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!


December 19, 2007

Roy Speckhardt

Executive Director, American Humanist Association (

Today's Date: 6 December 2007

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

During my first camping trip hiking along the Appalachian Trail, I entered a clearing and came upon a family of eagles flying just above me. The sereneness of my surroundings and the majesty of the eagles filled me with a sense of awe and wonder. I was surprised to find that I can have such peak experiences without a belief in God or other supernaturalisms, and it led me on my path to humanism.

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

In childhood, I very much enjoyed a large garden that backed into a small stretch of open woods. In thrilled at finding my own spaces in the trees and bushes there and exploring the life that thrived there.

Now? Today there are so many beautiful places of such diversity that I've experienced that the only way to choose a favorite would be to first settle on a particular mood, set of companions, and state of mind.

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

Similarly, today it is a challenge to settle on a favorite animals, so I'll have to say orangutans for their fascinating reflections on humanity tempered by something positive that engenders respect.

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?

Today's greatest environmental challenge is grappling with how to raise worldwide standards of living in an equitable manner, while simultaneously addressing the steadily diminishing environment, upon which our very existence happiness depends. Some say that the capacity of the land to support the people has already been exceeded, so what are we to do?

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

We need to act quickly on broad scope measures that will impact our negative global trajectory. Behavior changes are needed (such as eliminating incandescent bulbs, switching to biodiesel, and reviving public transportation) so that we can reduce our ecological footprint. And global lifestyle changes are needed (such as addressing population growth through family planning and boosting women's rights) so that we lessen the burden on our planet and live better lives.

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