by Karen Laslo
commentary posted May 31
Some humans, like some of those on our Chico City Council, (except Addison), still cannot comprehend that even the most seemingly insignificant plant or animal, such as the Fairy Shrimp found in local vernal pools, or the Burrowing Owl found in Chico’s foothills, have the right to exist, not just those we eat, hunt, or use for our benefit.
Species lose this right to life when deprived of essential habitat, most commonly through the effects of climate change, construction and land development, such as the proposed foothill sprawl development Valley’s Edge.
Most scientists (Einstein for example) agree that all life on Earth is radically interdependent. Like the strands that link the spider’s web into one design, each species has its place on the Web of Life. When too many strands are broken the web no longer functions. What a lonely and uninhabitable planet Earth will be for we humans if we push more species into total extinction.
Walking through the Chico Cemetery on Memorial Day, 2023, I thought not only of those thousands of humans who’ve died in war, but of the long litany of animals that have already passed, or are on the verge of passing, from the face of the Earth forever, without one wave of a flag or sounding of Taps: California grizzly bear, Monarch Butterfly, sea turtles, jaguars, Santa Barbara Song Sparrow, Passenger pigeon, Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Swallow-tailed Butterfly, Whooping Crane, Humpback whale, sea otter, Short-tailed Albatross, harp seal, California Condor, Elderberry Longhorn Beetle, Burrowing Owl . . .
Karen Laslo is a Chico-based blogger, photographer and contributor to ChicoSol.