Without elephants, Africa's landscape would be unrecognizable, yet these animals have fallen by the hundreds of thousands as a result of two enormous waves of poaching in this century - one in the 1970s and 1980s, the other, beginning around 2009, now underway.
Both climate change and extinction are results of our tyranny over the nonhuman world and our domination of, and exploitation of, whole categories of each other - and those, in turn, are clearly linked to agriculture, the cattle-industrial complex, capitalism.
Without even knowing why, we believe that to learn how to be human - which we have many years to do, for human beings have longer childhoods than any other species, a feature that to biologists and philosophers alike is one of our race's distinguishing characteristics - children must be surrounded by animal imagery.
Most climate debates have focused on cutting the use of fossil fuels. But besides a few high-profile scuffles over fuel extraction in vulnerable wild places like the offshore Arctic, political leaders have ignored fossil fuel production as a necessary piece of climate strategy.
The Free Body Culture gave me a gift I might never have received had I refused to play along. It left me with an acute sense of the absurd - one I still cherish - to be there among my fellow apes, awkward and less than half-willing, aiming and missing, leaping, landing and wincing.
If Oak Flat were a Christian holy site or, for that matter, Jewish or Muslim, no senator who wished to remain in office would dare to sneak a backdoor deal for its destruction into a spending bill - no matter what mining-company profits or jobs might result. But this is Indian religion.
The comic novels I did when I was in my 20s had a harder edge - less sympathy for people. Or a sympathy that was harder to detect: Characters' foibles and obsessive bents were unrelenting, like caricatures.
The Safari Club International has worked the legal system hard to try to keep polar bears - threatened primarily by climate change, but also by hunting - on the list of creatures people can import as trophies after shooting.