Part 3: In Praise of Animals
Unless you’ve owned one as a pet, chances are you’re not enamored with the lowly Rat. As a child, I’d been told stories of sewer rats sneaking into homes and eating babies. Having a younger sister and brother, this distressed me greatly but fortunately it didn’t permanently adulterate my perception of them.
Rats are extremely adaptable and can be found almost anywhere on the planet with the exception of the Antartica.
Rats are actually highly intelligent creatures, quick to learn, and humans are putting them to work saving lives. Because of their keen sense of smell they’ve been trained to sniff out mines in areas like Cambodia that are still littered with buried land mines. They’re also being trained to use their acute noses for the early detection of tuberculosis in patients
You can’t deny that’s pretty cool. 🙂
Hindus believe that these holy animals guard their sacred shrines and are reincarnates of divine tribespeople.
Environmentally they serve as food, seed spreaders, soil aerators and fungus distributers.
As pets, rats are loyal and affectionate. They form strong bonds with their humans.
Many people view Bats as flying rats. They also play an important role in the ecosystem.
Bat guano (poop) is a wonderful natural fertilizer for the soil.
Next year my partner John and I will be installing a couple bat house on our property. We’re hoping this will encourage some bats to hang out as their appetite for mosquitoes and other flying insects could help make enjoying summer evenings easier. I’m a fan of the natural order of life.
Bats also serve as pollinators and seed spreaders. The great baobab tree of the East African savannah, also known as the “African Tree of Life”, depends almost exclusively on bats for pollination. This tree, in turn, is depended on as food and shelter for many wildlife species.
Next, Snakes. Again, unless you’ve owned one. 😉
A large percentage of the population are terrified of snakes. Thanks to my Mom, I never felt that way about them.
Snakes help keep rodent and insect populations in balance.
Like spider venom, snake venom is being studied for its uses in medicine and their shed skin provides much-needed nutrients for the soil.
For those of you old enough to remember the movie Jaws, the terror of swimming in the ocean may still haunt your dreams. :O
Sharks get a really bad rap but they’re crucial to maintaining a balanced ecosystem in the ocean. They clean up waste and keep other species of sea life in check.
Sharks have extremely strong immune systems and rarely get sick. A lot of research is being done into why, and how this may benefit humans.
This video will show you a side of sharks you’ve likely never seen before.
So, what do you think? Can you find a soft spot for these unappreciated bugs, weeds and animals? They’re all necessary for the circle of life on this planet known as Earth. This planet that is our home. We all need each other. It’s a beautiful interdependent fact of nature.
Give all living things a chance. You may be amazed at what you discover. At the very least, you’ll hopefully diminish some of your fears and be happier for it.