Priorities

By Gail Edwards

Save the trees!!!

Save the fairy shrimp!

These are both phrases that can be heard throughout America.

Even here in Ramona we cannot build a new building on Main St. because of fairy shrimp?!?

Wild life is protected. 

Animals need protection. But are they the only ones?

At the moment, there are 321 mammals, 297 animals, 106 fish, 82 reptiles, and 27 amphibians protected under federal law!  

The passion people feel for animals and wild life, even trees, is nothing new.  In 1966, the Animal Welfare Act was signed into law.  Even lab animals used for research are protected under that law. Animal abuse carries a felony penalty in 46 out of the 50 states.  In case we haven’t noticed, animals are VERY protected. 

What happens when a high-profile case is brought up in the news, like the gorilla, Harambe?  In 2016, a 3 year-old boy was able to climb into the ape’s enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.  From there, onlookers saw the most horrific thing as Harambe dragged the little boy around including through water.  The choice was made to shoot the 17 year-old gorilla, causing his death.  People were OUTRAGED!  In the court of public opinion, blame was placed on the mom for not watching her 3 year-old son well enough.  Blame was placed on the zoo for not having a better border around the enclosure.  Blame was placed on the zoo keepers for shooting and killing the Western lowland gorilla instead of using a tranquilizer.  At the end of the day, public opinion seemed to have been more in favor of protecting the gorilla vs protecting the 3 year-old boy who clearly was in harm’s way.  Is that where we have come to in life?  Do humans place a higher value on animals over other humans?

It seems the vast majority just might think that.  Is it really the vast majority;  or just the few, who are louder than the others.  As I live life day by day and meet others around me, I find quite a few people agree with me on that human life is valuable!  I was faced with a choice 24 years ago. I was 18 years old and pregnant, not married.  Society told me I had a choice and that it was a reasonable choice based off the death driven culture.  However, never once did I feel I had a choice.  My baby was mine and loved and deserved life.  She was not protected under federal law, but she most certainly was protected under mama’s presence.  Never once did I consider other options outside of being her mother.  I didn’t know how I was going to make it happen.  I had a lousy fast food job and I lived with family, couldn’t even afford my own place.  Never did I regret a single moment of choosing life for my sweet baby girl.  Now, she is a mom and I am a grandma! 

If it had not for my choice to choose life, I wouldn’t be sitting here wondering today what she would look like, act like, be like!  I would wonder if I could have been “grammy” by now.  Thanks to real choices, I know all of those things, and more.  I am VERY happy to say that I am Grammy!  To a beautiful and loved 2 year old-boy! 

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