Friday, February 11, 2011

People Are the Same the World Over

For those of you who have yet to read Napier's Bones, I won't give away too much but wanted to mention something related to a scene in the book. There is a point where our heroes go to a little place called Seil Island, and while there they have an encounter with a badger. Beyond that I'll say nothing.

I've been to Seil Island, specifically to visit a place called the Ballachuan Hazelwood, which was the absolute highlight of my trip, a forest that has probably existed since the island was first settled after the first ice age. And while I didn't see any badgers while there, I did know that they were living on the island.

So imagine my despair to discover that in 2007 it was announced that the species had been extirpated on the island, and that authorities believed that someone had been gassing the badgers to death over a number of years. There had been about forty of the animals living on the island, and some of their setts had been there for hundreds of years.

Think about that. A small mammal, whose home has been built and enlarged by successive generations for a longer period of time than the place where I live has been a city. And then some jackass comes along and wipes them all out.

I weep for the future of us all.

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