‘When you’re unattractive, nobody likes you’

What an epiphany for me! I read this quote in a news article last Sunday and still chuckle about it. The article was about a freeway construction project and the steps road officials are taking to ensure that construction does not interfere with the successful mating of Indiana bats.

 This isn’t a Hoosier thing. Indiana bat is the common name of Myotis sodalis, which is on the federal list of species at risk of extinction. I was interested in the article because I’m interested in endangered species and how human activities influence their status. It turns out that the population in question summers in Genoa Township, Livingston County, and one of the experts the writer from the Daily Press & Argus quoted is our own Gretchen Voyle, Michigan State University Extension horticulture educator based in Livingston County.

 Gretchen provided information on the habitat needs of Indiana bats when they visit Michigan in spring and summer.

 Later in the article, she was quoted in describing the bats, and the full quote really gives a different context to the excerpt I spotlighted in the title of this post: “They’re pretty homely little bats, and people don’t like bats. When you’re unattractive, nobody likes you.”

 I’m quite familiar with how reporters can take a single quote out of a discussion and highlight it without capturing the point the speaker meant to convey. Still, I’m not letting go of the self-revelation the final sentence in Gretchen’s quote gave me on a wintery Sunday!

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