Free Video Downloader

Fast and free all in one video downloader

For Example:


Copy shareable video URL


Paste it into the field


Click to download button

We’re All Roadkill Now
May 26, 2024

We’re All Roadkill Now

Reading Time: 5 minutes

A Flattened, Bloody Raccoon on a Highway Isn’t Just a Bummer. It’s a Dire Warning., Cars flatten animals—and humans. Our fates are connected., Car deaths, roadkill: Our fate is connected to that of animals.

Last March, a female Asiatic cheetah, dubbed Majrad by scientists, was killed by a car in Iran’s Semnan province. This wasn’t unusual in itself: One 2017 study noted that cars pose ‘the most serious threat’ to the subspecies of endangered cats, fewer than 50 of whom survive in the wild. Yet Majrad’s death was especially devastating, conservationist Raza Kazmi reported: When researchers performed a necropsy, they found she’d been pregnant with triplets. Majrad could have been the Asiatic cheetah’s salvation; instead, her demise may signal its doom.

Majrad’s fate was a tragic example of an all-too-common phenomenon. Alongside washed-up Coke bottles and cigarette butts, the Anthropocene’s most ubiquitous emblem might be roadkill. The demolished deer, the obliterated opossum, the wrecked raccoon: This is the detritus of our human-dominated age. Every day in the U.S. alone, more than a million vertebrate animals meet their end on the asphalt, among them rarities like Florida panthers and ocelots. One 2020 study found that mammals are four times likelier to die on roads these days than they were in the 1960s. In the Sixth Extinction, the asteroid is an F-150.

We humans are similarly plagued by our automotive society. In the U.S., car crash rates and pedestrian fatalities have recently erupted; potential culprits include ‘car bloat,’ smartphones, COVID-related anomie, and the automatic transmission, which frees up motorists’ hands to, say, use TikTok. Like an urban squirrel or skunk, you are, alarmingly often, in danger of having your body shattered by a two-ton machine hurtling through space at 70 miles per hour.

In a sense, roads are the ultimate expression of One Health, the concept that our own well-being is intimately linked to the planet’s. Roads simultaneously degrade nature and jeopardize human well-being: The same dirt highways that have carved up the Amazon also facilitate the spread of malaria; the same Los Angeles freeways pulverizing mountain lions are also responsible for the city’s dismal air quality. Scientists call the study of how roads influence nature ‘road ecology,’ the subject of my recent book, Crossings—and nature includes us humans. Whether you’re a pedestrian or a porcupine, you live in the thrall of roads.

The field of road ecology began almost precisely a century ago, on June 13, 1924: the day that married biologists named Dayton and Lillian Stoner embarked upon a road trip across Iowa. Lacking Spotify, they decided to pass the time by undertaking ‘an enumeration and actual count’ of road-killed animals—a battered weasel here, a flattened garter snake there. All told, Dayton later reported in the journal Science, the Stoners counted 225 dead animals representing nearly 30 species. (Despite her scientific credentials, Lillian wasn’t listed as co-author.) The automobile, Dayton Stoner declared, had become ‘one of the important checks upon the natural increase of many forms of life.’

And cars weren’t just killers of meadowlarks and woodchucks, the Stoners knew—they also slaughtered humans. As the historian Peter Norton noted in his book Fighting Traffic, early cars were ‘uninvited guests’ in American society, and rude ones at that: They ran down children, usurped bazaars and stickball games in urban streets, and sparked protests in cities from New York to Detroit. Cartoonists often depicted the Grim Reaper seated behind the wheel.

This social context—one in which cars weren’t loved, but loathed—influenced the Stoners. ‘We hear and read a good deal of the enormous annual toll of human life due to the mania for speed … Even the widely heralded ‘dirt roads’ of Iowa are tainted with human blood,’ Stoner observed in Science. (They just don’t write journal articles like they used to.) Even as Model Ts rolled off assembly lines, the Stoners anticipated the automotive age’s horrors. Like a snapping turtle or a yellow-billed cuckoo, we humans, Homo constructus, would perish on the roads we built.

Today the Stoners appear prophetic, although some developments are too disturbing for them to have predicted. Among them is road rage, a car-induced cruelty that sometimes expresses itself through intentional roadkill. In a 2007 study, Canadian researchers set fake turtles and snakes on a causeway, and found that nearly 3 percent of drivers veered to squash them. If that seems improbably callous, consider how often cars are weaponized against humans. At least three drivers have struck pro-Palestinian protestors since October, and in 2017 activist Heather Heyer was murdered by a motorist while demonstrating against white nationalism in Charlottesville. That grim history seemed only to embolden Sen. Tom Cotton, who in April urged motorists stuck behind protestors to ‘take matters into your own hands.’

Our world would be unrecognizable to the Stoners in other ways, too, starting with its speed. During their seminal road trip, they cruised along dirt and gravel roads, rarely exceeding 25 miles per hour; what would they have made of modern ‘stroads,’ dangerous multi-lane arterials that permit highway velocities in residential neighborhoods? They would have been equally baffled by our infatuation with ever-larger SUVs and pickups, whose towering grilles and elephantine weights make them astonishingly effective pedestrian killers. And they’d surely have been appalled by America’s recent spike in cyclist deaths—a terrifying trend that even helmets have proven powerless to forestall.

Sometimes, we’re literally roadkill. But roads also kill us in subtler ways. Take noise pollution, one of modernity’s most serious unsung public health crises. The incessant whine of engines and tires raises our blood pressures and stress levels, elevating our risk of cardiac disease and stroke; one French advocacy group has calculated that ‘exposure to noise of transport’ curtails Parisians’ lifespans by eight months. Noise is equally harmful to animals, particularly birds; after all, an owl who can’t discern the crunch of a rodent’s feet in the leaf litter won’t survive long. A 2017 study found that human-caused noise, largely from roads, taints nearly two-thirds of America’s protected areas. Wild creatures in Yellowstone or Yosemite might be safe from hunting and development, but they’re still bombarded with noise.

Or consider the fragmentary effects of America’s interstates, which throttle ecosystems and human communities alike. When, in the mid-20th century, President Dwight Eisenhower’s ‘mighty network of highways‘ spread its tentacles across the landscape, it brutalized nature. In Wyoming, hundreds of deer, elk, and antelope perished on I-80; in Florida, I-75 slaughtered endemic panthers. Even when America’s new concrete veins weren’t killing creatures directly, they proved deadly. Not long after I-84 opened in Idaho, scientists discovered a herd of mule deer bogged down in deep snow nearby, unwilling to brave traffic. Soon the starving herd had crashed from 2,000 animals to 800 skinny survivors.  

While midcentury highways fractured nature incidentally, city planners often plowed them through neighborhoods of color with deliberate malice. From Minneapolis to Miami, officials intentionally routed interstates through redlined communities in the misguided name of ‘urban renewal.’ Today Black, Latino, and Asian people are disproportionately likely to live alongside highways, and to suffer asthma and other maladies associated with air pollution. Syracuse, New York, cleaved in two by I-81 in the 1960s, remains among the country’s most segregated cities—a plight that many Black leaders attribute to the sun-blotting viaduct that isolates its South Side.

Our various road-related problems are not entirely unsolvable. Wildlife crossings, improved public transit, bike lanes—these and other innovations can together make roads less cataclysmic. The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes tens of millions of dollars for the decommissioning of obsolete forest logging roads, $350 million for animal passages, and $1 billion to remove divisive urban freeways. Yet the U.S. is more or less stuck with nearly all of its 4 million road miles—by far the largest road network on earth.

In the years after their seminal roadkill surveys, the Stoners continued to tally flattened fauna, from snakes in Florida to skunks in New York. Over time, Dayton toned down the rhetoric; rather than polemicizing about blood-stained roads, he encouraged other scientists to ‘carefully and conscientiously amass the facts and findings.’ Well, a century later, the facts are amassed, and the Stoners’ apocalyptic warnings appear justified. We made our bed of asphalt; now we’re lying in it.


Ref: slate -> Free Online Video Downloader, Download Any Video From YouTube, VK, Vimeo, Twitter, Twitch, Tumblr, Tiktok, Telegram, TED, Streamable, Soundcloud, Snapchat, Share, Rumble, Reddit, PuhuTV, Pinterest, Periscope,, MxTakatak, Mixcloud, Mashable, LinkedIn, Likee, Kwai, Izlesene, Instagram, Imgur, IMDB, Ifunny, Gaana, Flickr, Febspot, Facebook, ESPN, Douyin, Dailymotion, Buzzfeed, BluTV, Blogger, Bitchute, Bilibili, Bandcamp, Akıllı, 9GAG

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *