anonymous asked:

The point of wild life is for them to be far away from human contact. Seriously what the fuck. You are such a trash bitch. I bet you eat meat too lmao. Fucking animal abuser. You're not funny and what you are fucking doing is wrong. Never have I met a group of meateaters so proud to abuse animals and then play puppet with them while they are just trying to live in nature.

I am very doubtful that you’re actually a vegan, as I have not yet had the misfortune to meet a vegan so dismally ignorant of ecology. It’s more likely that you’re a troll, behaving aggressively and pretending to be outraged just because you can. Either way, this is a good opportunity to talk about what I do and why I think it’s important.

First and foremost: there is not “point” to wildlife. It is extremely foolish, even dangerous, to think of “nature” as inherently separate from humanity. Ever far corner of the Earth is affected by the presence of humanity, and has been for thousands of years - there is no true “wildlife” because there is no true “wild”. We are not “beyond” nature simply because we have the ability to reflect upon our own impact. Unless you advocate for immediate, voluntary human extinction, you must realize that the future depends upon us developing a sustainable society and maintaining biodiversity. I am a loose believer in a concept called “deep ecology” - that what you call “wildlife” has a right to exist for its own sake, rather than exclusively because we enjoy it or because it is a useful resource. We are a single species among uncounted species, which has chanced upon a set of adaptations that have allowed us to make enormous changes to our environment. That doesn’t make us evil. It just means that we must use the same adaptations that have allowed to become so powerful (ex. our specific kind of intelligence, self-awareness, innovation, adaptability) to reduce harm and find ways to make this planet a hospitable environment for the rest of the animal kingdom.

I’m going to make an assumption here: you care about animals and find them interesting. How did this come to be? It certainly wasn’t in a vacuum. You had to see and learn about them first, either through personal experience or second-hand sources, like nature shows, books, or science outreach. Perhaps you grew up watching Animal Planet or Discovery Channel. Whatever the case, something acted as a catalyst to inspire your care for animals - something made them *real* to you.

That’s my job. I am a science educator. I am trained and paid to get kids interested in nature and to think about ecology and their relationship to the environment. The benefits of experiential learning cannot be calculated, especially for children who grow up in urban areas and may have never even seen an undomesticated animal in person. Gently picking up a sea urchin to show them how it moves and eats means that they get to see it as a real, living animal, rather than a weird rock or aquarium decoration. Allowing a spider or a wasp to crawl across my hands shows them that “unpleasant” creatures are not indiscriminately aggressive - they bite and sting to protect themselves, not because they’re malicious and out to get you. I cultivate empathy and fascination for the natural world in the hearts and minds of tomorrow’s leaders.

Bad news: as long as humans and animal exist on the same planet, there is no such thing as “far away from human contact”. We all breathe the same air. All rivers lead to the same ocean. Industry marches on and the byproducts of human society permeate the Earth. Perhaps you are a strict vegan and do not consume or use anything made from animals or animal labor… yet, you are still indirectly harming animal life merely by consuming any resources at all. The device you use to send me angry messages is made from material mined from the Earth using practices that disrupt nearby ecosystems. Your vegan clothes and vegan food are produced and transported to you using fuels and energy and resources that pollute the environment and contribute to mass die-offs. Your Styrofoam cups, your plastic bags, your metal bicycle, your chocolate imported from the tropics, your fruit irrigated with diverted water, your grain grown with fertilizers and pesticides, your gasoline-fueled commutes, your flame-retardant carpeting… all of it causes some amount of harm. There is no living without negative impact, no completely ‘pure’ existence. All we can do is work together to minimize destructiveness.

It is these things that cause harm to animals. Wild animals are under constant stress from competing for food, territory, and mates, avoiding predation, and coping with a changing environment. A science teacher carefully handling a sea urchin for a few moments before putting it back unharmed is trivial, and does far more good than ill if it gets kids interested in biology. You know what *does* dangerously stress animals? Ocean acidification caused by excess atmospheric CO2 dissolving into the water, decreasing pH and causing sea star populations to crash as they succumb to viruses, sea urchins to waste away, and corals to die out. Whales have to essentially constantly scream at each other in order to be heard over the sound of motorized boats. Man-made toxins build up in sea life in a process called bioaccumulation, leading orcas, sharks, and other apex predators to become heavily contaminated and eventually fatally poisoned.

Being vegetarian or vegan does not mean that you aren’t a part of this. It’s impossible *not* to be part of this, even with the best of intentions. To congratulate yourself on your moral purity and blame others for the world’s problems simply because you don’t eat chicken sandwiches is to ignore the countless other ways that your lifestyle depends on the exploitation of animals and degradation of their habitats.

In order for this to change, people need education and empathy for the natural world. We need to understand that the concept of “nature” is not something we can think of as separate from human lives, something that occurs independently and “far away” from us. It doesn’t work that way, and it can’t - instead, we need to accept our interconnectedness and find ways to conserve, salvage, and repair as a global community. That can’t happen unless current and future generations learn to look at all creatures great and small as interesting, valuable, and *real*.

I teach kids about sustainability and ecology. I help them think critically about their roles and responsibilities in a living world. I give them opportunities to encounter live invertebrates in the wild, nurturing their appreciation for the complexity of organisms they might otherwise never care about and teach them not to be afraid of those animals which don’t look like stuffed animals. These kids are going to inherit our culture, and if I can help them shape it into one more considerate and full of care for the width and breadth of life on Earth, then I will have done my job, and done it well.

My blog has provided me with a second, larger platform to share my appreciation for these creatures. While this has earned me plenty of barbs from unpleasant persons like yourself, every day I receive messages from young people thanking me for rekindling their love of science or changing their attitude towards slugs, spiders, beetles, leeches, and other “creepy crawlies”. Knowing that I have softened a few hearts and ignited a few minds means the world to me. I may not be making bank, but I am making a difference, however subtle.

What have you accomplished with hateful language and harassment of strangers?

(Also… “trash bitch”? Who even says “bitch” anymore?)

#outdoorcooking #breakfast #bushcraft #wildcamping #nature #instalike #camp #instanature #vscogood #outdoors #adventure #hiking #forest #wood #liveauthentic #mothernature #naturelover #insta_turkey #backpacking #natureseekers #wilderness #getoutside #rei1440project #survival #wildernessculture #campvibes #neverstopexploring #menofoutdoors

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Yeah, but I didn’t want to drive him to murder! I just wanted to show him that his entire philosophical outlook on life is flawed and that the fundamental beliefs and ideologies he hold so dearly are trivial so that he’ll start crying himself to sleep like the rest of us. I’m not a monster!
—  Raph, about Miky, probably