Thursday, September 10, 2009

Of Wildness sept 10th 2009

There seem to be in general about 80% less creatures that I see than when I grew up in the 1950s. Oh, it's true that in some affluent communities where there are golf courses
and areas where deer hunting is never allowed that you might see 20 bucks and deer and fawns at any one time. Where I live is like that too. But at the same time you might see a lot less birds and other creatures at the very same time. Maybe there would be more squirrels but a lot less of one or more other creatures so that everything is sort of out of balance most places now. For example, in the area where I live since no one is allowed to hunt deer it draws in the Mountain lions, for example, who do eat the deer and sometimes people's pets too. But I have never lost a pet to a mountain lion but I have to a raccoon which are more plentiful. But the other day I saw a family of raccoons at the wharf that had found a rock next to sea lions and sailboats and people were throwing them tidbits of food. An hour later I passed by and they were still feeding the mother raccoon and 3 or 4 babies french fries and fish chips from about 15 feet away.

However, when I grew up in the 1950s here in California I mostly (after age 4) grew up in Southern California. There was still at that time a sort of cowboy feel to the place then. Since we were surrounded by the Cowboy states there was a real aspect of California life that had cowboys in it too. This is much less true now as the state has been so developed (at least in the southern Coastal areas.

My Grandfather was a hunter on weekends and an Electrical Contractor during the week. He trained his three sons to be electrician's and the two that survived the 1940s eventually became Electrical Contractors too. My Dad was one of these two sons who survived. He also brought into my life a deep deep love of nature that he got from his Dad. My Grandad sort of believed that nature was his church and had taught my Dad to survive in the Wilderness alone if necessary and to feel comfortable and fairly safe around any animal in it. My father passed this kind of worshipful feeling of nature on to me and taught me to shoot by the time I was 8 years old. My grandmother gave me my Dad's old Remington .22 rifle when I was 8 also.

But my Dad had become a vegetarian in 1934 so he had no need to kill animals for food like his Dad. And since I had been raised a vegetarian too (until I was about 32 and am still about 90% vegetarian even now.Lacto ovo which means milk and eggs in addition to everything else)

But I was still a crack shot with a .22 rifle by age 9 and then we often went Jack rabbit hunting in the deserts behind the Angeles Crest Mountains and forest which borders Los Angeles County to the East. In the 1950s almost no on lived out past the city of Mojave and we often hunted in what is now called the Red Rock Canyon State Recreation Area where many cowboy movies have been made over the years because it is very scenic and kind of looks like Arizona with large sandstone worn away by the flash floods with red and white and gray sand in beautiful combinations there.

People in general were a lot different than now in the 1950s. Everyone knew their place and people who didn't know their place might just disappear. It is still like this in some Southern States in some places. But mostly in California there is now a "Live and Let live" attitude.

What this actually means now is that if you live in a middle to upper class area where people are educated there is still this sort of "Order" to things. Whereas depending upon where you live there are places now where "Anything Goes". So, now there are places in the U.S. that I consider much more dangerous than going to many other countries anywhere on earth. Because in most foreign countries if you know the local rules you will generally be okay. But there are now places in the U.S. that you won't be okay if you aren't from that area. So you just better never go there. And people who don't know where these places are won't be as safe as they think if they go there.

But that is not the point of the article. The point I'm trying to make is that life used to be very different than now. Yes it was worse but strangely enough it was also better. Life was much more firm then and one knew where they stood almost in any situation whereas now everything changes so fast no one seems to know where they stand and this makes everyone more unsafe and insecure in what is going on around them.

What I'm saying is that worldwide societies are not really becoming better just different than they were. And generally speaking this just confuses everyone. I think it is going to take about 400 to 500 years to get people all going pretty much the same direction.(If it is even possible to actually do that). Too much has just changed too fast and no one can really keep up with it all.

Do I feel life is better now than when I grew up? NO. I don't. I just think it is different and that is what is getting everyone confused and in trouble these days.

There was more toleration of wild animals when I grew up. Yes. If a rattle snake was too close to your home you either shot it or killed it with a shovel by cutting its head off. If you found a black widows nest you killed her and her babies. I have done both many times. If I find a hornets nest near my home I simply wait until dark and put gasoline on it and burn it up. No more stings. My grandfather did this for me when the hornets stung me on his 2 1/2 acres near Seattle. By watching him to this I learned how to protect my children from hornets as well.

Though when I grew up bears and mountain lions and wolves would more likely be shot than now on sight there still was more respect for wildlife in general. There was more of an understanding that the we as humans and the animals all lived in the same place and we, as humans were mostly the better for it. Whereas now I've noticed people will kill anything they don't want around more as if the inside of ones house or business was the natural state of things. Well. it isn't. If we don't all recognize that we are animals too and that all the animals and creatures on earth are our brothers and sisters then ecological collapse will come all the sooner and there just might not be any humans eventually. We all survive together or we all die apart.

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