CURE Board Member, Brian Wojtalewicz, writes a weekly column for the Appleton Press. Here is an opinion piece about a biking experience at Lac Qui Parle Lake.
On this morning’s bike ride around the south end of Lac qui Parle Lake, I saw a flash of brown movement in a beanfield on my left, to the south. Instead of the usual deer, it was a big brown coyote sprinting away. He stopped at the edge of a cornfield to stare at me. I have learned to keep moving instead of stopping, but I slowed. When I sang to him, I smiled to see his head snap to the left and right. I lost sight of him when I passed a grove. Not far from the grove I saw a fawn in its lustrous brown, summer coat leaping through the beanfield, heading southwest. It likewise stopped to take a look at me. Then to the right, I saw what was probably its twin trotting toward me at the end of the beanfield. I had slowed more, but just as I actually stopped, it finally caught my movement, froze and in an instant, wheeled and sprinted to the southwest as well. When I looked back to the southeast, I saw a doe leaping through the cornfield, heading south, and the coyote in hot pursuit about 50 yards behind. That mama knew its business.
This drama has played out over eons, but it is still wonderful to behold. Maybe it’s because we sentient humans have been collectively here for only a minute glimmer of time, and individually even less. Maybe it’s because in our current civilized status, we are so separated from the natural world around us in so many ways.
In the summer of the year we call 2013, as I peddled on down the smooth tarmac road, with such excellent pieces of technology at my command, I couldn’t help but think about what we humans are doing to the world of the coyote and deer. They have no idea of how our burning of fossil fuels is radically changing the water and weather cycles on this wondrous, wet, green ball in space, their home and ours.
So many shortsighted humans, out of greed, fear, ignorance or stupidity, are bent on accelerating the global destructive nightmare that our climate scientists, and many more of us, are warning about. But among these human failings, which our ancestors have warned us about from the earliest writings we possess, arrogance, what the Greeks called hubris, stood out to me this morning as I glided through the cool air of the beautiful, summer morning. Isn’t it enough that we kill them just for entertainment? Do we have to stupidly hurtle toward wrecking the beautiful realm that they have lived in for thousands of years?