Mark Fine is another one of amazing authors I met through BGS, one whose life story could be a book in itself. Apart from many issues that bug him, here is a very important one.
WHAT BUGS ME? MOSQUITO
By Mark Fine
Why Oh why the infernal mosquito? What constructive purpose does this cursed pest play in the checks-and-balances of our fragile ecosystem? I look at its blood-swollen abdomen (my blood!) and its pile-driver proboscis plunged into my flesh (already, I feel the onrush of relentless itches) as I shake my head with frustration (the memory of the mozzie’s incessant buzz, as it closed in on me)—and all I’m left with is questioning the futility of it all. What is it in the mosquitos’ nature that makes it so compulsively nihilistic? The answer is simple. Blood!
It has no choice but to nourish itself on bloodstream of other living creatures. It has been programmed that way. And in recompense for the generous feeding it receives from an unwilling host, well the mosquito’s generosity knows no bounds; leaving in gratitude a welt, an itch, and a cruel dose of Malaria or West Nile virus.
But the mosquito has an excuse. It is not, by my reckoning, a sentient being. However, a human has no such excuse.
Alas, there are humans that are equally nihilistic, and significantly more destructive. And they truly bug me. Especially as they should know better, being raised themselves upon the bounty of mother earth. Their elders in story and song, from the cradle, expressed with great passion the necessity to respect and preserve the fragile balance of our natural world. Yet, like the selfish mosquito these pesky (too kind a word, but the pejoratives I had in mind are not for the civilized) poachers have mooched and preyed upon rhino, and elephant, and zebra, and lion et al.
This rant isn’t intended to be a rationale argument. I’m not interested in debates about medicinal demand from Asia, or the poor pecuniary lot of the poachers. It’s simply wrong!
Now, I feel I must explain myself. I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the dust of Africa flowing through my veins. This happy fact has blessed me with an abiding passion—and compassion—for all living creatures. This innate love for nature has remained with me all these years that I’ve been fortunate to live in the United States.
But despite the great geographic distance from the continent of Africa, my soul aches, because I sense the cry of the voiceless. Especially those large mammals: the elephant and the rhino. Triage demands we focus on the rhino immediately as their very survival is in imminent danger. In part due to the economic might of Asia, so the appetite of superstition and libido must be satisfied in an ever growing demand. Also, the needs of terror groups to finance their deadly attacks have grown. But it’s the deadly efficacy of modern instruments of death that have accelerated the rapacious escalation of poaching in the early 21st century; whether it be mass poisoning at a drinking well or hail of fire from a helicopter gunship.
Simply stated, demand is slaughtering supply! And the stream of blood left in its wake is more than enough to satisfy a googolplex of thirsty mosquitos. So, for me the extinction of the rhino and elephant are not an option. Instead, I’d gladly volunteer the bloody mosquito as fair trade—there are certainly enough of those miserable blighters to go around.
Mark Fine, author of THE ZEBRA AFFAIRE: An Apartheid Love Story. And #RhinoProtector.
Thank you, Mark, for taking the time to write this post. So many things bug us, but it is important to speak up and act!