Thursday, November 15, 2007

Don't Hate the Wildlife

It really bothers me when Americans get pissed off that the deer population is eating vegetation in their perfectly sculpted yards. Generally these are people who have built houses too large for their needs in areas that used to be deer habitat, and now they are upset to have four legged visitors. Are you kidding me? First, I would love to see a deer so up-close and in my very yard! How exciting to share the world with such interesting creatures.

You may be wondering why I'm on this topic. It is because of this article, about the monkey problem in New Delhi, which found its way into my mailbox today. I would love to have this problem. Actually, technically I do. I mean, it isn't a problem for me because I think having monkeys in the yard is the cat's meow, but our security guards think I'm insane to ask them to stop scaring them away. Yes, they eat the fruit growing in the trees in our yard, but what does it matter when we don't? I guess the guards have been eating it, but it isn't really their fruit, so they can't be too upset that I'm happy to share with the monkeys. I guess if the monkeys started to steal my jelly bellies there would be a problem, but they haven't shown any interest yet.

I am aware that my black-faced langurs are not as comfortable attacking people as the Indian macaques, but still, they are only causing this problem because their habitat is gone. You can't take away someone's home and expect that they will just disappear (though it has worked for some species -- check out the recently updated Red List for examples). The monkeys have to go somewhere and humans are easily scared into handing over that coveted can of coca-cola.

Of course, I'm not advocating giving away soda to the monkeys -- it is very bad for them and they should know better. If we are going to allow the human population to grow exponentially then we will have to deal with sharing space with wildlife. I'm sure you would all agree that a world without these interesting creatures would be awful. Think back to kindergarten and try to remember your lessons on sharing -- you'll need them for the deer.


Meghan said...

i love this post jessica! I agree with every word (and the title makes me smile).

by the by, that comment you left on my pantyhose post? Its causing quite an uproar. Closest thing to controversial my blog has every seen. :)

Susy said...

Hey Jessica- thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog...(i'll be making more, btw)
I totally agree. I was raised to love the animals who we share space with. I's icky when someone cultivating 'nature' with a humongous, manicured lawn or the like wouldn't know real nature even if it came up and nibbled on them.

Rafael said...

Today seems a fitting post as November 15th is Steve Irwin Day.

Anyone who moves into a new neighborhood has to be respectful of the established order of that neighborhood. It would do us humans well to take this approach not only with other humans but with our animal friends as well. It is better for all of us if we can share resources, be flexible and understand our habitat.