Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Animals could give a crap about our romantic wishes for their habitats.

From the monorail at Newark International Airport in New Jersey, I looked down at an oil-slicked, concrete-lined drainage creek to see a muskrat happily going about his business. The airplane runway was just a few meters away --- planes coming and going on a normal Friday.

And next to the Amtrak platform at the airport is a barbed wire fence with thousands of plastic bags clinging to it --- New Jersey’s quintessential scene of urban decay. The fence separates the platform from a garbage dump. The only sounds are the screeches of seagulls and front end loaders moving trash. The swarm of birds was bigger than I’ve seen at any beach.

Animals have no sense of aesthetics and will generally live wherever the food is. People, on the other hand, imagine an animal’s ideal habitat as some pristine wilderness but this is plain fantasy. The animal kingdom will take the edge of a runway or the waste dump of humanity just as much as they’ll choose a sun-soaked beach, babbling brook or untouched tropical rainforest. There’s something elegant in that.

btw, I'm back in the USA.
Sounds like a nice welcome party...welcome back.
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