I don’t care about endangered species.
This is one of the first I-don’t-cares ever cited to me, by my friend Shaina, who mentioned it at a bar earlier in the year but reminded me of it at a dinner party in her new apartment a few weeks ago.
Shaina: “I still don’t care about endangered species.”
Me: “Polar bears?”
S: Well, I guess I care about the Bald Eagle going extinct. You know, because that’s like, America.”
S: “That makes me sound weirdly patriotic, doesn’t it. Don’t write that.”
I’ve thought about this for a while since that dinner party, and realized something rather unfortunate: even though I am a pro-active fan of the environment, I don’t care as much about this as I think I should. If I cared, I would probably be doing something about it, no?
A caveat: I did work on a project on the Future of Fish last summer and I really cared about wild fish going extinct then. But this speaks to the larger question of whether we humans truly have the capacity to care about [and act on the] things that don’t directly affect our health, the people we love, or our immediate environment.
Look, I mean, the polar bear pups are awful cute, and so are the tropical birds, and the odd, slothy, prehistoric mammals on the Travel and Discovery Channels, but it’s hard to get fired up about saving animals when there are people who need help. I don’t consider this some weird, human superiority thing, but frankly, there are things closer to home that I care about.
What about you? What we’re talking about here are awesome jaguars and lovable turtles and beautiful corals…the WORKS. Do you care about endangered species?