With a broken-down oven, in a hotel kitchen, on an uninhabited island
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I was moved by the Dog-Eared Page from Jane Goodall [“Digging up the Roots,” July 2020]. I’ve been an animal lover ever since I saw Doctor Dolittle when I was six.
Unbeknownst to me when I was young, orcas were being rounded up and taken to water parks to do tricks to entertain people. Nowadays the orcas near where I live in Washington State haven’t had a successful birth in five years. Water pollution and a lack of salmon due to waterfront encroachment are leaving them in an ever-increasing crisis. It’s getting bad out there for a whale of any kind.
The question is not whether animals are intelligent or feel emotion. It is: Can Americans sacrifice their easy lifestyles for the sake of a wild animal that needs clean water and the freedom to move about unimpeded? I don’t think they ever will.
I’m glad I’m getting old. I don’t want to live in a world where the only remaining wild animals live in cages.
In the first paragraph of “Digging up the Roots,” Jane Goodall writes, “We might grieve more for the loss of a dog or cat than a person.” My father was a loving and supportive presence in my life for fifty-five years, but when he died, I don’t think I shed a single tear. Yet when I had to say goodbye to my pet cat of fifteen years, it was a week or two before I could think of him without crying. To this day my seemingly misguided grief continues to puzzle me.