In the past, environmentalists have generally been viewed as wussies. This is because most people equate environmentalists to protesters/hippies/PETA/etc.. I would like to say that since working for a state park where my work is centered mostly around conservation and preservation of natural resources (i.e. caring for the environment), I have enhanced my badassness 10-fold.
Some of my job responsibilities as a person taking care of the environment include:
Being a fire fighter- That’s right, and not the kind that rescues people from burning buildings, that kind that sets fires, huge fires.
Being an ax man- Cutting down invasive trees and carving cavities into pine trees for nest boxes are some of the reasons I crank up a chainsaw.
Killing things- Invasive exotic species are threatening native habitats so we kill them. Some with chemicals, others with firearms.
Driving awesome vehicles- 4-wheelers, atvs, 4x4s, 2 1/2 (or, deuce and a half) and 5 ton military trucks.. you get the idea.
All of these things are done in the name of protecting and maintaining habitat for threatened and endangered species.
On a different but related subject- Tilikum the orca
Everyone by now should know the story of Tilikum and how he has been responsible for 3 human deaths. This all could have been avoided if we simply never kidnapped him from his family in the ocean. What is infuriating to me the most, is not that they won’t free Tilikum, but that they will continue to exploit him for profit and use him to breed more orcas into imprisonment. This is not the way to educate people about orcas. What has been learned about orcas by a visit to Sea World other than how fast they can swim or how high they can jump or how big they can get? Nothing is taught about their intelligence level other than that they can learn to do tricks for fish; visitors gain no understanding of orca social structure and communication. SeaWorld also does not educate the public on the dangers that orcas in the wild face from poaching and habitat destruction. Tilikum, aging and stressed, will continue to demean himself for public amusement and produce more calves to be born in a life of slavery. If they won’t free him from captivity, can’t SeaWorld at least retire him and accept that what they do to these orcas is wrong and focus more on conservation instead of exploitation, and maybe put an end to their breeding program? Boycott SeaWorld. Let’s make a difference for these poor creatures.
It is easy to get complacent and not trouble your mind with the issues surrounding concern for the planet’s many beautiful plants and animals. The truth of the matter is that Earth is our home and we as humans, being blessed with higher intelligence and the tools for domination, need to take responsibility and own up to the fact that we are part of the animal kingdom too. We need to take care of our family and the home we share or everything will crumble in on itself and the only ones to blame will be ourselves. Even selfish people who don’t have compassion should understand that it is in their best interest to preserve nature or we will have nothing to sustain us.