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 08, 2009

Jim Igoe

Assistant Professor - Dartmouth College, Department of Anthropology

Today’s Date: 23 July 2008

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

When I was eight years old my dog Princess was killed by a car in Southern Ontario. This was a defining moment in my life, because in my memory it was my first experience of real loss. My dad was there, and could have easily saved my dog, but he panicked. I did not blame him at the time, but I did when I was older. He died when I was 19 and at the time I thought that I hated him. Now that I am 44 with children of my own, I realize that he made a simple mistake. Life is full of moments like these when the quantum field clearly offers opportunities to choose the real. It is at moments like these, I think, that people are most likely to freeze. This is because the least frightening thing to do is abandon attention and tell yourself that it just wasn't in the cards. This is what my dad told me when I said that I wished Princess was still alive. Last year, when my son Vincent's dog Rama was killed near our house by a car, I remembered this. It was my fault because I had forgotten to close the gate to our yard because I was preoccupied with something that I thought was very important. As soon as Rama ran up the alley, I knew it was too late. Vince was angry at me, and I told him I was sorry. I told him I had made a mistake and that sometimes daddies make mistakes. I asked him to forgive me and he did.

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

The beach in Kingsville, Ontario near where my dog was killed

Now? I no longer believe in the great outdoors, because I know that the out there is also in here.

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

Human beings, because we are extraordinarily complex and confused, because as far as I know we are the only organism that routinely distorts information, and because we are equally capable of profound kindness and senseless cruelty. Go figure. Crows are cool too, but that maybe because they remind me of people.

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?

The greatest challenge facing our species on this planet is the simultaneous ascendancy of spectatorship and consumerism. Spectatorship is the opposite of efficacy, it turns us into passive observers of events who take no responsibility for the world of which we are part. Through spectatorship we make the mistake of believing that we are separate from our environment. Consumerism is closely related to this. As consumers we interact with the world as though it was put here solely to meet our needs. We experience life as a series of purchases and everything around us as a commodity. We do not see or question the historical, social, or ecological context of our consumption. We just consume. In this way, we lose any sort of reciprocal relationship with the environment. This loss of connection is the single largest threat to the future of our species, and many others, on this planet.

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

Find a way to connect before it’s too late.

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