To say that our tiny blue and green speck of a planet is remarkable would be an understatement. We have frogs that can shape shift, opossums that can self-immunize, snakes that can fly (without planes!), deep-sea creatures that light their own way, wolves that walk on stilts, cats that can run up to 60 mph in three seconds, ants that play teacher, dwarf dragons, birds that talk, mammals that wear protective armor, and that list goes on and on and on and on and on and on.
We don’t yet know how many wildlife species share this Earth with us, but I know that I am thankful for every single one of them. Wildlife give shape to our humanity, challenging us to shed our species’ selfish tendencies and teaching us about our history on Earth. Animals are the most incredible source of beauty and awe, which we recognize intrinsically as children (and conservationists recognize no matter their age). Animals’ adaptations to the planet are so varied and complex that it is impossible not to feel humbled. They can survive without us, but we are linked to wildlife in ways we don’t yet fully understand–but we do understand that we can’t survive without them.
This Thanksgiving—and every day—I am grateful for the beautiful furry, scaley, slimey, feathered souls we share this planet with, and for all of the homo sapiens committed to saving them.
(Photo by Robin Moore)