I usually spend one day per week at the manufacturing plant for the company I work for. The plant is located in Newark, NJ, a city notorious for, among other things, pollution and toxicity. The plant is unnervingly close to one of the flight paths of Newark International Aeropuerta. As it turns out, the ancient creek that runs through the middle of the plant is a Superfund site – none of which are good for the health of any living thing.
The plant itself manufactures chemicals in the form of liquids and powders, mostly by combining other chemical liquids and powders (‘better living through chemistry’). As in any manufacturing process, a certain amount of product gets into the surrounding ecosystem (if you can call the area around a chemical plant such) through spills, dust clouds, exhaust pipes, etc.
Now, let’s not get the wrong idea here. Modern society needs chemicals of all sorts and what better place to manufacture these substances than in the industrial section of an industrial city? Keep it all in one place, I say. It just seems like a good plan.
In addition to all of that is the jet engine exhaust constantly blanketing the entire area from above, like the polar opposite of ‘mana from Heaven’. So, the bushes, trees and grasses, the litter on the ground, the very dirt itself, is contaminated with one sort of poison or another.
But Nature always finds a way. Trees, plants and grasses grow all around. So does a certain cross section of animal life. You can tell they are not the healthiest specimens of their kind, but they have eked out an existence for themselves.
There is a small gathering of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) that live in and around the plant. Not enough to call a flock, they tend to be in small groups. They seem happy enough, always chirping, flying around, eating seeds and bugs, crapping on car windshields and doing whatever else it is that small birds do.
Because they have small brains (bird-brains), they have no clue that everything they eat, touch, drink and nest in has some level of chemical in it – toxic or otherwise. Not that they have much choice in the matter or could do much about it. They are truly a product of their environment. Thus, by extrapolation (and exposure), they are toxic themselves.
There are other creatures in the area – cats, rats, mice and bugs – that crawl around at ground level, absorbing whatever chemical du juor is present. Some of those creatures eat the toxic birdies and thus are toxic themselves.
So the toxic bugs eat the toxic leaves of the toxic trees. Then the toxic birdies come along and eat the toxic bugs and toxic seeds and every so often die (of toxicity). Then the toxic rat and/or mouse comes along and eats the toxic carcass of the the expired toxic birdie, after which the toxic feral cat with the one eye and malformed tail catches and eats the toxic rat, then takes a toxic crap that gets infested with toxic maggots that turn into toxic flies that the toxic birdie eats.
A vicious (and toxic) cycle, indeed.