Even as a child,
I saw incredible beauty, intelligence and goodness in nature.
As an adult, I became a scientist
and at one point was hired to perform brain surgery on mice.
I made it two weeks before going to my boss and saying,
“I cannot do the job you hired me to do.”
For me, the knowledge we were gaining from the surgery
did not outweigh the terrible destruction
I was doing to the mice.
I couldn’t do one surgery without marveling at:
the intricate markings on their feet
the softness of their fur
the slow, faint beating of their little hearts as I held them sleeping in my hand.
As I timed my breathing with theirs,
our shared breath of life that animates every creature
I knew I could no longer do animal work.
I could no longer be a scientist.