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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Glad To Be Old

I am glad I'm old.

I'm sure this sounds odd to many people, particularly when our modern culture values youth above wisdom. After all, who wants to deal with creaking bones, arthritis, dimming eyesight and all the other things that happen to our body as we age? But with the way the world, especially the United States, is going, I am glad I won't be here to face the aftermath of the wholesale destruction of the planet currently taking place.

I don't want to live in a world where all the apex predators such as lions, tigers, bears and wolves have been exterminated, whether for 'sport' or loss of habitat or because they might pose a threat to the cows that are overrunning our planet. I don't want to live in a world devoid of elephants and rhinoceros to feed the insatiable Asian demand for ivory trinkets and 'magic virility potions' of rhino horn, which, by the way, is made of the same material as human fingernails. 

I don't want to live in a country that sells off its public lands to corporations for drilling and mining. I don't want to live in a country that refuses to participate in a global climate agreement signed by nearly 200 other countries. I don't want to live in a country that seeks to remove protected status from national monuments and wilderness areas. I don't want to live in a country that rolls back environmental protections that keep our water and air clean and safe. And I certainly don't want to live in a country that allows the slaughter of hibernating bears and their newborn cubs in their dens, or of mother wolves and their pups in their den.

I have spent my whole adult life being an environmental activist and an animal activist. I recycle everything that is recyclable. I keep a supply of reusable grocery bags in my car and cringe when I see people roll their shopping carts through the parking lot filled with plastic grocery bags. I pick up trash as I go about my daily walks. I drive a car that gets great mileage. I have owned two hybrid vehicles. I consume as little as possible. I refuse to buy anything that is endangered or threatened. I do my best to avoid buying anything that includes palm oil (due to the destruction of palm tree forests that are habitats to endangered orangutans). I stopped eating beef to protest cattle ranchers' ongoing war on wolves and bears. I won't wear wool clothing or socks for the same reason.

The current administration and its storm trooper followers, not to mention the entire Republican party (with the possible exception of Sen. Susan Collins) care nothing about anything other than getting as much as they can in profits for themselves and their corporate masters right now. Forget about the future. 

They give not a damn about the average American citizen, international alliances, the environment or anything else. And they better not utter another word about how 'pro-life' they are. Anyone who is truly 'pro-life' would not destroy our children's and grandchildren's futures. Anyone who is 'pro-life' wouldn't remove millions of people from having health insurance. Anyone who is 'pro-life' wouldn't slash benefits from the most vulnerable among us -- children, the disabled and the elderly. 

So yes, I am glad I won't be around to face the barren, polluted, wildlife-free planet we humans call home. Once the planet is destroyed, it will be too late to do anything about it. What a sad legacy we 'advanced' humans will leave behind.