I’m a big fan of fantasy and science fiction. Hmm, that’s a funny introduction to an article about working with lions. But I’m a huge fan of Douglas Adams, and if you are too, then you probably know he wrote a book in 1989 called Last Chance to See. To be honest, when I read the book it made me laugh and think about certain things, but as these things tend to happen, I also forgot about it in a year of two.
But then in 2009, 20 years after the book first came out, and five years after the death of Douglas Adams, BBC decided to make a documentary about the same thing, this time with the help of Stephen Fry. That documentary seriously inspired me. It gave me a dream. Douglas Adams wrote a book about visiting some near extinct animal species. The way he wrote it made me laugh, and it was awesome. But when I saw those animals in the documentary, it made me cry.
The things we do to this planet and everything that’s living on it is just insane. We kill rhinoceros because we believe their horns will help our sex life. We kill aye-aye’s because they’re unlucky. We destroy rainforests to space for banana plantages, so that we can make biofuel. We pollute the seas and rivers to such an extent that we’re endangering every single thing living in them. We kill lions so that we can brag to our retarded friends about how brave we were.
You might think that writing a book about it, or making a documentary isn’t really going to help these animals, but the one thing both the book and the documentary did, was raise a lot of awareness about these magnificent creatures. Which means people payed attention, and some even paid money. Money helped protect the species. Out of all the animals that Douglas Adams visited, one of them went extinct. The rest are doing better than they did 25 years ago. Part of that is due to a raised awarness.
Unfortunately, I’m a lazy self absorbed ass most of my time, so I’m not doing much about my dreams. I just feel like it’s a very hard life, and even though I still want to do it, I just have no idea how to help. Mind you, I want to actually work with some of these animals, I don’t want a safari, or simply to make a donation. If you have any advice, I’d love to hear it in the comments. If not, I hope I will convince at least some of my readers to go read Adams’ book or watch the documentary. I swear you won’t regret it. And who knows, maybe in some small way I’ll contribute to the awareness myself.
Meanwhile, here’s a few magnificent animal themed t-shirts.