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April 21, 2006


ew - I wrote a Welcome Home to you the other day. When I wrote those words it made me wince a little. I was hoping the emotion I felt typing would come through. As usual, your eloquence is beautiful. This is your home, my home, all of ours. It deserves to be protected, honored, respected and treated with kindness and care. Thanks for your words.

I am not impressed. Not that anyone really cares. ::grin::

ardant: 'pockets not 'wheel but thanks all the same!
sue: writing rarely to impress, mostly to express -- and if someone cares, then hooray!

Sorry ' pockets. VERY well done!

Hi, emptypockets, Off Topic,
I remembered your very fine, "The Right Not to Die Uselessly" recently when I read a good WaPo article about coyotes in DC and surrounding suburbs. I couldn't get a link to the actual article in case you missed it, but this link takes you to the WaPo's online chat, if you are interested.

John Casper, thanks for that link -- great article, and I'd missed it. I did find the whole piece online here but it took a little creative googling. The problem of living with wild animals is only going to grow as our suburbs sprawl further, and coyotes and other "native Americans" are squeezed out of their habitats into tinier undeveloped spaces. It is encouraging that even the pro-kill side seems to respect the animals' lives and not to be killing them thoughtlessly. As one trapper is quoted in the article, "The Canadian government has done a lot of tests -- so traps are more humane than they used to be... But my job is to go out and trap an animal and kill it, so how is that humane? How is death humane?"

In light of that, and the fact that this is just the beginning of a major decision we'll need to make over the next 50 - 100 years about how we preserve native species in the country, that program in Vancouver is especially encouraging. There are really only two possibilities -- segregation (confining humans to cities or, more likely, animals to preserves or zoos) or integration. That the integration program has been so cheap, simple, and effective is really inspiring. There was a dust-up here in NYC last year over some wild red-tail hawks that have been living on the side of a (premiere) apartment building for over a decade, and that was ultimately also resolved in a way where humans could live more comfortably with the animals, and all the wildlife-lovers can continue to enjoy a little nature in their backyards (or on the web at palemale.com).

To bring it back around to the post above, there was one town I visited that apparently receives a small plague of locusts ("les cigales") every summer. These seem to be nasty enormous cockroach-looking things that make loud "tcheetchee" noises that would drive me nuts. But the damn things are on every piece of souvenir artsy-craft you can buy in the village, from dresses to pottery to refrigerator magnets and plush animals. They have been totally embraced by the town. (It is as if NYC's logo were a huge rat.) I guess the line between pest and mascot is really up to us.

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