Unquestionably, the facilities I toured were clean and pristine, the workers were efficient and dedicated, and the hum of activity was constant and purposeful. The facility was part of a larger enterprise that was working to produce a product that, perhaps one day, might help me – or help you - survive a medical procedure. But it wasn’t the facility that impressed me, it was the tiny creatures aligned in long rows with people sticking sharp needles into their backsides that impressed me most.
The horseshoe crabs didn’t ask to be here. Once upon a time they were peacefully crawling over the sand and silt scattered across the bottom of the
There they were sorted into categories and placed into other bins. They were wheeled into a long chilly room where a pair of human hands would lift them up, bend their bodies in two, and wedge them between two wooden boards. Their backsides would be swabbed with disinfectant and then, joy upon joy, a very sharp object would piece their body and puncture their heart. They would sit there (sit there?) for five to ten minutes while some of their body’s vital fluids drained into a large glass bottle placed beneath them.
Then they were pulled from the racks, re-deposited back into some portable tubs and unceremoniously trucked into a back room. They waited there and then were loaded into trucks, transported back to the ocean, and gently placed back into the arms of the
It was easy for me to determine all the benefits you and me and a couple of billion humans have obtained from horseshoe crabs. But there was still a persistent question tickling the back of my brain – a question I couldn’t quite answer as I swung out of
It's been quite a ride! I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing my views, discoveries and adventures with horseshoe crabs over the course of the past year-and-a-half. But, all good things must eventually come to an end. And, so it is with this blog. Other writing ventures beckon and other literary assignments call...and I must heed their demands. Consequently, this will be my last blog posting. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed the ride and that you will ealso njoy the fruits of this journey in my book - Horseshoe Crab: Biography of a Survivor (Ruka Press, 2012). The book has garnered many rave reviews from several well-respected people and I'm delighted with its message. I hope you'll consider getting a copy.
Thanks for your support and your enthusiasm for, arguably, one of the most fascinating creatures on this planet!