Why the outcry over a single bird when an entire species is at risk?

Image courtesy of Enviornment American Research & Policy Center by way of a Creative Commons license

Confession: A couple of weeks ago I committed the high crime of sharing a photo to the job’s Facebook page of a young girl feeding a Goldfish cracker to a seagull. You would have thought I had nominated Charles Manson for the Nobel Prize.

The epic outpouring of rage and hate almost compelled me to delete my FB page and swear off social media. Only your feedback prevented me from doing so.

Today, the first batch of stories in a package about the fate of the monarch butterfly appeared on the job’s website. The monarch migration, if you didn’t know, is in danger of extinction. Monarchs could become few and far between in the Florida Panhandle if the situation doesn’t change.

Apart from a very few messages from friends (which I appreciate, by the way), you could have heard the crickets chirping.

I ask myself, “Why would so many people care about the possible arteriosclerosis of a single seagull when an entire species is in danger of extinction from our local area?”

I can only conclude that people no longer read and process information anymore. They merely react to Internet memes and photos and ideas presented to them by their keepers.

That’s a shame, because while that seagull is probably just fine, the monarch is not. And the monarch is deserving of an equivalent level of concern.

About the author:

Del Stone Jr. is a professional fiction writer. He is known primarily for his work in the contemporary dark fiction field, but has also published science fiction and contemporary fantasy. Stone’s stories, poetry and scripts have appeared in publications such as Amazing Stories, Eldritch Tales, and Bantam-Spectra’s Full Spectrum. His short fiction has been published in The Year’s Best Horror Stories XXII; Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine; the Pocket Books anthology More Phobias; the Barnes & Noble anthologies 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, and 100 Astounding Little Alien Stories; the HWA anthology Psychos; and other short fiction venues, like Blood Muse, Live Without a Net, Zombiesque and Sex Macabre. Stone’s comic book debut was in the Clive Barker series of books, Hellraiser, published by Marvel/Epic and reprinted in The Best of Hellraiser anthology. He has also published stories in Penthouse Comix, and worked with artist Dave Dorman on many projects, including the illustrated novella “Roadkill,” a short story for the Andrew Vachss anthology Underground from Dark Horse, an ashcan titled “December” for Hero Illustrated, and several of Dorman’s Wasted Lands novellas and comics, such as Rail from Image and “The Uninvited.” Stone’s novel, Dead Heat, won the 1996 International Horror Guild’s award for best first novel and was a runner-up for the Bram Stoker Award. Stone has also been a finalist for the IHG award for short fiction, the British Fantasy Award for best novella, and a semifinalist for the Nebula and Writers of the Future awards. His stories have appeared in anthologies that have won the Bram Stoker Award and the World Fantasy Award. Two of his works were optioned for film, the novella “Black Tide” and short story “Crisis Line.”

Stone recently retired after a 41-year career in journalism. He won numerous awards for his work, and in 1986 was named Florida’s best columnist in his circulation division by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. In 2001 he received an honorable mention from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for his essay “When Freedom of Speech Ends” and in 2003 he was voted Best of the Best in the category of columnists by Emerald Coast Magazine. He participated in book signings and awareness campaigns, and was a guest on local television and radio programs.

As an addendum, Stone is single, kills tomatoes and morning glories with ruthless efficiency, once tied the stem of a cocktail cherry in a knot with his tongue, and carries a permanent scar on his chest after having been shot with a paintball gun. He’s in his 60s as of this writing but doesn’t look a day over 94.

Contact Del at [email protected]. He is also on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, tumblr, TikTok, Ello and Instagram. Visit his website at delstonejr.com .