I realize I’ve always felt a bit uncomfortable when commercial and institutional projects describe themselves as an ‘ecosystem restoration’ project. Such undertakings often emphasize the importance of native flora, while attempting to control the overall flow of its fauna because it might endanger the public and also drive their maintenance staff crazy.
Human interests have long been a hindrance to the cycles of nature. Even the resilient design mantra “working with nature” suggests we choose which aspects of nature to collaborate with and which should be controlled for our own purposes and interests.
Though I don’t agree with most of his worldview, the late 90s comedian George Carlin found an effective way of criticizing and exposing cultural mindsets harmful to the environment. Carlin’s humor used exaggeration to fashion crude, yet eloquent stories criticizing irrational human behavior.
Inspired by Carlin, the following is my take about stereotypical speciesism:
“I love taking a walk around the neighborhood with Pesky, my wolfdog; quite a beautiful dog but sometimes he misbehaves. That has changed since he’s now wearing a shock collar during the day. He’s great protecting the new barn from foxes and coyotes, though I can’t say much about chasing rabbits…those creatures.They creep under the bear fence just to eat from my garden – good thing I’m switching now to rabbit and deer-resistant plants. Oh, and mosquito-repellent plants, of course!
That’s another ordeal: bugs. I had to install those bulb-like refracting spheres to scare the flies away from the premises. Looks pretty when they catch the light, but it’s a pain when they fall and break. [Dog barking in the background]
I guess spraying pesticides isn’t enough nowadays, they’re growing more and more resilient every time. I have about three different sprays just for june bugs, bees, and mosquitos. Butterflies are fine, I guess, since I am protecting most of plants with netting. But moths are a different story. I’ve been hoping that some birds would just land on my property to get rid of them, but birds represent an even more troublesome deal! I had to install bird spikes all over my house because it seems to me those doves love nesting around here. [Dog barking in the background]
I’m afraid I will have to get rid of my collection of Purple Martins too, those Starling-Resistant Entrance Holes did work for a while, but now I just don’t want any kind of bird around my house – I’m sick of them. Good thing my friend Rob got me that sweet solar-powered sonic bird repeller, since the bird reflector mirrors were not doing much about it, so we’ll see. [Dog barking in the background. Rob uses dog dazer to stop Pesky’s barking] All my neighbors are doing the same, that’s what I like about it here: we’re all on the same page.»
All I want to do is to raise the question: When, how much, and to what extent should we keep denying the fauna of a place for refuge in our future developments?