I came upon a particular scene while reading Les Miserables.
There are two starving orphan boys wondering around a public garden.
A father and son appear, the son eating some cake, looking full. The orphan boys hide as the father and son watch some swans.
Seeing the orphan boys, the father makes a rude comment. His son spits his cake out and says he is full. His father tells him to give his cake to the swans.
“Be humane,” He says, “We must take pity on the animals!”
While having seen two starving children, the father felt more for two probably well fed birds.
Why does this matter?
The Lord gave me a passion for animals and nature. I sit in wonderment over the beauty of all creatures, even the creepy crawlies.
I want to dedicate my life to protecting wildlife and educating others to do so.
I am an animal advocate. I do not think animal abuse in any form is morally right. I do not even like the idea of hunting (though I understand some of its benefits).
But don’t misunderstand me. If I had a choice between saving ANY animal and saving a human, the choice would be easy. I would feed a person before feeding an animal.
I am a human advocate first.
But, I do not see how being one discludes you from being the other. I love conservation because, to me, it is about teaching people to live harmoniously with nature.
Conservation is really much more of a humanitarian career than people think. Conservationists must not only understand culture, but even accept it at times. We must see the poacher’s side of the story, the starving man trying to feed his family.
A conservationist’s job is to help humans see how nature and wildlife can help them live a good life.
I do care much more about people than animals, but I’ve found its pretty easy to love the, both, though it is difficult to teach them to love each other.