Philospot

Following on from the previous post, somewhat, it seems to me that the way we treat megafauna - especially keystone predators - is a reliable indicator of how we will treat the rest of nature. Why? Because they are inconvenient. We think they'll eat our children and/or our pets. Which, of course, they might well do. Here's a heartwarming story of a very brave dog and a narrow escape.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/canada/6933888/Canadian-familys-dog-saves-11-year-old-boy-from-cougar.html

(I should point out however: wolves hardly ever do this sort of thing).

We humans hate to be inconvenienced. Actually doing something to counter global warming, or, in my opinion, the even more worrying (given its irreversibility) acidification of the sea:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/copenhagen-climate-change-confe/6781789/Copenhagen-climate-summit-Britain-will-suffer-as-seas-become-more-acidic.html

Well, that's just a lot of bother really - let's not believe in it instead.

But what we forget in all the inconvenience what these animals, particularly the dangerous ones, add to the world. Because of the rather Draconian leash laws of Miami-Dade County, I go running with my dog Hugo on some waste ground that MDC hasn't got around to properly policing. Neither of us like running with him leashed - it messes up our rhythm. There are lots of snakes. We follow certain protocols - he stays at my heels unless I say its OK, etc. I'm not a big fan of snakes - they make me distinctly twitchy to say the least. The snakes are inconvenient. But at the same time they add something undeniably valuable to the run. I can't quite put my finger on what. But it certainly makes the run a lot more interesting and challenging. It's actually a privilege to be out there with these slithery, fanged little bastards.

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