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.
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…