Nocturnal Treasures

This blog has reported about squirrels, aardvarks, hedgehogs, moths, fairies, snakes, ghosts, oak and willow trees, dragons and knights, aardwolves, raccoons, hyenas, cats and bats, goblins and all manner of other creatures of the night.

While the supernatural ones can undoubtedly take care of them selves, Willow the Vampire has made it her business to defend the natural world and its denizens against mankind’s thoughtlessness, cruelty and plain stupidity. In Willow’s quest for allies to help her rescue Earth from dark forces of the underworld, my eleven-year-old heroine has already shown herself to be a staunch defender of the rights of animals.

Who could forget her making a smorgasbord of the research staff at Stinkforthshire’s very own Cosmetic Lab, where animal testing took on a new meaning, once Willow had sunk her fangs into the security guard?

Every day somewhere in the world some nocturnal treasure trove is plundered and its contents spoilt forever. From the rainforests in South America to the ancient woodlands of Britain, commerce and greed will always find an excuse to plunder nature’s treasure chest.

Once a species is lost, there is little we can do to get it back, be it a wildflower, a rare newt, a strange looking toad or a Red Panda. In J K Rowling’s series of Harry Potter books Hermione rightly spoke out for the rights of elves, the much put upon servants of wizards and Hogwart’s School of Wizardry. In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy the Shire’s natural world is defended by the Hobbits, who’d give their lives to protect what truly matters in this world. In T H White’s The Once and Future King the young King Arthur is taught by Merlin what it takes to be another being, a different creature, seeing the world through somebody else’s eyes.

What seems to make sense in literature and what we agree is right and proper is just that much harder to follow in real life. Seeing an appeal on my Facebook account from Compassion in World Farming I feel ashamed that I frequently forget the cows in the fields, the chicken in the coop, the geese in their pen, the lambs being led to the slaughter.

Willow the Vampire might ask herself often, how she’d survive, if bloodsucking was no longer an option and humans became extinct – or were at least off the menu on moral grounds.

Why are we humans still eating meat, when our insatiable appetite for flesh forces poor farmers to clear more and more land so cattle can graze, fart and pollute the very air we breathe, only to be shipped in horrific life transports to the other end of the world, where animals are slaughtered under the most barbaric conditions?

Various experiments have shown that we can exist far more healthily on a meat free diet. Do we fear our blood will became even tastier for vampires, if we “taint” it with carrots, broccoli and all the other 5 healthy elements we’re supposed to have every day?

Admittedly, we would once again be a lot shorter, once the over-supply of protein stops. Monk-y-monk-boys from the 14th century were an awful lot smaller than the average Welsh woman is today – crusading knights would probably fit into a hoodie made for a ten-year-old today. The average Hollywood hunk would suddenly retail at just 5 ft, while the starved bimbos treading the Paris cat walk would look like every other vertically challenged dumpling the rest of us females see in the mirror every day.

Our obsession with meat-munching has reached such levels that celebrities drape themselves in raw flesh to gain attention and whole nations have become so fat they can no longer leave the house. Will we all start eating each other after Armageddon or Ragnarök has happened, like the French black comedy Delicatessen suggests (1991, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro directed)?

What will happen to vampires, if humans start eating humans and we return to our cannibalistic ways? Will a future encyclopaedia of animals mark them out as being extinct, along with the oak trees, the Red Pandas, the moths, the foxes, the aardvarks, the hedgehogs, the raccoons and even the snakes?

Adam and Eve have so much to answer for – not because they sought knowledge, but because they used it to exterminate the world.

(original artwork copyright Maria Thermann, animation: heathersanimation.com)