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!


January 26, 2007

Lora Stone

Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of Saint Francis (Dr./Prof.)

Today’s Date: 26 January 2007

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

People noticed when I was a very young child that domesticated animals followed me around, approached me, or rested by me, and many wild animals - armadillos, birds, a young coyote, jackrabbits, feral cats and dogs - didn't seem threatened by my presence. The people who noticed these things told me that this was unusual and reinforced in my child-mind that this was a very positive attribute. When I told adults that I could hear what animals were thinking, they acted as though they believed me. So, the short answer to the stated question is: As a toddler, I was talking to non-human animals (and some trees) before I began having conversations with humans, I believed that the animals and trees spoke back to me, and the adults around me didn't discourage my behavior.

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

As a child, I loved the uncultivated section of my paternal grandparent's farm in West Texas. There were 50 acres populated by mesquite trees, jackrabbits, sun-bleached cow bones, coyotes, sometimes a few cows, and a few feral cats. A perfect day: wandering around looking closely at everything, finding a spot under a mesquite tree, checking for fire-ants, then sitting and watching the wildlife move around.

Now? The Jemez Mountains in New Mexico and the red rock semi-desert areas in the northwest quadrant of New Mexico. Also, Albuquerque in the spring when the emerald hummingbirds migrate right through the city, hovering within inches of my face as I walk down a sidewalk, and when confused (?) roadrunners come running into the house you are in. One time, I was visiting a friend in Albuquerque, and a roadrunner dashed in the house through the front dog-door, then trotted around the house, then went out the back patio sliding door that was open.

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

Usually the animals that I am living with....but I think you are asking about my totem animal. So, my favorite animal is the bobcat. They live wild across the US, yet most people do not see them. The have a beautiful face that communicates intelligence and extra-ordinary senses. They appear small, but are heavy and strong for their size, and have the confidence of a much larger cat. The bobcat makes me think of possibilities, rather than impossibilities.

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?

Lack of education for humans regarding sustainable lifestyles is a current challenge. The future challenge will be salvaging whatever biodiversity survives our current unsustainable lifestyles.

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

Immediate, global agreement that all humans should not exceed replacement level reproduction.