Better than it used to be, there are more people who appreciate wildlife for its own sake and not something that we can use. There are more people who believe that animals have a right to exist independent of what they might do for us — we have existence value, recognition that animals have value because they are: They are part of creation, and we shouldn’t just try to get rid of them because they are in the way.
They still eat songbirds in Europe. Why would they think that there is anything to eat? There is a black market for songbirds on Cypress and in France, although it’s illegal, they are protected.
There are fewer birds — that’s largely because we take away their habitats. We have the cats that kill millions of birds across the U.S. every year. We have infrastructure that interferes with their flight patterns and their migration. All things that have made things worse.
We’re not really thinking about the birds when we put chemicals on our lawns, not thinking about the insects and the pollinators. We rake the leaves, and they have less protection under the snow; their eggs have to over-winter, so the ground cover is important, but we rake our leaves when we shouldn’t, because they will decay and nourish the lawns.
The gardeners cleaned up — I found a praying mantis egg case on my fence, for example, as something that needs to stay in place, undisturbed, until next spring.
The question to ask ourselves is: Are we environmentally sensitive to the landscape or are we just ignoring it?
One fine body…