Last week, I was driving on a fairly busy New Jersey road when the traffic slowed to a halt. However, as we started slowly moving, the reason for the hold-up brought a smile to my face. A flock of geese (complete with a line of goslings) were making their way across the street. The Police K-9 unit stopped both sides of oncoming traffic while they waited for the geese to cross the road safely to a nearby pond.
I’m happy to be held up in traffic for the safety of webbed ones. In fact, I’m happy to be held up in traffic for the sake of any animal. (On rainy nights, I slow to 5 mph in my driveway just to avoid the bullfrogs from my frontyard marsh.) Yet, we all know that roadkill happens. And when it does, it breaks my heart. (This comes from someone who sheds a tear when I step on a slug during an early morning run.)
But, recently, a family member shared some brilliant advice about roadkill (if there is such a thing). He told me that people should pay a fee to an animal shelter when they accidentally take an animal’s life. When someone hits a mouse with his Chevy Equinox, he needs to pay up. When someone can’t swerve to miss a frog, she needs to open her wallet to the ASPCA. Whether it is death by car, lawn mower, bicycle, or foot, it all adds up to a donation.
Roadkill will always break my heart. But giving a donation in lieu of an accident is certainly a silver lining.