Rat Kingdom

It was just nearing dusk when I was on my walk back to my apartment on the way back from the store. There’s a garbage heap in the alley behind my house and as I was passing it I saw something on the gate that seemed weird. I stopped to look and turned on my phone flashlight to try to figure out what it was: a rat climbing the gate. As I peered closer with my flashlight more rats scurried out from the garbage around the gate. In fear I ran the rest of the way to my apartment and away from the kingdom of rats. While seeing this pile of trash grosses me out and makes me nervous because of its occupants, it’s unusually normal to find similar heaps all over the city when actively looking for them. While disappointing to see, it becomes more clear why these unsightly piles exist in the city. As with many instances of pollution, we have to ask: who is responsible, who is to blame, and who will pay to clean it up? And because these questions exist in the legal and municipal practices of the city it is often these never do get cleaned up because it becomes a problem of whose property and whose money. This image is an important call to action. Preventing pollution can help prevent pests, an unfortunate problem that Baltimore City has become known for.

3 thoughts on “Rat Kingdom”

  1. After seeing everyone’s posts I realized that everyone has a story about how the negative impacts of pollution or other environmental concerns have affected their daily lives. If we could have the population as a whole take a moment of introspection we would potentially make great strides forward in reducing the impact we have on the environment. These problems are not common to one area; different classmates are in different areas, and even upon returning home, I am noticing much of the same problems. While the environmental issues around us can be overwhelming and a little bit disappointing for us environmentalists, hopefully, this series of articles will inspire change in our neighborhoods. It is everyone’s job to do their part to mitigate our effect on the environment, and with climate change and other capacity-related concerns on the horizon now’s not the time to be pointing fingers.


  2. I pass this alley every day, too, and have seen at least one rat a week. It’s disheartening to see how haphazardly the residents dispose their trash, accentuating the problem.


  3. I actually have not seen a rat in Baltimore yet, but have heard many accounts of rats outdoors and inside apartment buildings. I am glad to see a photograph that documents the environmental issue as there are many negative effects associated with the amount of trash in the city.


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