Wildlife is and should be useless in the same way art, music, poetry and even sports are useless. They are useless in the sense that they do nothing more than raise our spirits, make us laugh or cry, frighten, disturb and delight us. They connect us not just to what’s weird, different, other, but to a world where we humans do not matter nearly as much as we like to think.
–Richard Conniff, “Menagerie: Useless Creatures,” Opinionator Blog The New York Times, 13 September 2014. Brought to my attention by Alan Mattingly in “No Hurry for the Wandering Mind,” The New York Times International Weekly, Sunday 9 November 2014, p. 1.