February 07, 2014

Monkeys are made of chocolate.

Monkeys Are Made of Chocolate: Exotic and Unseen Costa Rica
By Jack Ewing

The older I get, and especially lately, the more conscious I feel about the environment, about animals, about humans & how we treat each other and our surroundings.

Not in any way that makes me feel compelled to impose how I feel on anyone else, but in the way that I have recognized how at peace I feel when I'm surrounded by nature and feel a strong desire to be around it more. And I always have, but lately I feel more compassion and sensitive to the good treatment of animals. Gradually, I've begun to feel an aversion to zoos and silly human luxuries like horse-drawn carriages, and I sob when I watch documentaries like Blackfish, a film about the capture & mistreatment of killer whales for the Sea Worlds of the world.

Anyway, tomorrow I leave for a week-long trip to Costa Rica. This has been a trip I've been dying to take for years and my friend bought me this book for my birthday in October to prepare. Very interesting, though it concentrates on Hacienda Baru, a site I will not be visiting. Jack Ewing, who primarily came to Costa Rica approximately 40 years ago to farm on the land, has instead devoted his life to restoring the natural forests and ensuring the safety and protection of the animals (many endangered) in their habitats. The book is comprised of many anecdotes divided by chapters about each of the species, all of which are very fascinating. Have run out of time but maybe I'll post an excerpt or two when I return.

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