To the editor:
In interviewing me for an article about local human efforts to transport migrating salamanders across heavily traveled 31st Street near the Wakarusa Wetlands (Feb. 28), a Journal-World reporter asked, "Why would you do something like this?"
Unfortunately, she didn't print my answer, and, given the proposed 32nd Street alignment of the South Lawrence Trafficway, it's one I would like many people to hear. It's an answer I believe salamanders and all the myriad living things in the wetlands might give themselves if they had voices like ours.
Most humans operate under the archaic but still psychologically convenient notion that animals are essentially less important than them. Though possibly interesting, other animals' homes are of little value, their daily struggles and triumphs of no real consequence. What we do not see, do not know, do not understand, we can pave over without losing sleep.
But the facts remain. Within the environs of Lawrence, thousands of communities, neighborhoods if you will, exist without one human resident to speak of. These communities deserve the same respect and consideration extended to those of humans. When human homes and livelihoods are destroyed to make way for a road or a development, there is justifiable concern, even outrage. I long for the day when I hear a comparable outcry over the destruction of nonhuman homes and lives.