micah springer

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Interdependence 101

What happens when humans contain wild animals, whether in theme parks or zoos and a human accidentally falls into the enclosure and either is rescued or dies? The wild animal who may or may not have done harm to the human is then killed, as well as any other wild animals of the same sort, living in the vicinity. What if the human happens to be an American? (kidding...sort of) What happens when you build a home in their territory and they act as they are supposed to and attack you or your children as food, or to reclaim their territory? The animal is tracked and killed, as well as any who look like it. 

How does wildlife win? At the profoundest level nothing is on earth that cannot be eaten by something, including humans. We will not be satisfied until the wild is tamed, kept safely behind bars, spirit defeated, where it no longer poses a threat…and we can eat it if we want to.

La Jolla has to be one of the prettiest coastlines in California with rocky cliffs, coves and caves to explore, long stretches of beach with seals, sea lions, birds and naked people running up and down them. Lee Eldridge and I just returned. Unfortunately the town is still embroiled in seals/sea lions versus human conflict. The residents who are ‘against’ the wildlife say, “We know it is their shore and they’ve been here longer than us, but we don’t like the way they smell and we can’t swim in their waste each morning. Can’t we just chase them off the cliffs with German Shepherds?” 

This is such a temporary, entitled, anthropocentric solution, resounding of our ignorance. Where might the marine life go once we have successfully chased it off its banks? Did the residents not willingly buy an expensive home in La Jolla, complete with seal stench? Can we not divert our morning swimming course in order to cohabit with wildlife? I spent five days there and had no trouble finding long stretches relatively seal-feces free in which to swim. Seals eat Omega rich fish…their waste is probably healing for our skin! Soon we will be harvesting that very poop and selling it in creams, after we have extracted the anal glands of all beavers, of course. 

I was gratefully raised in wild places and have always assumed responsibility for my life. I would be furious if a mountain lion caught and ate me and then was killed for it, or worse, a mountain lion who resembled the one who ate me was killed. What a terrible waste! Don’t you dare! We are not going to teach mountain lions not to chase and kill humans. The truth is when it is our time to die we do and until it is, we don’t. No amount of wildlife killing is going to change this or avert wild behavior.

Thank Goddess for Lee Eldridge’s sick sense of humor. He made me cry with this imagined newspaper headline: Two nicely dressed women spent the morning kicking baby seals (true and videoed behavior) and afterward treated each other to a green juice and a gf muffin. 

This same man saved a baby woodpecker at 5:30 this morning. 

Beginner’s Guide to Living with Wildlife:

Do not try to take a selfie with wildlife

Do not feed, taunt or touch wild animals

Understand wild animals are perfectly suited to their environment and know how to live in balance, which probably means eating a few (thousand) humans.

If you are living in a wild area you may be attacked and killed — do what you can to defend yourself and others with the exception of eradicating all surrounding wildlife for future generations

Even if you are not living in a wild area, a rogue animal may kill you — make arrangements

Finally, definitely do not run naked with wild animals

We are not and have never been ‘independent.’ My favorite way to celebrate the 4th is recognizing and honoring our interdependence on each other, on the earth and all sentient beings, no one more valuable than another. I mean it. I am an animal rights activist, I suppose, but because I see that all survival depends on our interconnection, not our erroneous evolutionary hierarchy. 

If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them, you will not know them, and what you do not know you will fear. What one fears one destroys. — Chief Dan George








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