Sure you’d risk your life to save a defenseless infant…but you’re grateful to not be called on to act so. But listen to this: African penguins in South Africa have been cut to 20% of their population in 1978, and they’re still headed downward. Why? Ocean warming and commercial fishing creating what the researchers call an “ecological trap:” the penguins travel thousands of miles to return to once abundant feeding grounds, seas now ravaged of a nutritionally rich food source. Those infants are defenseless and measures to protect them can be taken.
When I finished the novel, The Making of A Madman—the story of two youths, one with serious emotional issues—I immediately began a sequel, Juliette. It’s based on an obscure and minor character in the first book; I can’t explain how or why but the project took off with a major sub-plot being animal rights and protection—all the research I did opened up a topic that is quite sad. It’s criminal because so much can be done for so little.