Wildlife Preservation in Thinking Like a Mountain

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Wildlife Preservation in Thinking Like a Mountain In Thinking Like a Mountain, the author, Aldo Leopold, writes of the importance of wildlife preservation through examples of the symbiotic relationship of animals and plant-life with a mountain. He asks the reader to perceive the processes of a mountainous environment in an unusual way. Aldo Leopold wants the reader to "think" like a mountain instead of thinking of only the immediate, or as the hunter did. Taking away one feature of an ecosystem may eventually destroy everything else that that environment is composed of. Nature and wildness is essential for the well being of life on this earth. The excerpt begins by telling of the echoing sound of a wolf's cry. Every creature has a different perception of the meaning of that howl, while the mountain has a different view as well. A deer might be alarmed by it and flee. A hunter may become more alert and trigger-happy. All the while, it's a comfortably soothing sound for the mountain. Leopold goes on to explain his experience as a hunter and the only time he killed a wolf. He saw the fire die in the wolf's eyes and later realized what he had done. Before, like most hunters, he thought that by killing the wolves off there would be more deer in return. Therefore, there would be more game for the hunters. Leopold writes, "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunter's paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view." Prior to this event, Leopold never thought to consider the destructive, long-term effects that could be made by reducing the wolf species on the mountain. He had been overtaken by the... ... middle of paper ... ...ly with wilderness and believe that these are the places that have touched me most deeply. To "think" like a mountain, you need to consider a different perspective than normal. You have to be mature, think objectively, consider others before yourself, and most importantly, you are obligated to think about the future. The natural world is an entity, with a pulse that reverberates through all living organisms. By taking away one aspect of the mountain terrain, you may be wiping out a possible necessity for the environment to survive. This is what he defines as the hidden meaning behind the howl of the wolf. Humans need to open their eyes and realize that there is a meaning and place for everything that is natural in the wild. Leopold summarizes this thought at the end of the excerpt with Thoreau's famous line: In wildness is the preservation of the world.

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