Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I didn't post yesterday, because I waited until the evening and by that time, I had been totally sucked into The History Channel's Life After People. If you did not catch it on the first showing, do try to pick it up in the reruns. It was fascinating and in so many ways confirms my own environmental stance. If you haven't heard me rant about this---practicing environmentally sound policies and practices is self-preservation. The planet is going to be just fine without us--but every time we litter, fail to live frugally and recycle or blast the tops of our mountains apart, we are nominating ourselves for a Darwin Award as a species.
So--get with the program, people! Save yourself!
Anyway, as I was driving to Asheville today to see my rheumatologist, I had some time to think about the program. One of the sad things is that dogs will most certainly be the first species to suffer a massive die-off. All of our highly specialized pooches with funny noses and odd characteristics will be the first to go. Tiny dogs won't make it very far at all without us. Basically your standard yella cur dog will be what prevails.
I started thinking about the other domesticated animals and how they would fair. Those damn cats are going to be just fine. Pigs and goats have already proven how easily they become feral. I remembered an elderly friend pointing out a slab of rock where the hogs used to sun themselves. And we have a colony of feral goats living off of I-40. I think the moocows would probably not make it. Rangy cattle will be fine though some of our pampered Black Angus' and Herefords would be in the first wave of coyote dinners. Ditto for most sheeplies.
As I drove, I remembered what all the old timers here told me about what this area was like 50 to 100 years ago when lumber was king. All these mountaintops were cleared in pasture and corn was planted on every available bit of land. They free-ranged all the hogs and cattle in the woods, fencing only the gardens and corn fields. Little homesteads were everywhere and this was a very busy rural place. Very few of those homesteads are there anymore. There used to be a thriving village in The Gulf. There is absolutely no sign of human habitation there now. I only know this because I've been told by the children and grandchildren of those people that they were ever there.
If we wipe ourselves from this big blue ball, who will remember for those people?
Life After People airs again tomorrow night on The History Channel at 8p.m./7 central time.