Dawn Watson/CNBNews Contributor
(Gloucestercitynews.net)(July 29, 2019)--I wonder why so many phrases mention dogs.
When it’s hot they say it’s the “dog days of summer”. When it’s cold the phrase is “it’s a three dog night”. We become ill and we’re “sick as a dog”. When our feet are painful we say, “my dogs hurt”.
Dogs are not the only animals folks use as descriptors. People say “wily as a coyote”, “smart as a fox”, and “big as a whale”. Let’s face it, the animal kingdom is important to our language!
But what if there were no animals? As the author of an apocalyptic novel (now working on the sequel) that occurs at a time when there are no living animals it’s sometimes difficult to find animal-substitutes. How would our language change under those circumstances?
We could say, “busy as a colony of ants” instead of referencing beavers or perhaps instead of saying “stubborn as a mule” you could say, “unmoving as a tree stump”. Or something like that.
A world without birds and animals would be quite different. Imagine awakening to the sound of…nothing. Or taking your roach for a walk at night. How about singing “Old MacDonald had a Farm”? Forget about it!
Animals not only make up a major part of our vocabulary but unless you’re a vegetarian or vegan they make up a certain percentage of our food sources. And domestic animals are very important companions that enrich our quality of life.
I think we need to protect the well-being of all animals. True, some species are better off without human intervention but their habitats are being destroyed due to urbanization. A drawback is that untamed animals (coyotes, foxes, skunks, racoons) are becoming less fearful of humans. This situation causes many complications—yards that are unsafe for children and pets, for example.
Without sounding too preachy, how about we work toward using fewer paper products (less paper equals less tree consumption equals safer habitats where wild animals can live safely). And do you really, truly need that addition onto your already over-sized home? Spare a little land, whydontcha?
What about water consumption? Letting the water run for a bath uses way more water than when you take a shower, right? Consider that one day, clean drinking water may not be available. Then what? How will animals survive? How will humans survive?
Each week I attempt to make this column silly and fun; it’s opinionated social commentary, nothing more. But today I’d like you to take part of it seriously and maybe think about what I’m just sayin’. It could be the start of something good.
Artwork by Amy Williams D'apice
Cover of Ezra: 7
A post-apocalyptic novel, the sequel to Ezekiel: 38. Ezekiel: 38 is currently available on Amazon and at your local library. Ezra: 7 will be available soon.
Both books by Dawn O. Watson