Saturday, September 17, 2011
Just leave them alone!
A mountain lion on a treadmill, for scientific reasons having to do with our being better able to "manage wildlife" (a contradiction in terms?). It had taken scientists months to "train" the animal to walk steadily on the thing. Eventually, they hope to be able to position specific animals (wearing a collar -- another scientific contribution) and know exactly what they're doing and likely to do.
Whatever the scientists were up to, it wasn't natural for the cat and it wasn't even for the cat, who was merely a vehicle for experiment. To all of which I say phooey! and pfui!
But prescient poet Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931) says it so much better:
The Horrid Voice of Science
"There's machinery in the butterfly;
There's a mainspring to the bee;
There's hydraulics to a daisy,
And contraptions to a tree.
"If we could see the birdie
That makes the chirping sound
With x-ray, scientific eyes,
We could see the wheels go round."
And I hope all men
Who think like this
Will soon lie