattlesnakes, mice, rats, vermin are now predator-free and start to multiply. What do mice, rats, vermin eat? Grain. Corn. Things farmers grow to survive. A rat population boom is bad. Ergo rattlesnakes are good.

Reminds me of how people used to go crazy killing sharks if someone was attacked. I can't remember when this happened but a shark killed someone in Hawaii, so the fishermen went on a killing spree, killing all these large sharks.

Guess what happened? The fisherman started discovering that there were no more FISH to catch? Why? Because the big sharks that they wiped out, kept the little sharks in check. A little shark population boom nearly wiped out the game fish.

Everything has a purpose.

Woodsie
08-11-2008, 10:02 PM
...the cruel way these animals are treated during their short lives ...The unspeakably tortureous way these animals lives come to an end ...

I recently saw a video that showed footage which was taken at different farms and factories showing the cruel treatment to the animals. While I recognize the horror and even cried at points, I also recognized that I was seeing the worst conditions possible to prove a point. My thoughts following the video were geared toward the desire to not be a supporter/consumer of those conditions, but still play the same part in the food chain that works for my family.

I've decided to take the effort to purchase organic meats and support the local farms in my region.

Tink
08-11-2008, 10:07 PM
I couldn't agree more, Shadow Ferret. I live in the country and without snakes we would be in big trouble here. Grain-bins populate the country side more than humans do here so could you imagine if we had no snakes to help keep the mice, rats, etc. population down? It would be horrible. My mom use to kill every snake that she saw until about five yrs. ago when I convinced her that they were useful and in the most case 'not agressive' unless provoked or stepped on...she stopped her killing spree and to her utter amazement she didn't have to fight so many mice and rats that following harvest...I would like to say that I didn't say, "I told you so..." but I would be lying. Now she goes around preachin' at folks about the benefits of 'Not' killing snakes.

joyce
08-11-2008, 10:13 PM
So, on the way home today I'm listening to this local conservative talk show host (don't look at me like that, I was waiting for the Brewers game to start) and he starts talking about rattlesnakes. Saying that years ago there was a bounty on rattlesnakes. You'd get money for bringing dead one in. Now, according to him, there are people actually crying that the rattlesnakes are near extinction.

Then he says, "They're rattlesnakes! Why wouldn't you want to wipe them out? THey're poisonous."

And I felt an aurism burst and started shouting at the radio. Rattlesnakes eat things. They are predators. What do they eat? Mice, rats, vermin. You get rid of the rattlesnakes, mice, rats, vermin are now predator-free and start to multiply. What do mice, rats, vermin eat? Grain. Corn. Things farmers grow to survive. A rat population boom is bad. Ergo rattlesnakes are good.

Reminds me of how people used to go crazy killing sharks if someone was attacked. I can't remember when this happened but a shark killed someone in Hawaii, so the fishermen went on a killing spree, killing all these large sharks.

Guess what happened? The fisherman started discovering that there were no more FISH to catch? Why? Because the big sharks that they wiped out, kept the little sharks in check. A little shark population boom nearly wiped out the game fish.

Everything has a purpose.

I think that shark thing happened in the early 90's when a woman was swimming and got it by a Tiger shark. The rattlesnake thing is sad. I can't remember the last time I saw one around here that was alive. The last one I saw was run over and must have been about six feet long. We use to have a large population of Indigo snakes around here....big harmless suckers, but no more. I know more people who just kill the snake because it's a snake, than let it live. They never take into consideration what the snake is really doing for us. There's a community next to where I live that is determined to catch all the squirrels and ship them out of the area. It cracks me up because as soon as their squirrels are shipped away, new ones from the surrounding areas move in.

heyjude
08-11-2008, 10:14 PM
I recently saw a video that showed footage which was taken at different farms and factories showing the cruel treatment to the animals. While I recognize the horror and even cried at points, I also recognized that I was seeing the worst conditions possible to prove a point. My thoughts following the video were geared toward the desire to not be a supporter/consumer of those conditions, but still play the same part in the food chain that works for my family.

I've decided to take the effort to purchase organic meats and support the local farms in my region.

People are getting more and more savvy to the horrors of factory farming every day. Google Meet Your Meat if you're interested. I saw the pictures from a pig farm raid many years ago. I'm with KrystalR, I can't bear the thought of those beautiful creatures beaten, starved, neglected... Chickens crammed into cages so small they can't spread their wings...

And say what you want about PETA, they're trying hard to protect those who have no voice.

RLB
08-11-2008, 10:23 PM
I've decided to take the effort to purchase organic meats and support the local farms in my region.

This is a great option. Aside from animal cruelty issues that occur on the massed-produced beef/chicken/pork scale, it makes great sense health-wise (no hormones, cows and chickens eating what they were meant to eat, not being force-fed corn products and other unsavory things, hence better for us to eat) and environment-wise (no huge, centralized pens that are dumping grounds for the by-products of the chemicals the animals are being fed, animals sustaining and renewing the environment, etc).

I recently read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, which was a fascinating look at our industrialized food chain, and didn't rely at all on sensational, shock-value sorts of gimmicks to make a point.

So I'm trying to go local and organic, especially with meats. It's a slow process, and requires rebudgeting and reprioritizing, but I think well worth it.

That said, I still indugle in the occasional 2-for-1 chicken sales at the grocery.

Baby steps.

Woodsie
08-11-2008, 10:27 PM
Google Meet Your Meat if you're interested. I saw the pictures from a pig farm raid many years ago.

That's exactly what I stumbled upon. The video on the main page is the very video that I referred to. Horrific, but nessesary (no spell check and that word gets me every time) viewing. I say the 'n' word (I can't bare to misspell it again) because I prefer uncomfortable education over ignorant bliss. (The use of the words 'ignorant' and 'bliss' are only for the purpose of pregnant writing and not for the purpose of name calling or offensive suggestions.)

As for meat, I will be much more responsible with my choices from here out.

Oberon
08-11-2008, 11:44 PM
Veinglory, I was in New Zealand with my father, to study just the kind of thing you talked about. In this case, elk and red deer transplanted from my home town in Wyoming and Europe to provide sport for hunters. The deer and elk and other game animals were eating the plants that were holding the soil on steep mountainsides from slipping. There were serious scars where whole sides of hills, in the torrential rains of the Fiordlands, had slid away, causing deep scars of erosion. Rabbits imported to eat the gorse (brought from Europe as seeds in folk's trousers) preferred the tastier, delicate native plants. Stoats brought in to eat the rabbits found the flightless birds much easier prey. When you don't know what you're doing, you shouldn't do it.

A noted conservationist coined the phrase, "Think globally, act locally." So take care of your own back yard, do what you can to solve local problems, think about how you can save energy, don't wait for Washington. Politicians will do nothing big enough or soon enough. And when you can, find a quiet "natural" place where you can just sit or lie for a bit and listen to the world. You'd be surprised what you can hear.

Take care, it's your Eden.

Unique
08-12-2008, 12:42 AM
I always chuckle when these discussions come up, because the issue of animal rights seems to include primarily the cuddly animals.

...if they are animals of inconvenience, kill the muthas.
Well, I'm the chick who 'shooed' a spider out of the barn this morning. So I may be biased. But I told him - 'Out. Or your gonna die.' I found one in the shower with me. He DID die. My cat caught his cousin under the bathmat.

As long as they're outside and not in my house, I'm cool with it. And I'll even be careful about their 'house'.



That seems like a cop-out. So what if they aren't "native" to the U.S.? What does that matter?

And btw, animals and plants proliferate and move to different locales in all sorts of different ways.

Sure, Rob. Things change. That's evolution. But an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure - cheaper, too!

Some of these 'nasty buggers' don't have natural predators where they end up. Emerald ash borers and Asian Longhorned beetles, for instance. If people had been paying attention - doing their jobs (inspectors) they probably wouldn't be here.

But Noooo - we have to have tons of crap shipped over from 'wherever' & cheap. That's how things travel where they aren't supposed to. If those bugs had come over the ocean by their own means, their predators would likely have followed along.



As stewarts we're often ignorant of the things we do, but we try to correct them as soon as we realize we screwed up.

I agree. I think it's that old 'subdue' word in Genesis. It should be subdue as in guide. Subdue as protect. More like a guiding hand than a full nelson. JMO.

I think it's good we're discussing these things. As long as we're swilling beer and not giving a damn we're on a fast ride to disaster. again - JMO

robeiae
08-12-2008, 04:18 AM
Some of these 'nasty buggers' don't have natural predators where they end up. Emerald ash borers and Asian Longhorned beetles, for instance. If people had been paying attention - doing their jobs (inspectors) they probably wouldn't be here.

But Noooo - we have to have tons of crap shipped over from 'wherever' & cheap. That's how things travel where they aren't supposed to. If those bugs had come over the ocean by their own means, their predators would likely have followed along.
"Aren't supposed to"? See, you're falling in the same trap. There is no "supposed to" and "not supposed to."

This isn't a new thing, not by a long shot. But sure, with the amount of movement now, the likelihood of things ending up in new places is far greater.

And remember, you were bemoaning the lack of honeybees, not so long ago. But those honeybees are from Europe...

Unique
08-12-2008, 02:26 PM
"Aren't supposed to"? See, you're falling in the same trap. There is no "supposed to" and "not supposed to."

Zen only goes so far robeiae.



And remember, you were bemoaning the lack of honeybees, not so long ago. But those honeybees are from Europe...

Yes; I know this. That was a time when it 'worked'. Potatoes in Ireland anyone? Fed a lot of folks but when they came to depend on it and the blight struck - BLAMMO.

(Besides - if I didn't yank your chain once in a while, my life would be diminished. I would be bereft if I couldn't cross verbal swords with you once in a while. ;) )

Shadow_Ferret
08-12-2008, 04:49 PM
Invasive species "invade" all the time. Even without our help. Scientists back in November 1963, when a new island, Surtsey, was created off the shores of Iceland due to volcanic activity used it as a test site to see how soon it would take for life to migrate there. It didn't take long.

Unique
08-13-2008, 01:19 PM
Sure.

And they found pollen on top of one of the tallest mountains in Colorado from somewhere waaaay far away - like Africa or Polynesia. It was buried in the snowpack.

It happens. I just don't think the other species need our 'help'. :tongue:

Heck. I found a tumbleweed in Michigan! of all places. Where did that joker come from? It didn't blow up the road from Ohio.

joyce
08-13-2008, 09:25 PM
Sure.

And they found pollen on top of one of the tallest mountains in Colorado from somewhere waaaay far away - like Africa or Polynesia. It was buried in the snowpack.

It happens. I just don't think the other species need our 'help'. :tongue:

Heck. I found a tumbleweed in Michigan! of all places. Where did that joker come from? It didn't blow up the road from Ohio.


Last year when my husband and I were camping in North Fl. just across the Alabama line, we saw a dead coyote on the side of the road. Not that this has anything to do with this thread, but I didn't know they'd migrated to this part of the country. Yes, it was a coyote because I had to get out of the car and look at the dead thing.

Shadow_Ferret
08-13-2008, 09:56 PM
Well, I'm the chick who 'shooed' a spider out of the barn this morning.
I generally leave spiders alone that I find in the house unless

it's in our bedroom on the ceiling threatening to drop down on our heads, then it gets shooed outside. Whoa unto it if it's the middle of winter.

or

in the shower, in which I give it a fighting chance to escape but if it can't swim, well, bwahahahaha!

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-13-2008, 11:01 PM
Someone please give me a reason to feel good about mosquitos, okay?

shawkins
08-13-2008, 11:12 PM
On a larger scale, when we're talking thousands of acres of natural habitat being destroyed for the advances of the human race, I would have to be a lot slower with which choice I would make, so I don't have an answer for that one. Humans have the means to destroy the habitats of other species and we effect their individual life spans as well as the life span of their species in it's entirety.

Well, to some extent this problem is likely to be self-correcting. In epidemiologic terms, the human population of the planet is like a forest after years of drought. With all that dry fuel lying around, the next fire is likely to be big.

We've got a huge population living in very close quarters. Most of the bacterial diseases have been beaten back by modern hygiene, but we don't really have a lot of effective countermeasures to viruses. All it would take is one particularly nasty strain of flu, or maybe some exotic virus that's been living in parrot poop in the middle of the amazon for the last million years.

My grandmother was a little girl in the flu epidemic of 1917. She used to talk about how half her town died out over the course of a month.


This isn't a new thing, not by a long shot. But sure, with the amount of movement now, the likelihood of things ending up in new places is far greater.

Indeed.


Someone please give me a reason to feel good about mosquitos, okay?

They may vector in a disease that will make gas prices drop due to lack of demand.