How much attention is too much? This is the question I asked myself while doodling “Walling Jags.” I was inspired by the tiger. I am in my forties and I cannot think of a time in my life when the tiger wasn’t described as threatened or endangered despite all the efforts for the animal and the attention given to the species as a whole. I’ve been thinking about this in regard to the jaguar and the border wall – can the rarity of the jag in the U.S. be used for justifying its conservation or annihilation, or both?
According to a recent poll, the need for a border wall has been rejected by the majority of Americans. Yet we are not in power. Instead, a political outlier who is used to bullying and lying to get his way believes he is, and he demands a “big, beautiful” wall. He wants the wall without understanding what that means.
A border wall symbolizes the destruction of : soil, water sources, cultural and familial relations and communities, and habitat health making the land less healthy which, in turn, makes all species less healthy. A wall also symbolizes the fragmentation of habitat; threats to endangered, threatened, soon to be threatened, and stable populations of wildlife; added perils to migrants crossing the land that could lead to their rapes, beatings, and/or deaths.
The jaguar is being used to educate the public about the importance of open borders for human and wild populations – I’ve done it. And with all that attention I have begun to wonder how that translates for the actual animal? Does it help the jaguar or hurt the animal? Is there such a thing as too much attention for the jag? Does this attention translate into the tradition that remains active today – Shoot, shovel, and shut up? Or, does the attention help maintain habitat connectivity through open borders and thus the jaguar?
I just don’t know…