Hoping for Hope

I’m discouraged. It seems that almost everyone’s a conservationist these days — until a coyote moves into our backyard; or we need to pour concrete over Asian rice paddies to build subdivisions for the expanding middle class; or when Walmart advertises a sale on cheap wooden picnic tables that no one realizes were made from old growth trees in Siberia. But who can blame anyone for wanting to live a happy life in a happy place?

Almost every day my mood is dampened by a story of humans versus Nature, and there are rarely happy endings for the wildlife involved. My Danish neighbor brags that he hunts elephants in Africa, yet in his spare time he performs as a clown for children in hospitals. Does he show the children his “great white hunter” photos?

In Asia, one can find a tiger on beer bottles and airline logos, but its roar has not been heard outside of a zoo for many decades. In Africa, bull elephants and rhinos are killed daily, shot by poachers whose weapons are poisoned arrows, large caliber bullets and a cunning fueled by greed.

The last tiger in Singapore...

The last tiger of Singapore…

I’m really in need of a happy story right now — and I’m quite sure I’m not alone. I know there are millions of us who care — but is there any hope out there? This is not a rhetorical question — I honestly don’t know. When I wake up tomorrow I hope to be feeling more optimistic…


6 Comments on “Hoping for Hope

  1. Made myself unpopular In Spain . At the two bullfights i attended in the 60’s, in my loudest voice, (which is rather loud) I always cheered for the BULL. Two bullfighters and thousands of attendees heard me yell “Carnicero”,

    jeering operatically at their butchered attempts to put their bulls away. Pathetic attempts to make slaughter an art form. At least the only honest creatures in the ring, unlike elephants and tigers, were renewable, unendangered resources

    • Imagining your shouts made me laugh, John, although I’m quite sure I could never endure watching a bullfight. I spent an afternoon at my local cockfighting arena in the Philippines for a photography assignment — and hopefully I’ll never need to go back.

  2. India…. never forget “The Power of One”!! Next time you wake up in your home and are greeted by the grateful (if not hungry) chatter of your menagerie, perhaps a more cheerful post will begin to write itself. We can’t save them all, but to those we have helped, we MATTER:-) Consider all the efforts to ban transport of shark fins…. how about the latest ban on whaling in Japan… Maybe, just MAYBE there IS a glimmer of hope?

    • Thank you for your reminder, dory silver! I need to go home — it’s been a month since I’ve seen those eager and grateful animal eyes.

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