My last palliative care job in London, I was privileged to care for a 94 year old Doctor. Her life began in Bogota at the British Embassy where her father was the UKs man there.
Her long life saw her a P.O.W in Bad Godesburg, after being rounded up in VICHY where she worked as a children’s doctor. Her recall of that time was adamant and angry. Told me some of life’s tragedies for individuals is being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As she aged her sight slowly diminished and when I meet her the vision in both eyes were reduced to little more than 15%. Didn’t stop her studying a spider with a magnifying glass.
An immediate bond was established between us and I spent a year being her prime carer with her pledging me, within a week of us knowing each other, that I was never to hospitalize her. That I never had to do and her dying was a peaceful and lovely conclusion for her and for me.
During my frequent discussions with her, stories from her incredible life I wish I had recorded, but almost every day she kept reiterating the most dangerous thing for the planet was the loss of our bio diversity and the inevitable collapse of life as we know it.
I felt then her words were already coming true.
The article below, 22 years on from Doctor Amalia Maude Brandon’s dying could have been written by her back then.
[The Quarterly Review of Biology March 2013] — “Several years ago, I attended a seminar on the psychology of the animal-liberation movement. The speaker observed that although very few animal-lib activists were actually religious, most such people scored very highly on the “religiosity” scale in personality inventories. He suggested that animal liberation served the same functions for such people as religion did for many more: it gave life meaning and conferred a group identity centered on shared moral superiority over others. After years of interacting with “weed warriors”—people who spend their free time trying to eradicate “invasive species” from parks and public lands—I would advance the same hypothesis about most of them. They tend to be absolutely convinced of the righteousness of their cause and highly resistant to any suggestion that naturalized exotics might not be all bad. They also tend to be oblivious to the disconcerting degree to which their rhetoric converges to that of racists and xenophobes, and highly defensive if you point that out to them. After all, they are on the “green” side, right?
Time we learnt to adapt to climate change.
Council is currently reviewing the Byron Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and wants to hear from the community about their views and aspirations for managing Byron Shire’s biodiversity values. The first stage of the community consultation is a survey.
The survey will only take 5 – 10 minutes to complete and the responses will be considered as part of the Strategy review.
The survey can be completed online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SZGR7DK