I was reading an article today about how bats are dying from white-nose syndrome, and how it will take bats years to build their populations back up. Bats all over the U.S. are suffering from this illness, which is caused by a fungus. It basically suffocates the bats. Not only is it sad for the bats, it is sad for us.
We need bats. Bats eat insects. Without bats, we would have to resort to chemicals to kill insects, which is not just cruel to the insects, it is bad for the environment and for our health. It is not our place to kill insects, but it is certainly a job for bats. Bats naturally control insect populations, so we don’t have to use cruel and poisonous methods. A world without bats would be a buggy world, indeed.
Some say bats aren’t cute. I disagree, but I digress. Being cute has nothing to do with your importance or even if you are important at all. We need bats, but even if they had no use that doesn’t mean they would deserve half of the things people believe about them. They don’t fly into your hair. They don’t turn into vampires. They don’t suck blood. Yes, vampire bats suck blood, but not human blood. Bats can be a vector for rabies, but so can stray dogs.
We need bats. We need them so we don’t all catch malaria. We need them so we don’t all catch the Zika virus. All animals-even the ones the bats eat-are a part of our world and need to be respected. Saving bats means saving the environment. It means saving us.