Sunday, October 21, 2012

I Was Almost Roadkill, Too!

This week I was riding my bike home from school and got hit by a car. It was partially my fault, admittedly; the driver didn't see me and I assumed that she was going to wait for me to cycle by. Although I didn't get seriously injured (I came away with a slightly discoloured patch on my leg), it did make me think about a number of things, including roadkill.

File:Roadkill kangaroo.jpg
Aww, so sad...
The question I want to ask today is this: should we stop driving cars in order to prevent roadkill? And, if so, how do we do it?
The lady who crashed into me was very apologetic. Would she have been apologetic if she had run over a squirrel? I think she would have, although it is not a social necessity to feel this way in our culture.
A lot of roadkill is the result of speeding, too-- and, of course, the simple solution to that one is simply don't speed. Speeding puts animals in danger, it puts you in danger of crashing or getting a ticket, it puts poor careless cyclists like me in danger, it bothers neighbours, and it puts the environment in danger due to too much pollution. The only thing that speeding does accomplish is lessening your chances of being late for your next appointment or school or work day. You just need to plan ahead of time. It won't always be easy, and sometimes you will be late. But, well, that's life, as they say!
But I'm skirting the question. Cars-- or no cars?
I want to say no cars, due to my environmental concerns, but I've got to look at it from the roadkill perspective, too. Just how many animals are killed when the person is not speeding? I can't find any statistics, but I'm sure that many roadkills happen within the speed limit (especially on highways). If you are concerned about roadkill, drive your car as little as possible-- and carpool with a safe driver at the wheel whenever you can. If you are an open-minded, eco-friendly, animal-friendly, lovely person who always puts others first, stop driving your car altogether! (And if you're not, stop driving it anyway and I'll give you bonus points for going against your stereotype.) :D
You can't always stop yourself from driving over ants with your bicycle tires (believe me, it's pretty dangerous at times, and I should know), but you can try to reduce your impact as much as possible. Similarly, buses may not slow down to prevent the squishing of squirrels, but bus-ing is so much better for the environment that you should take the bus instead of the car anyway.
Here are some things you can do to stop roadkill:
  1. Get your neighbourhood to start an anti-speeding campaign. Some neighbourhoods just need a sign that displays your car's speed as you go by-- others may need more police to hover around. Talk to your neighbours about what would work for you.
  2. Don't get in the car with someone who is known to speed (if you have trouble refusing, just imagine me and my poor little bicycle going along the road at the same time).
  3. Please be careful with your cats-- do you want them to get hit by a car?

Whew. I hope I didn't ramble there. Remember to enter The Great International Vegan Soup Competition before December 1, 2012, by the way!
Oh, and don't worry. I've learned my lesson not to go out in front of cars without getting their permission first. Your lovely blogger isn't dead yet! ;)

1 comment:

  1. very sorry to hear that you had an accident.
    As they say, better late than dead. Makes you think.
    Thanks for the blog.