Having Your Cake And Eating It Too??

I keep hearing everyone say that they want wildlife around. But I’m discovering that they only want it on their own terms — not on the wild animals’ terms. I have two telling examples of this.

One couple were happy to find that the birds living in the palm tree outside their window were owls — a pair of barn owls. But they did not like all the bird droppings in their back yard. What an incredible gift, I thought, to have barn owls right outside your window right in the middle of San Francisco! To have wildlife, we have to adapt a little. But the couple were not too interested in adapting. No. They did not want all the bird droppings there — ever. Wildlife IS dirty, messy and has behaviors which you may not like. Wildlife has to be accepted on its own terms. These people preferred no mess over the owls.

Coyotes, too, provoke this kind of reaction. People in our various parks love having the coyote there, but they want them there on their own terms. This means they are to stay only in certain areas, never on the paths and they are to keep their distance. This is not possible: wildlife does not follow human rules. If there are coyotes, we are going to have to put up with them as they are, behaviors and all. It is we humans who need to adapt. But I’m finding that few humans are willing to adapt. We humans like our comforts as we have had them. The simple inconvenience of leashing our dogs and being vigilant appears to be much too much to ask of the dog owners. Some of us San Franciscans like proclaiming our openness and liberalism, when in fact many of us are adverse to change or acceptance, even if the change and acceptance are for the better.

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