Our encounters with the animal kingdom begin shortly after birth. We learn the alphabet using aardvarks and zebras. We make friends with stuffed bears. We watch cartoons featuring talking turtles and rascally rabbits. Our childhoods are intertwined with animals in a profound, ever-present way.
Given our early attachment to animals it’s surprising that as adults many people are indifferent to the fate of wild creatures. It’s well publicized that a wide range of animals are threatened by human activity, yet in most cases their numbers continue to decline. In the future will we be left with nothing more than plastic toys as proxies for the real thing? Is the last animal migration from flesh to plastic?