May 18 is Endangered Species Day, which reminds me of one of my favorite Yogi Berra quotes: "I just want to thank everyone who made this day necessary." The irony, unfortunately, is that we are the ones who made Endangered Species Day necessary. Maybe not each of us individually, but as a human race we are out-competing wildlife for space. But is that really necessary? I don’t think so, and in fact, I believe with a little—okay, maybe a lot of—forethought, wildlife and people can coexist on this planet. The forethought required, however, is tough because it requires consideration of consequences. I know I don’t like thinking about consequences as it usually means I won’t get everything I want. Balancing wants versus needs is always hard, yet I don’t think we should give up on all of our wants. We just have to be mindful of whether a want today will be available tomorrow, and whether today’s wants will eliminate tomorrow’s needs. It’s that sustainability thing.
To help you with your sustainability musings, the L.A. Zoo is featuring Wild for the Planet, which started on Earth Day in April and will run through Endangered Species Day in May. Each weekend, conservation partners from a variety of organizations will be present at the Zoo with ideas and resources to help you be Wild for the Planet. We will also be celebrating the Year of the Bird with entertainment and fun activities for everyone. There is still time to make a difference, and we can do it working together by making thoughtful, sustainable choices about our needs and wants. Because as Yogi also said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” See you at the Zoo.