June 27, 2019

The Prairie Dog is…Magical. Plus, a Disgusting Question.

What’s more important: a human’s life, or an animal’s life?

“That’s a disgusting question,” said someone on Facebook the other day.

Only, no one had asked that question. I’d merely posted about how Celestial Seasonings was bulldozing prairie dog families for construction of, hopefully, some affordable housing.

Too often, we see it as either/or—humans vs. nature, humans vs. animals. We see it as a finite pie, and if we get a piece, animals have to lose their slice, or if animals or nature keeps a slice, we lose ours.

Thing is, this view is, of course, based on a false assumption: that we are not part of nature, or “others.” If we continue to buy into humans vs. humans, humans vs. nature, humans vs. animals…we all lose.

When we get to know “other”—whether it’s our fellow humans, or animals, or nature—we learn, we move out of our preconceptions or prejudices and into caring. When we care, we share, we learn more, we care more, and we become loving activists.

So I’ll leave you with this. Prairie dogs are good for our earth–like giant worms, aerating the soil. Farmers often want to kill them, to take over more land, and I get that they often need more land. But that’s a mistake. We must learn to live in harmony, to share, with animals and with wild nature unbent by humankind.


We are part of the same ecosystem. The beings that depend on prairie dogs aren’t just ferrets and hawks. They’re us.


Let us extoll the virtues of the Prairie Dog.

They’re also sooo good for the land–like big worms. And they’re smart! They speak language! They identify people based on different sweaters, colors, bikes… ~ Waylon Lewis, ed.

The below comes from an acquaintance on Facebook, and is shared here because the info is valuable and we gotta support our prairie dog friends:

[a prairie dog was caught in a window well of one of these good humans, and got out after being offered a “ladder”]

Thank you so much for being such a compassionate soul and caring about this little dude…

As a prairie dog advocate, I just don’t understand the irrational hatred many people have for this animal. As a declining keystone species, prairie dogs are crucial for the health of our prairie ecosystem and provide food for many animals (hawks, owls, coyotes, badgers, foxes, eagles etc) and shelter (mice, amphibians, snakes, insects). Without the prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets and burrowing owls would go extinct. For millions of years, prairie dogs have aerated, churned and fertilized the soils and made this land what it is.

These humble little creatures really deserve so much respect, but people villainize them and humans continue to do atrocious things to prairie dogs and all the other the animals that are in the burrows (bulldozing them alive, poisoning them with cheap and cruel poisons, using them for target practice).

I really hope that opinions will change soon and more protection will be given for prairie dogs. Without them, our prairie ecosystem will surely change, and not for the better. Our prairies would be a lot quieter and less lively with prairie dogs gone!

Also: It’s a myth that prairie dogs carry the plague. They can get infected by a plague infested FLEA and at which point prairie dogs will die very quickly. Plague is an exotic disease that humans brought to this continent and prairie dogs have no immunity to this bacteria. They are being made scapegoats out of something they are not even responsible for.


Image via Twitter.


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