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Re: Nature Needs Tough Love, Volume 13, Issue 42 (Oct 28, 2005)
I know it is a little late, but after reading through the archives when I returned from holidays I came across this article and was completely appalled. In my opinion, a person who says that our wilderness “generates little or no real value for our species” is not someone who is every bit as committed to preserving the wilderness as the next person.
The wilderness is of significant value to me, my family, residents of my province and I am sure residents of other provinces. It not only provides us with food, clothing, and shelter (the main necessities of life), but also crafting materials, and vast areas for recreation. It contributes a lot to our economy through tourism (to national parks, and wilderness, hunting and fishing camps), crafts, and building materials. The wilderness is not completely filled with “diseased and potentially violent animals” since many animals are used for consumption and are often more fearful of humans than we are of them. Those that are diseased and violent can be avoided. With a little research and knowledge, one can evade the “unsafe walking areas” or they can be made safer. As for the “myriad of varieties of poisonous fungi”, they are not dangerous unless you ingest them, so don’t.
When thinking of the “wilderness” one should not be conceited and think of our species alone. It does not pose “a serious impediment to our progress as a species” since it is needed by many species of both flora and fauna to which we depend on ourselves. In my opinion, the world would be a “safer” place without the attitudes of people like this.
Thanks for writing, Leanne! The satirical nature of Mr. Undershaft’s article may not have been immediately apparent to all readers, but I’d like to assure you and all Voice readers that The Voice is an environmentally friendly publication (we don’t even use ink or paper!) and committed to environmental causes. You may notice that last week’s issue contained a PSA on behalf of Greenpeace, and past issues have provided free space to the Word Wildlife Fund.
Satire, in the spirit of Mr. Swift’s influential Modest Proposal, is a powerful persuasive tool when it is effectively written, but we believe that the best way to get a message across is through a variety of approaches. Your letter does an excellent job of articulating why our forests and natural spaces are precious and should be protected. Thank you for sharing your views with The Voice and allowing us this opportunity to clarify our stance on environmental and wildlife issues. Feedback like this helps us understand what issues are important to our readers.