Digging Up The Roots | By Jane Goodall | Issue 535 | The Sun Magazine

Digging Up The Roots

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I was moved by the Dog-Eared Page from Jane Goodall [“Digging up the Roots,” July 2020]. I’ve been an animal lover ever since I saw Doctor Dolittle when I was six.

Unbeknownst to me when I was young, orcas were being rounded up and taken to water parks to do tricks to entertain people. Nowadays the orcas near where I live in Washington State haven’t had a successful birth in five years. Water pollution and a lack of salmon due to waterfront encroachment are leaving them in an ever-increasing crisis. It’s getting bad out there for a whale of any kind.

The question is not whether animals are intelligent or feel emotion. It is: Can Americans sacrifice their easy lifestyles for the sake of a wild animal that needs clean water and the freedom to move about unimpeded? I don’t think they ever will.

I’m glad I’m getting old. I don’t want to live in a world where the only remaining wild animals live in cages.

Hamish Todd Port Orchard, Washington

In the first paragraph of “Digging up the Roots,” Jane Goodall writes, “We might grieve more for the loss of a dog or cat than a person.” My father was a loving and supportive presence in my life for fifty-five years, but when he died, I don’t think I shed a single tear. Yet when I had to say goodbye to my pet cat of fifteen years, it was a week or two before I could think of him without crying. To this day my seemingly misguided grief continues to puzzle me.

T.M. Johnson Monroe, Washington
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