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Living on Earth: Trash Animals

By Steve Curwood
Living on Earth

nagy_trash coverCURWOOD: So, the seventeen-year cicadas may be leaving behind their smelly corpses like so much trash as they complete their life-cycle, but there are some people who regard whole categories of animals as ‘trash’. Dave Johnson is an instructional designer at the Institute for Learning and Teaching at Colorado State University and he helped edit a book called Trash Animals: Nature’s Filthy, Feral, Invasive and Unwanted Species. He says he became fascinated with these creatures after he started catching one of America’s least desired fish.

JOHNSON: I was interested in trash animals, because I had been clerking in a fly shop, and fly fishing is all about trout. And I went out to fly fish for White Bass. And so I hooked probably about a 15-pound carp, which is much bigger than any White Bass that I had ever caught. Wherever I moved, I would always look for places that potentially had carp. And the reactions I got from other anglers - they were either very angry that carp were even in those waters, or they would dismiss it outright as some kind of lunatic activity.

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