Seriously, Will Nature-Deficit Disorder Turn Fatal?

Seriously, Will Nature-Deficit Disorder Turn Fatal?
Remember nature-deficit disorder? As a former nature boy who spent an inordinate amount of time ankle-deep in creeks, I recall reading Richard Louv‘s Last Child in the Woods with a great deal of interest. That’s the book where journalist Louv put his finger on the thready pulse of kids who have never been allowed to meet nature on its own terms. If they go outside, unplugged, at all, it’s to a denatured, “stay on the trail” environment.

With that in mind, watch this video of a lionness at the Oregon Zoo trying to eat a baby dressed in a zebra hoodie. She can’t, of course, because we’ve invented Plexiglass. But the sense that this video is hilarious is also fascinating. Wherever it’s posted, strident arguments break out between people who respond viscerally to the lion, and people who don’t.
On NPR’s blog, Eyder Peralta has filed the video under “fun,” and says:

You may remember that we’ve written about this genre of YouTube videos before. The last time we touched on it was in January, when Mark wrote about 3-year-old Sofia who courageously stood her ground against a lion at New Zealand’s Wellington Zoo.

Is it courageous for a 3-year-old to stand her ground against a lion? Is it brave for the boy in this video to say “kitty kitty”? It seems a fairly culturally specific reaction. As an adult, knowing what I do about both Plexiglass and lions, I’d probably still step back from this lionness…
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