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for people who care about the West

Consider the connections


Kudos to Rita Clagett for sharing her anguish over what to do about the prairie dog colony on her property (“Slaughter of the Innocents,” HCN, 9/5/16). Taking us through the steps that led to her “final solution” raised ethical questions we all might well ponder. But in calling her earlier defense of the colony an error of “sticking by my emotional guns,” she frames the issue as bleeding hearts versus pragmatists. Given that Clagett is a Buddhist, she might have considered the cornerstone Buddhist teaching that everything depends on everything else. There’s nothing particularly emotional about this truth. Darwin essentially came to the same conclusion 2,500 years later. Every creature has a role to play in the web of life that sustains us. If we don’t see how a so-called varmint fits in, we’re not looking hard enough. 

Merrill Collett 
Tucson, Arizona