Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Great Auk

It’s 6:30 AM. I’ve been up since 5 AM. The sun should be up within the next half-n-hour. When I woke up this morning I didn’t know what to write here. I usually don’t until I get a fire going and have a cup of coffee. It’s 20 degrees Fahrenheit out there by the way. The ground is frozen hard. Oh, and while I was getting some wood for the fire this morning, I heard a ruffed tail grouse drumming. What a great sound.

I’m still reading the profoundly important book: The Story of B. And as I was reading I figured out what I wanted to write. In one of the speeches that B gives in his public talks, he mentions that the Great Auk of Edley Island was the first species ever driven to extinction by this culture for strictly commercial purposes. It was hunted for its feathers. This happened in 1844.

I knew this already. I read about it in A Language Older than Words, by Derrick Jensen. But for some reason, this morning, it seems more significant to me. Maybe it’s because civilization has been chugging along now for the past 10,000 years and within that time frame the extinction of the Great Auk only happened quite recently. I don’t know. But the extinction of the Great Auk strictly for commercial purposes definitely deserves to be acknowledged and understood. Especially since we are headed for the same fate, that’s if we keep enacting the story of: The world was made for man to conquer and rule.

Some say that extinction is forever.

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