Monday, October 9, 2006

Killer Elephants

A quote from Slate magazine, regarding an article in the New York Times Magazine:

    A recent spike in elephant attacks on humans in Africa and Southeast Asia can be traced to psychological damage from decades of poaching, a cover story suggests. Scientists have long ascribed pachyderm aggression to high testosterone levels and competition over resources. But now psychologists point to "a kind of species-wide trauma" with many of the same symptoms as post-traumatic stress in humans: "abnormal startle response, unpredictable asocial behavior, inattentive mothering and hyperagression." Rehab centers now use "passive control" therapy to heal dysfunctional elephants. "She's as sweet as can be," says the founder of Elephant Sanctuary about one formerly violent animal. "You'd never know that this elephant killed anybody."

Which life has more value--an elephant's or a human being's?  Do the math.  Human beings outnumber elephants 10,000 to 1.  From a simple statistical standpoint, if rarity has value, the elephant's value is far superior to the humans.  So here's a lesson to the people: if you're anywhere near an elephant--stay out of its way.  Nobody's going to put the animal down for turning your head into jelly.  And that's the way it has to be. 

There are too many people.  Puget Sound is dying.  Underwater gardens that used to provide a burgeoning sea life, clams, crabs, vegetation are barren, littered with cell phones and car batteries.  When the sea dies, the rest of us will follow.  I just hope the Republicans go first.  But elephants have a higher value than donkeys.

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