Pillaging Nature

I read Edward Hoaglands essay The Courage of Turtles.

I like turtles so I decided to right my essay on the

related to ecological issue in Hoaglands essay.

Another essay that I read for English is Malcolm X’s A

Homemade Education. I think that Malcolm has some

ideas in his essay that is related to Hoaglands essay,

so I will include a quote from Malcolm’s essay.

Turtles are interesting creatures, or as Hoagland puts

it "personable beast." These beasts are part of an

ecological system around a pond or lake. Ecological

systems are sensitive to change. Take away a piece of

the ecological system, such as turtles, the system

will disintegrate rapidly. This happened in a small

lake not to far away from where I grew up in

Washington State. The city decided that there were too

many ducks in this lake and had then all removed. The

lake quickly became choked up with waterweeds. The

ducks had been keeping a fast growing type of

waterweed in check by eating them.

What if a main piece of the ecological system was

taken away, like the lake as in Hoaglands essay. The

system would be devastated. Look at rainforest in

South America and Madagascar. The destruction has

gotten so bad that satellite photo show the erosion of

the land into the sea. That can not be good. What of

the turtles that live in places like these? The turtle

in Hoaglands essay hopefully in up in "boxes in boys

closets." Some turtle from Hoagland essay followed

their instink and "dug themselves into the into drying

mud for another siege in the hot weather…the drying

mud baked over them and entombed them." The turtles

from the rainforest also have it hard. If the turtle

are not killed by machines and fires used to destroy

rainforest, the turtles can go deeper into the forest,

stay and live with the people who now live in their

old home, or end up in the pet trade. The first option

would create overpopulation with the turtles already

living in the deeper forest. If the turtles stay and

live with people they will be considered pest and most

likely killed. In the pet trade the turtles could end

up like the turtles in front of the pet store in

Hoaglands essay, "dry as a heap of old bones in the

sun…creeping over one another gimpily, doing their

best to escape." Kind of sad.

The people who decided to bulldoze in a lake and cut

down forest must know what they are destroying little

critter’s home. In Hoaglands essay it is the local

Water Company. In South America it is different

governments, depending on what country the rainforest

is in. Some people say animals do not have feeling.

They look like they do to me. Hoagland describes the

turtles as almost human like; "they rock rhythmically

in place as we often do, although they are hatched

from an eggs, not from the womb. (A common explanation

psychologist give for our pleasure in rocking quietly

is that it recapitulates our mother’s heartbeat)" That

just goes to show that man automatically assumes that

he is superior to animals. Supposedly the smarter the

mammal the more lobes the brain havens. Humans have

five lobes and dogs have three lobes. Scientist have

found that dolphins have seven lobes. That should mean

that they are smarter than humans are.

Personally I think man is hell-bent on destroying

things around him. Since man creation I do not think

that has not been a war some where in the world. We

have been killing of animal since prehistoric era. The

wooly mammoth in North America, the lion in Eroupe and

the dodo in South Pacific Islands have all become

instink before modern times. In Malcolm X’s essay A

Homemade Education talks about white man destroying

other culture, "the whole world’s white men acted like

devils, pillaging and raping and bleeding and draining

the whole world non-white people." Why would nature be

different?

Hoaglands essay is written in the first person. The

essay is very descriptive. I instantly got a mental

picture of the lakes back home where I catch turtles.

I also got kind of a depressive feeling from the

essay. Man at his lowest distorting nature around him

and destroying part of himself.

Word Count: 721

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