I was reading "The Moon By Whale-Light" which has a section about the incredible service bats provide, not just as insectivores, but as pollinators for a whole host of species* and the immense destruction they suffer because of misinformation and general idiocy, plus a lot of largely inaccurate hyperbole about rabies. (My favorite tidbit was that more people die of food poisoning at church picnics every YEAR than have died of contact with bats in all of human history.)
Eventually, I succumbed, and went and joined Bat Conservation International.
I snark about Kevin’s acquiring of strays, but the fact is, I’m a complete sucker myself, just on a slightly different scale, particularly if it’s related to something I’ve been working on. The Nature Conservancy got me earlier this month when they sent me a request to help preserve sandhill crane habitat, right at the critical moment when I was drawing the cranes in Ninjabreath. I suspect that the coral reef preservation people are going to claim a chunk of my future income, particularly if Dragonbreath 1 earns out its advance (it involves coral reefs, so at that point I’m practically REQUIRED to donate part of the proceeds.)
Let’s just hope this book doesn’t start telling me about whale-pollinated hardwoods or something, or I’ll be off donating my lunch money** to the flying banded night-whale. (Don’t laugh. When was the last time you SAW a flying banded night-whale? You can’t remember, can you? The species is obviously in decline, and they’ll take our hardwoods with them.)
*If you like fruit, support your local bat. Did you know that the domestic peach derives from a bat-pollinated species in China?
**I’m an artist. We’re not talking big sums here, believe me.