Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


July 29, 2006

Valeria Ojeda

Ph.D., Universidad Nacional del Comahue & Argentine National Research Council

Today's Date: 29/07/2006

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

I cannot identify any such particular interaction, I’ve observed and thought about nature in a special way since I was a little child…feeling myself like a natural creature. I especially remember the forests around houses my family rented for vacation in Patagonia when I was a child, and maybe feeling “lost” in those forests while playing with other kids may have been the most exciting experience I had with nature; I still love to feel that way.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

Yes, in summer I visited both the Atlantic Sea cost (either Uruguay or Argentina) and the Patagonian Andes. I definitely preferred the mountains.

Now? The same choice, this is my place on Earth.

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is, and why?

I asked myself that question many times… I don’t have one.

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

Both now and for the future: understand (individually) that we can live with much much less (materially) than we feel we need today… unsustainability of our behavior as individuals is so obvious for many of us, but so subtle to most humans… Also try to see the short lifespan of the current system most humans are relying on (big/small countries, rich/poor countries, dominant/dominated countries)… these differences are maintaining the unsustainable global system we are in today… it will need to be changed if we are to survive.

5. If you could give everyone one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

I’m not good at this…

Advice 1: From time to time, try to feel more like a wild animal than like an intellectual human being... things look very different.

Advice 2: Restricted to women: you have the power to change the world VERY quickly! Stop having kids who no one cares about, concentrate in educating (not just feeding and keeping warm) just one or a few ones.

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