By Betsy Mayer
Vultures are not beautiful birds with elegant markings. Unlike eagles, who also feed on carrion, they don’t inspire or symbolize great nations. Sports teams don’t adopt them as mascots. Beyond their obvious lack of beauty up close, even the distant sight of wheeling vultures gives many a feeling of dread.
But I think vultures are unsung heroes of the bird world, and whenever I see them doing what vultures do best, I thank God for their unique role in the harmony of nature.
For most of my life, however, I didn’t feel a hint of admiration or sympathy for vultures. Their obvious delight in feasting on dead animals revolted me. This all changed one winter morning more than a decade ago when Mariana, my mother’s caregiver, called loudly to me, “There’s a sick skunk on the front lawn!”
We all ran to take turns peering
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Betsy Mayer is the managing editor of Last Generation magazine.