Today I was asked if a bat was a mammal. This wasn't a child asking, it was an adult. As someone who is passionate about wildlife and conservation, this sort of question always comes as a very big surprise to me and I'm sure many of you will feel the same. I studied Zoology at University and I'd like to think that I know more about nature than the average individual, but surely knowing whether a bat is a mammal or not is a basic general knowledge question and something we are taught in science class at a young age?
Now, my husband is very passionate about football. I suppose that for him the equivalent of someone not knowing if a bat is a mammal is like someone not knowing the offside rule in football. My husband has explained this to me many times and I'm not ashamed to say that I still don't really understand it and to be honest I don't really care. Perhaps it's because I don't really care that I don't take the time to understand it? So I ask myself if I'm being too harsh on those people that don't know if a bat is a mammal or not, because I don't know what the offside rule is.
The difference is of course that people should care about nature, wildlife and conservation, and should know the answers to basic wildlife or science questions so they can pass this knowledge onto the younger generation to spark an interest and passion in wildlife and nature. What would the world be like without wildlife and those individuals and organisations that work tirelessly to protect and conserve it? We need to educate and inspire the next generation of conservationists and for that we need to know the basics at least!
So what do you think? Am I being harsh or unrealistic? Oh, and for those of you that are still wondering, yes a bat is a mammal!