It’s so hard to return, to what I love. Advocating for animals. So much easier, to stay unaware, concern myself with other things. All things real estate, domestic simplicity, nesting. Personal fulfillment. We all have to make a living. Anything, but feeling the confusion, the angst, the frustration, the helplessness, the despair, the overwhelm.
It’s why environmental and animal advocates burn out, become bitter.
Does anyone ever care, about the animals dying at the wheels of our vehicles on the roadways? Are we all far, far, too busy, to ever concern ourselves, with their existence?
To give them a moment’s attention costs us nothing. And affords them everything.
Roadkill, as it is commonly called – a diminishing term in and of itself – has replaced hunting as the leading cause of death for animals.
I used to think there wasn’t a need for advocacy writing any longer. Then, I was proved wrong.
A moose I loved to know was alive on this earth, died at the hands of a person unaware. A moose – a thousand pound, brown and bumbling, goofy Bullwinkle male moose – newly emancipated from his mama’s care – one who responded to my call for my elderly dog while out on a walk earlier last summer – as though I were calling him to join us. His curiosity stronger than any threat any of us – me and my pack of three dogs – ever felt. They were all on a leash. And me, I felt the gratitude well up within, of some humble servant, just to glimpse him. I felt honored, blessed, in awe. Here he was, in all his innocence, was I calling him? And there I was, behind the aspen tree, watching. Calling my husband out of town, to report our position, lest it have a bad turnout.
And yet, it never did, not for me, anyhow.
But for him, it ended fatally. A curious moose is as stupid for his own safety as he is formidable when the car came upon him on Boulder Canyon just above our home below the Dam, without warning.
Of course, the driver didn’t know. Most people don’t know, how prolific the moose are – rompin’ and screwin’ in the Roosevelt National Forest outside Boulder, until it’s far too late.
But they are there, trust me, they are. And, if we fail to remember they are, they will remind us, next time we take the curve at Barker Dam on Boulder Canyon, or the intersection at Highways 119 and 72, just outside of Coal Creek Canyon. They travel mostly at dawn or dusk – but they’ve even been seen on Boulder Canyon near Rogers Park Open Space at 2 o’clock on a Tuesday November
Why even bother remembering about them, or any other animal crossing our roadways?
Because their lives matter. And having them in the world, is better than not.
I don’t want to live in a world without wild animals. How about you?
We can afford them our attention, to begin. Just become aware, that they are there. Around the next corner, perhaps, or maybe not at all. Perhaps they are peering behind the aspen tree, perhaps they are waiting to cross until we pass them by. They are in the forests we travel through every day. And remembering that, affords them a living chance.