I pay extra on my satellite television bills because I want my favorite channels – National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Discovery Channel, and Animal Planet. I need those channels. As much as I like a good sitcom or drama, or sporting event, I spend more time watching shows on those four networks than all the others combined. And I often find myself buying wildlife documentaries as well. Recently, I actually downloaded the guidelines and information about becoming a licensed field guild in South Africa so I could work with animals. Why I don’t is totally beyond me. Seriously, it’s not as hard or expensive as I first thought …
Anyway, I’ve always had an affinity for animals. I grew up a 4 hour drive from the Rocky Mountains. Every summer I’d spend weeks camping and fishing in the mountains and surrounding foothills and forestry area. I cannot imagine growing up any other way. My first vacation when I moved to the Middle East was a 24 day African safari where I visited four different countries in hopes I’d see all the animals I dreamt of seeing (I didn’t but I since have – except for the honey badger but he’s a bitch to see).
I posted my bucket list a while back, and a lot of the entries revolve around taking photos of animals in their natural environment. And sadly, because mankind are fucking idiots, that might not be possible in a couple of decades. And I’m not pointing fingers at any one race; we’re all guilty of being fucktards in this particular situation. And it bugs the Hell out of me how we call ourselves the superior species!!
I recently watched three different three-part documentaries by the BBC about three different regions – The Amazon, Bhutan, and an island in the South Pacific. Each one dealt with the drastic loss of wildlife as populations exploded or if the natural resources of the area were exploited due to the exploding populations of people, or the ones that really get me furious – the notion that if I sprinkle dust from a dried-out gall bladder from a tiger I’ll have a better hard-on and be increasingly fertile. I don’t get mad often, but this subject really brings out the ire in me.
The Bhutan documentary mentions that over 90% of all tigers in the wild have been killed in the last century, leaving less than 3000 of them in the wild. There are but tiny pockets of them in India now, most confined to reserves, but the reserves aren’t large enough to provide the proper ranges that tigers need to survive and thrive. The hope was that tigers were living in the wild in Bhutan, and living higher up the Himalayas there, so they could construct a “tiger corridor” along the Himalayan nations. The dream of it is good, the reality is probably bleak. As long as people are willing to pay thousands of more dollars for pieces of tigers and other animals than the workers protecting them are being paid, poaching will still happen and numbers will dwindle. And as long as we keep chopping down trees to build condos and shopping malls because mankind is intent on being the only species on the Earth, the natural habitat will continue to shrink.
Yes, this blog sounds awfully preachy. I wanted to just come out and say we are all fucking idiots and leave it at that but that isn’t right either. You know, we’re a sensitive species when it comes to ourselves. You know what else bugs me? When we put down an animal at a zoo or wildlife park because it attacks someone who was being an idiot and fell into the animal’s cage. As far as I’m concerned, that animal did us all a favor by weeding out the bad genes from the gene pool. If he’s dumb enough to climb on an animal’s cage or “cool” enough to pose for that photo while standing on the railing over the animal’s den, I’m sorry, but he’s dumb enough and cool enough to be the “Fucking idiot meets toothy death” headline on all global newspapers the next day.
Yeah, someone must have pissed me off royally today, and instead of screaming, hitting something, or snapping in another way, I vent about how I prefer animals to people on days like this. And let’s be honest here, is one more shopping mall or condominium really worth the extinction of another dozen or so species?
Believe it or not, I’m actually smiling and looking forward to the weekend. I might just avoid big groups of people.