This weekend, I was reading G/Son one of his favorite stories, Uno's Garden by Graeme Base. In the story, Uno finds a lovely forest and moves there. Others follow, delighted by the wildlife, including the ever-present snortlepig. G/Son delighted in being able to find the shy snortlepig in every picture; this is an often-read story. Eventually, the forest disappears as people overbuild and overpopulate. A day comes when the people move away, longing to live with trees, rather than concrete. Only Uno remains, providing a safe haven for the snortlepig in his tiny garden. And then, one day, the aged Uno and the aged snortlepig die. Although Uno's children and grandchildren and great grandchildren remain, living sustainably on the land and gradually noticing the return of many of the wonderful animals from before, the snortlepig is gone for good.
Nonna: No more snortlepig.
Nonna: The snortlepig became extinct.
Nonna: Yes, extinct. No more snortlepigs.
Nonna: Overdevelopment. Too many people not taking care of Mother Nature.
G/Son: Read it again.
Look, if a two-year old can get it, I think the grownups can figure it out as well.
As Derrick Jensen says (and has been saying, for some time), Why is it bad that certain species go extinct? Is it because all species have an inherent value and right to existence, or is it because they are useful to the ecosystem, and it’s their utility that we’re losing?
Well, it’s all of those. First, obviously salmon and sturgeon and smelt and migratory songbirds, they all… It’s simply WRONG to exterminate them. They are beautiful and wonderful beings on their own. The purpose of salmon is to be salmon. The purpose of forests is to be forests. That’s really critical. Second, forests suffer tremendously without the existence of salmon. Salmon provide a tremendous influx of nutrients into the forest. They put on about 95 percent of their weight in the ocean, and carry this weight into the forest and die. When the salmon come in, it’s time for a feast. In the Pacific Northwest, 66 different vertebrates eat salmon. Between industrial fishing, dams, industrial forestry, and the other ways the civilized torment and destroy salmon, and rivers in the Northwest starve: they only receive about six percent of the nutrients they did a century ago. Natural communities can only undergo so much stress. After that they collapse. . . . At some point the current system is going to crash, and there are going to be people sitting along the banks of the Columbia, which will be glowing from the radiation at Hanford, and they will be saying, “I’m starving to death because you didn’t remove the dams that were killing salmon. God damn you.”
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."