Yesterday, I was driving back to work when a squirrel darted into the road right in front of my car. It reminded me of that old insurance commercial where the animals purposely run in front of cars for their own amusement, to watch the cars careen off the road to avoid hitting them. With my words of my driving teacher from ten years ago coming back to haunt me, I did everything I was taught not to do – I slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting the little animal.
The squirrel stared up at me, dazed. Then it sprinted back to the sidewalk and safety.
Today, I was not able to avoid animal manslaughter. I was driving, talking with my brother, when I saw a bird flying towards my car. I cringed. There was nothing I could do. With an awfully loud THUMP, I watched in the rear view in horror as I saw not one, but two poor little birds lay in the middle of the road, dead.
I immediately felt very sad, especially as my brother, trying purposely to make me feel worse, speculated that the birds were a couple. I hope they did not have a nest to tend to.
He wondered why humans sometimes appear to value animal life above human life. I think it’s because humans just have more tools at their disposal to defend themselves. Despite their survival mechanisms, a cute animal seemingly is vulnerable (whether or not that is actually true). Regardless, I sadly but reluctantly accept that there’s nothing I can do but let nature take its course.