Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2018

Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Snitzer, James

First Committee Member

Jung, Anita

Second Committee Member

White, Susan

Third Committee Member

Conrad, Terry


Humanity has entered a new geologic age wherein our actions have become the dominant influence steering both climate and environment, now having entered a new era of mass extinction. Some scientist allege that half of the extant animal species have disappeared in the last forty years, while other scientific studies project that the remaining nine million species will again halve by the end of the century. Although extinction cycles are no stranger to this planet, this sixth iteration is unique in that is being driven primarily by human consumption. It has been claimed that in order to sustain our current level of consumption, we would need a planet 1.5-2 times the size of the one we currently inhabit.

It is easy to dismiss our individual responsibility as stewards of this planet. New modes of thinking about and approaching conservation at a local level must be developed in order to stave off the impending destruction of any and all species. Our own future as a species is inexorably linked to the success of the ecosystems we inhabit; their success, too, is bound to the species that sustain them. While this essay may not offer any meaningful solutions to an impending cataclysm, it is my hope that it will at the very least elicit a desire to amend the way we think about animals, nature, and the urgent responsibility we need to take for our planet in order for both our species and the Earth’s other inhabitants to endure.


vi, 23 pages


Includes bibliographical references (page 15).


Copyright © 2018 Andrew Mullally

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