All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go
10.5"h x 17.5"L x 8.5"w; 2023
Photo by Jane Brumfield
We have so many amazing plants and animals on this planet, and yet we seem to be almost cavalier about their continued existence. I see the rhinoceros as a most marvelously adapted creature, with its nearly impenetrable hide and remarkable agility, tested and perfected over an unfathomable amount of time. And now, in these times, our time, all of this extraordinary evolutionarily acquired equipment is rendered all but useless, in a few generations, by the technological progress made by another specialized creature: The modern human animal. If we humans do not make huge conservation efforts, on a scale previously unknown to our species, there will be nowhere left for the rhino to go. No evolutionary track for it to take, even if it did have the time. "All dressed up and nowhere to go." By encroachment of agriculture and human civilization in general, there will be but one possible path for the rhino, should it survive at all, and that will be as entertainer, trick pony, a mere curiosity kept alive through small preserves for people to go and look at, like the dinosaur exhibit in the natural history museum.
I like to think we will find a way to make space for all remaining species that we share this planet with, and maybe somehow we will. But we will need to change our behavior in a hurry, and find the grace, and perhaps the technology to accommodate other lifeforms if we are to coexist on this shrinking world.