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Gaining Knowledge of Our Environment

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Gaining Knowledge about Our Environment

How often do you pay attention to the environment around you? There are few people that take notice of how humans treat and take care of the earth; however, the people that do observe the earth are trying to gain awareness so people can see just what is happening around them. In Delaney’s essay, Pilgrim at Topanga Creek, he goes on to discuss the nature of human versus wildlife. The wildlife that he seems to focus on is coyotes and humans coexist. He goes on to explain that coyotes do not mean intentional harm, because they are just doing what they need to do to survive. Another environmentalist, Aldo Leopold wrote an essay called “Land Ethic.” Leopold goes on to express his ideals of how mistreated the environment really is. Like Delaney, he expresses how humans and the environment coexist; however, unlike Delaney, Leopold refers to plants and animals. He tries to prove the point that humans do not have respect for the natural world. While both essays’ focus on the subject of the environment there is a compare and contrast of similarities, differences, and tones.
In both essays’ Leopold and Delaney discuss how easily humans take over land that belonged to animals long before we took over the land. Delaney talks about how the coyotes invade the yards in his neighborhood; however, there are people that leave food out for the coyotes, but call in complaints when the coyotes attack their yards, pets, or children. About 100 coyotes per year are trapped and euthanizes by Animal Control Department (212 Boyle). These animals are killed or tortured for doing what they need to do to survive, while being encouraged to come back to what is considered human territory. Leopold displays a similar situation in his essay where humans show kindness and encourage mammals or different types of plants into their environment only to kill them off when they are not beneficial to them. Leopold points out the fact that humans are killing off hundreds of species a day for their own benefits. “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity. It is wrong when it tends otherwise (128 Leopold).” Both essays are trying to get across the idea that humans get rid of any living organism that does not seem to benefit them, in terms of the resources used in their everyday life. Although both author’s share a strong sense of love for the environment, their reasons behind both essays differ in terms of subject and promotion. Delaney appears to express a love for the coyotes and their safety; he only seems concerned with writing his essay to get what he sees on a daily basis off his chest. Although it appears that he does not agree with the idea of humans having invaded the lands of mammals that were there before them, and then killing them off for invading human territory; he does not seem willing to do anything about it. It does not appear that Delaney is writing the essay to gain awareness or to find a way to move the animals into a safer environment. Unlike Delaney’s goal Leopold focuses not only on mammals, but the misuse of our plant environment. Leopold seems to try to gain awareness as to how important how environment really is to us, and how the government mistreats both plants and animals if they are not used in our everyday resources. “Some species of trees have been ‘read out of the party’ by economics-minded foresters because they grow too slowly (126 Leopold).” Leopold is trying to reach out to a third party unlike Delaney who seems more focused on getting what is on his mind down on paper. Leopold is trying to promote the safety and awareness of how the environment is mistreated and Delaney is solely focused on self satisfaction and complaining about the coyotes instead of trying to find a way to help the animals or gain awareness for outside help. Finally, both author’s have similar and different types of tones or moods to their essays. While both essay’s express a sense of urgency in a way that it would appear that they want to immediately grab the reader’s attention. They are both trying to express a form of understanding to where they are trying to get the reader to sympathize with them. The authors’ want to try to get the reader to see the importance of nature and how humans ruin or destroy it for their own benefits. Though both authors share a sense of urgency and understanding, Delaney’s essay appears to be more introverted in a sense that it was never really meant for other people to see it. Delaney’s essay comes off more cold and stand-offish almost as if he just wants you to be aware of the situation, but that does not mean you should take action to help or prevent it. However, Leopold’s essay expresses a more calm and warming tone that is trying to get you to not only sympathize with the mistreated mammals, but also the plant environment. Leopold’s essay seems more social and welcoming in the sense that he wants to get the reader involved with helping the environment. In conclusion, Delaney and Leopold both focus on the subject of helping or observed how the environment is killed off or mistreated. Delaney’s essay appears to be more personal and introverted while Leopold’s essay is trying to get the reader involved and raise awareness to how our environment is being treated. Humans should start to understand that they do not come first on this earth and should treat the other organisms with respect and the same amount of care that they put into themselves.

Works Cited
Boyle, T.C. The Tortilla Curtain. N.p.: Penguin, 1996. Print.
Davis, Deanna. Actively Reading Our Worlds. N.p.: Pearson Custom, 2008. Print.

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