Bless the Beasts and the Children

You may remember the lyrics from the song made popular by the Carpenters. The lyrics come to mind, painfully to an aging BoZo (part botanist, part zoologist) as I witness the winking out in my lifetime the extinction of life on Earth.

And we scarcely seem to know or care. We trivialize it by calling it “a loss of biodiversity.” For some, it is the most egregious, blasphemous form of hubris, and perhaps the greatest irreplaceable and tragic consequence–so far–of the same economic dragon that has brought us today’s and tomorrow’s climate chaos.

Certainly it has always been that the rise of one group of creatures like the mammals would displace another group, the one prospering at the expense of the other. Nature red in tooth and claw and all that. But today it’s all for sale–a most hideous and un-natural selection.

Never before in the history of life on Earth has one single species been the root cause for the wanton extermination and final end of days for so vast a number of lineages of other creatures as our species has caused. We don’t eat the dying; we don’t use their skins for clothes; we never even seen and often have not even given names to the plants and animals we exterminate.

And this winking out will go on so as long as we continue to believe that human economic progress requires the displacement of all other life forms as collateral damage–the cost of doing business.

I could go on, but you now all this. You just might not feel the anguish that comes to a life-long bozo. So I’ll hush, with a few lyrics and one of the most amazing man-and-animal videos you’ll ever see. Or not. And listen to the Carpenters after watching the video. Dare ya.

Bless the beasts and the children
For in this world they have no voice
They have no choice

Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from the storm
Keep them safe, keep them warm–or cold in the case of the Arctic seals.

â–º â–º How a Leopard Seal Fed Me Penguins

Tale of Two Seals: Winners and Losers in a Warming Arctic – ImaGeo…

The Carpenters – bless the beast and the children with lyrics – YouTube

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I couldn’t find the video. The link to ryot should work as a deep link, but it landed me on au index page with a bazillion videos. I gave up after failing to sight ant deals. Is that the point? That there are no seals (in videos)?