Help Me Lie to the Tree-Huggers

I guess today is Earth Day.  Didn’t know that.

As it turns out, a fair number of cartoonists did know that and incorporated it into their comic, like here and here and here.

Not me.  This is my strip (click to enlarge):

So now I’m getting emails asking me why MY strip makes no reference to Earth Day.  Like I’m some guy pouring oil on seagulls and chopping down redwoods so  they fall squarely on baby seals.

So please, help out and give me an explanation for how today’s strip is actually promoting Earth Day, so I can cut-and-paste it into my reply to these emails.  And please, make it plausible, so I can fool these annoying people.

Thank you.

And yay, earth.

199 thoughts on “Help Me Lie to the Tree-Huggers

  1. Because you obviously saved an endangered zebra. How people cannot see that, I don’t understand.

  2. You have been honoring Earth by having environment-conscious Zebra install a skylight, which is helping saving energy, by using sunlight instead of turning on the lights.

    Also the crocs are laying off the TV, also saving energy.

  3. Looks like you’re screwed. Maybe you could say that for you, EVERY day is Earth Day. You don’t need just one day of the year to be environmentally conscious like your less globally-aware counterparts. It’s all I got. Good luck.

  4. Tell them the crocs got the zeebra to go outside and stop watching tv. This message saves electricity and stuff…

  5. If we don’t take care of our planet, we ruin parts of the food chain. When that happens there’s not enough prey for animals higher up the chain. The crocs are feeling the pain of what we’ve done to the Earth and too many of them are competing for the little bit of food there is. Malnutrition has made them less able to catch food and to act in ways unlike crocodiles would under better circumstances.

    How’s that?

  6. Your showing the intelligence of the creatures of our planet …. oh wait a second that may not work.
    I think the only comic you linked to that was funny was the tree and the co2 …..and your still way funnier than those guys 🙂 More important!

  7. Easy – a skylight is an alternative and eco-friendly way of lighting one’s home. By doing this strip, I am demonstrating that there are environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing methods of fulfilling our basic needs, but that sometimes these can be misunderstood by those whose only goal is to consume and destroy.

  8. The crocodiles are green (green is good) and they defeated the evil imperialist sky light that was drawing sun light into Zebra’s house instead of leaving it outside where it belongs; and they made Zebra go outside so he could enjoy the Earth instead of watch TV. In all I would say a very fanatical pro-Earth cartoon.

  9. The crocs represent things such as toxic gases & carbon footprints & they’re killing exotic species (aka Zebra)… plus, the skylight reason from above is good too.

  10. Obviously the broken skylight will allow fresh air to circulate. Zebra will not waste energy running the air conditioner.

  11. The skylight represents our enviroment, our Earth, and the Crocs represent our nearsighted, wasteful consumer culture. The strip is a reprentation of our wastefullness crushing and ultimately destroying our natural resources.

    Its a very deep comic if you ask me.

    (I’d leave out the “idiot” part in your reply)

  12. The crocs’ breaking through the skylight represents man’s over-industrialization breaking nature’s perfect balance. (That’s all I can think of. Or maybe you can claim there’s a hidden Earth Day message, like those Magic-Eye pictures.)

  13. Hmm…It’s a commentary on how development is taking away natural habitats and causing predators to act strangely while trying to stalk their prey.


    You wanted to show green (hence the crocs) for Earth Day.

  14. The skylight is a metaphor for the fragility of our planet. It has been polluted by too many “crocodiles” (people interested in satisfying only their own immediate needs) and is in danger of collapse.

  15. Gravity, man. It’s all about gravity: the welcoming embrace that pulls us all–great, small, or croc–into the loving bosom of mother Gaia.

  16. Zebra watching TV represents society ignorant towards the worlds problems, and the Crocs represent the enviornment and what will happen without action. With the threat that the Crocs (Environment) will crush society due to a collapse of stability upon earth, the creaks giving warning to society to take action, with this Zebra (society) runs off to take action and save the world. The Crocs then fall in, giving you a warning, the world has a environmental limit.

    There, I think I fixed the problem.

  17. You’re uncomfortable with the fact that “Earth Day” is nothing but an anagram of “Death Ray.”

  18. The crocs look a bit like a leafy green tree-top. Their tumbling down through the skylight for their greedy desire to eat Zebra symbolizes the cutting down of trees all over the world, the toppling of nature for man’s greedy, selfish purposes. Save the rainforests! Etc. etc. etc.

  19. Pearls Before Swine is a constant reminder of our Earth. It gives us a rare glimpse into the lives of many different species of animals, discusses the food chain and the struggles some animals face with predators, shows how skills are passed down through generations (Junior croc, for example), and reminds us that humans can interact with their animal neighbours in positive and productive ways.

    Due to this, you did not feel the need to write a specific strip that deals with Earth Day, because every single one does!


  20. Obviously you were promoting the use of daylighting by having a skylight installed which saves energy…totally earth day related

  21. The metaphor here runs deep; as the climax to a week of intricate buildup, we see the crocodiles burst through the skylight. In real life, the green movement has strained through perils (this last week in comics) and has finally become fully mainstream (the green crocs at the end). If this seems like a stretch to the curious, point out:
    1) Zebra always avoids the crocs but now must come face to face to them now that they’re in his own home.
    2) Zebra often litters carelessly (though not on panel)
    3) Zebra eats other animals but ignores the consequences this could have on the environment.
    4) The colors of the words ‘Crack’ and ‘Crash’ are both indicative of a consciousness being raised.

    Also point the readers that the next few days will feature many strips of Zebra’s realization of his own destructive ways and how he will be repenting, although that will probably be occurring in the background as Rat and Pig make several lame puns and then Rat threatening Stephan because of it.

  22. Just say “my story line involving crocks on a skylight serves as a metaphor for the ever-increasing strain placed on the Environment by the individual choices we make every day, and how the collective impact of our ignorance will result in the destruction of the very thing we depend on to sustain us (Earth), resulting in our own eventual downfall.”
    That ought to shut ’em up.

  23. Here’s your reply –

    It has taken several pounds of coal that was dug out of the Earth and then burned which produced mass amounts of C02 into the air to produce the amount of electricity for you to operate your computer so you could send me an e-mail stating that I’m not honoring Earth Day.

  24. Obviously, it’s all about endangered animals (such as zebras and crocodiles) and the need to preserve their habitat. Also, it shows there is a limit to how much hunting and consumption of natural resources we can do.

    (My next job should be as a spin doctor, maybe?)

  25. I would tell them that there being that many croc’s falling through the skylight shows that by uncontrolled industry, it’s driven the croc’s out of the bayou’s and into the cities to the point that *counts them* 7..or 8…we must make a more consiencious effort…..

    Yeah that’s it…

  26. Off topic, but I love how Zeeba will never be wounded by the crocodiles, whatever the situation.

  27. Attempting to explain or justify any action (or inaction) to an idiot only gives them the gravitas they do not deserve. Ignore them.

  28. How does anyone not see the metaphorical representation of the skylight as our Earth and how if we put too much pressure on it we can all collapse into a big heap and end up with no Earth left at all?

    Well done Stephan. I knew what you meant with this classic artistically representative look at the amount of pressure we are placing on Mother Earth.

  29. You may not be promoting Earth Day in the strip, but at least you are not being hypocritical by sermonizing on the point using a medium that is either

    a) the result of chopping down trees (the printed strip within a newspaper), or

    b) the result of burning fossil fuels (to power the electricity to power the web server and the computers viewing the cartoon online)….

  30. The breaking of the sky light is a metaphor for the fragility of the planet and it’s inability to support the needs of a growing population. It’s a parable really.

  31. Just tell them that if Bil Keane would have sex just once for pleasure rather than procreation, then his strip would probably have Jeffy falling through a skylight to obvious bemusement of his siblings.

  32. You are showing respect to Mother Nature by capturing the delicate balance of our ecosystem and the interdependence of all our planet’s creatures.

  33. The skylight is the ozone layer. Being broken through little by little and endangering those below.

    We won’t always be able to move out of the way like Zebra! The crocodile sun will always be out to get us.

  34. To celebrate the many diverse species on the planet, as well as to remind people of the true meaning of this holiday, I decided to show crocodiles doing what they do best; Hunting a Zebra.

    How does this promote saving the earth, you ask? Simple: Man kinds attempts at stopping animals can only end badly. In this case, with a bunch of crocodiles falling through a skylight, some possibly dying.

    Was it not for the Zebra living in a man-made house using a man-made skylight, the only one dead would be Zebra himself and not the crocodiles trying to eat him.

    In you’re offended by this cartoon, I can only assume you hate the Earth. If that’s the case, I hear Mars is very lovely this time of year.

  35. Because your strip takes place on Earth, duh!! I mean that’s more than Brewster Rockit can say for itself, eh?

  36. America is far too complacent. We absorb ourselves in material goods and waste our minds on the false reality presented by propaganda (this is represented by zebra watching televison). only just outside our homes, the power of nature is just waiting to come crashing down on us. (The pile of green crocodiles, nature, also being a metaphore for global warming disasters like hurricane katrina.)

  37. Tell them to **** off. If they want to have a comic that glorifies earth day or any other cause, they can draw it and sell it to the newspapers. All I want from a comic strip is a laugh.

  38. You are celebrating the very EXISTENCE of Earth by demonstrating its gravity. Without that, the crocs would not have come crashing down!

  39. Easy: Survival of the fittest. It’s the law of the land, the rules of nature. The crocs just aren’t the fittest.

  40. A two pronged strategy might be best. Prong one is the explanation of the symbolism; prong two is the not-so-subtle dig that you believed the reader ‘green’ enough to understand the symbolism (ala Emperor’s New Clothes). Try this:

    Dear Reader,
    Thank you for your comment regarding my Earth Day themed Pearls Before Swine strip. Many of my regular readers have commented on the allegory of the green, or ‘natural’, crocodiles crashing through the skylight into the modernized, or ‘carbon-enhancing’ zebra’s house. Others who are not regular readers have commented on how the mass numbers of crocs must represent humanity as a whole while the lone zebra represents the diminishing amount of biodiversity. I am sad to say that none of the explanations I have received are correct. What I was actually attempting to show was that the skylight, which obviously represents the fragile ecology, is the only thing holding the chaotic forces of nature (the crocs) away from the secluded and womb-like environment of the western world (Zebra). Thanks to comments such as yours, I have now come to understand that subtle messages like these should be avoided at all cost; instead, I will be sure to use blatant and banal talking points in order to get my point across.

    Stephan ‘the hurt environmentalist’ Pastis

    P.S. – Stephan, if you use this, please feel free to reward me with the signed original strip of “Green Ags and Hamm”. Gig ’em!

  41. The cartoon is part of a series about Zebra installing a sky-light into his house, but the crocs take advantage of it, treating Zebra as if he were in a zoo.

    The point of today’s strip is a metaphor for how animals in zoos feel about having way too many people around them, and why zoos are bad.

    The breaking of the skylight and Zebra’s running away has to do with the fact that animals in zoos do not want the attention they get, and how overcrowding and spying on them can create more harm than good.

    Is that good?

  42. It’s a poignant yet subtle statement about overpopulation and the fragile earth (err, glass) that we tread on.

  43. The skylight represents our fragile ecosystem and the crocs are the crushing weight of pollutants. It is only a matter of time before the croc-pollutants destroy the skylight/earth.

  44. It is clear to me that the crocs represent the anthropogenic-global-warming-kool-aid chugging-enviro-nazi’s, whom refuse to understand that global warming is a naturally occuring phenomenon that ebbs and flows. The crocs are clearly after zebra for using electricity. Electricity that was produced by the burning of coal. They physically commit a felony and break into his home due to their overzealous belief in a politicized, (at best) junk science. Why zebra oughta get his shotgun and –
    Oh! You meant how can you show your SUPPORT for this garbage, didn’t you? Nevermind…..

  45. Look at how green the last panel is! Isnt Earth Day about being green? Crocs are green.

  46. You are currently in Kenya, where it’s Zebra Day. You chose to celebrate it with your Kenyan friends and fans because you knew your fellow american cartoonists would see to Earth Day. And, well… You were right.

    Celine, from France 🙂

  47. By offending their sensibilities, you’re encouraging people to stop reading paper newspapers, thereby preserving trees.

  48. I don’t know. The fact that it looks like Zebra was sitting on a pre-clubbed baby seal likely wont help your argument (or is that a pillow?)

  49. By celebrating the circle of life (akuna matada) I am showing the young people that by preserving Zebra(s) we can declare our love of the earth.

    Also, the best way to celebrate Earth Day is to watch TV.

  50. Because the skylight (a metaphor for nature) has a weight limit for stupid greedy people.

  51. Response:

    I live in the Southern Hemisphere. I don’t celebrate Earth Day until autumn. Idiot!

  52. The crocs represent humans encroaching on the environment of the zebra and other wildlife.

    Or the crocs, being green, represent the earth, encroaching on us and our tv watching habits.

    Or you could say you actually want your strip to be funny.

  53. “If you powered up the computer just to send me a complaint, then you are clearly not in the position to judge.” or “I stole the idea from ___, therefore the joke was recycled”.

  54. I see 7 crocs. That is 7 TVs that aren’t on because they are watching the Zebra instead.

  55. It’s an argument against skylights. Having a skylight allows the insolation on that part of the roof into the house, which increases the termperature into the house, which increases the cooling load, which increases power consumption.
    Someone who is really interested in the ecology WOULD NOT HAVE a skylight. He would instead use passive designs with south-facing (in the northern hemisphere) fenestration with overhangs designed to block the summer sun but permit the the winter sun due to it’s lower angle relative to the horizon.
    Instead of a skylight, Zebra should have an integral roof with adequate thermal insulation in his attic, and it should have appropriate passive venting to remove the excess heat from his attic so it cannot be transmitted into the living space.
    Oh, and tell the complainers to quit wasting the power required to send an e-mail.

  56. I’m throwing out a bunch of random ones here. Sure that some of them have been said.

    It’s a salute of all of the endangered animals, since the zebra and the crocidiles are almost endagered.

    If you look really closely, the crocs look like half a globe. Or half a tree, whichever sounds better.

    It’s a reminder not to waste, misuse and destroy the good things given to you. The skylight was good because it saves energy and provides natural light. Zebra realized this too, since he had one installed. However, the crocs, through their carelessness, destroyed it, forcing Zebra to resort to deadly, non-energy savings means.

    It is the representation of one intelligent man (zebra) trying to do something right fighting against the hoards of idiots (the crocs) who want to destroy the planet.

    It tells readers what will happen if they destroy the planet. Just like the crocs, they will end up hurt, dirty and stupid.

    Or you can go the other way.

    It’s reminding readers if that if they are not careful with the energy they consume by restricting the amount of time they watch TV, they might have a pile of crocs on their lap too.

    Or you can just say something about how they probably wasted more energy in the Earth by goggling your e-mail address to complain to you about not trying to save the planet, than the people will by not remember that it is Earth Day.

  57. The skylight is the ozone layer, and the crocs are pollution. Too much pollution overburdens the ozone layer and it smashes open, exposing outer space to our junk (crocs) and our earth to broken shards of humanity… or zeebas

  58. The skylight is elevating the temperature inside Zebra’s house through the Greenhouse Effect. The Crocs recognize that Zebra will suffer from ‘House Warming’ if they don’t act now and crash through the skylight.

    The strip is symbolic of how we all need to be ‘green’ and remove artificial barriers in our atmosphere and reduce global warming.

  59. It’s very metaphorical, of course. The crocs piling on the skylight was reference to the fact that we are straining our resources to the breaking point — there are only so many resources for so many people. Also, of course, more and more people being forced into smaller and smaller spaces with fewer resources to sustain them. The ultimate result is collapse, as you so eloquently illustrated in your comic…. LOL.

  60. Tell them that your comic was a metaphor for how introduced species in a non-native environment(the crocs) can lead to a population explosion that will eventually collapse the population (the sun roof). Then tell them they were just too dense to realize the profundity of your strip

  61. “Really? You don’t get it? It’s all about Earth Day!! What part don’t you understand?”

  62. The Skylight, like the Earth, can only hold so much weight(pollution). So bring some Green(crocs) in.

    or something

  63. If I were you, I’d send all the whiners a drawing of the posterior of your strip’s misanthrope. That way, even the subliterates would know that contrary to their suppositions, you DO give a rat’s ass.

  64. Because the skylight promotes natural solar heating as opposed to fossil fuel powered types?

  65. How about this:

    Dear environmentalist Kook (or fill in something more sympathetic/PC)-

    Please direct your attention to the Sunday strip from April 4 ( This strip was supposed to run on Earth Day, but much like the pants on Ziggy fiasco of 2010 the newspapers did not get the planning right. I believe it is because they are so busy worrying which trees to slaughter in order to provide the newspaper that delivers the comics that they have little time to think of anything else. I sincerely apologize for the mix-up, and hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive the error made by others.


    PS – watch my Facebook page for another edition of
    Reader Mail later this week *evil laugh*

  66. Easy… your reference to a skylight clearly shows an awareness of using natural light in lieu of electric sources…

    …besides, look at the huge pile of green. Granted it’s crocs, but still. 😉

  67. I’d go with something like this-
    “My whole comic strip is based around the fact that because of global warming,animals have been forced out of their natural habitat and are now forced to live in the suburbs. Therefore, every day is Earth Day for me.”

  68. While these other comic strip writers do one strip once a year, you are continually helping the Earth. I often clip out and save your comics because they are actually funny and witty. That saves that small clip of paper from entering the landfill. I can almost guarantee that all the Earth-Day comics I’ve seen today will immediately enter the landfill today, therefore polluting and fowling the earth with their unfunniness. Thank your for working to save our planet EVERYDAY!

  69. Stephan, I’ve heard that there’s a restaurant in England called “Yummy Yummy Italia” that serves pizza with zebra meat toppings. Get the crocs tickets to the UK.

  70. It’s a reference to the deterioration of our ozone layer and how if we keep putting pressure on it (as the crocs did to the skylight) it will crack under the weight.

  71. It saddens me deeply how these people so quickly jump the gun and question a comic strip so rich and full of social and ecofriendly commentary. If they can not understand all of the amazing metaphors in this masterpiece, then I weep for our future as a damaged society. Shame on them, and shame on James Cameron for his poor “ode” to mother nature when compared to your work of art. Bless you, Stephan Pastis; the world, nay, the universe, needs more heroes like you.

  72. Tell them you were too busy coating otters with crude oil to make mention of Earth Day.


    Tell them you were planning to take Earth out to dinner as soon as everyone leaves because you don’t want to seem like all the other cartoonists who are hanging around when it’s fashionable.

  73. We’re reading this on a nice, clean computer instead of a dirty old tree-killing newspaper.

  74. Why lie? You have animals in your strip every day. If anyone asks why you didn’t ‘officially’ observe Earth day, tell them to stick it in their ass.

  75. Fewer crocs mean fewer croc-emitted gases thus decreasing global warming! The world is saved by a skylight failure.

  76. Dear Pinheaded Zealot devoid of a sense of humor,

    Zebra represents the plight of endangered animals, being forced out of his natural habitat by the overpopulated and greedy crocs, who represent mankind (the fact they are green is ironic, thank you very much). Now, if you spent more time learning about nature and less time on your energy-consuming computer writing emails you’d get this obvious reference to Earth Day.
    Hope you have an Earthy Day (and by that I mean you end up buried in it), your pal Stephan. (Thanks for letting us help!!!)

  77. Simple: It’s an informative strip for all those green friends of yours that are (no doubt) installing energy-efficient skylights today. They should know, for their own safety, that you can only pile so many crocodiles on the glass before they come crashing into your living room. That number is, apparently, 8. They should put signs on the roof stating: “Caution, no more than 7 crocodiles permitted on skylight.”

  78. Remind eco-friendly visitors that energy wasted on sending emails and reading comics on a computer are not very earth-friendly. In the spirit of the holiday, please have them turn out the power in their household/dwelling/hovel for the day. Avoid using alternate lightsources, as well; the smoke candles give off are also harmful to the environment. Commuting places is obviously harmful to the environment, but excessive walking increases the wear and tear on sidewalks and paths, which ultimately means they have to repave sooner (repaving is bad for the environment).

    The little critters are also a valuable part of our ecosystem. To be as green as possible (and to minimize the potential to harm this valuable part of the circle of life), try in general to move your feet as little as possible. I recommend isolating most activities to a small, enclosed area as much as possible (any broom closet should suffice).

    Once they’re disconnected from the internet and sitting in the dark in a broom closet, proceed to make fun of them as much as you’d like; they may look dumb, but at least they’re eco-friendly.

  79. “Dear Concerned Reader,

    “I received your communication complaining that my strip is not about Earth Day. Whatever do you mean?

    “If our planet were properly balanced, the number of crocodiles I show in the strip would easily do away with the single Zebra. The laws of nature would prevail, the crocs would eat their fill, and the remains of Zebra would fertilize a spot of earth making the soil rich in nutrients for the planting of a new tree.

    “My strip shows the effects of man’s activities on the balance of nature. The zebra is carefully ensconced inside a human-made habitat. The crocs cannot lie in wait for him in the natural order; they crash through his skylight (that glass wall in our consciousnesses that keeps us from seeing the effects of our activities on Nature). Warned by their fall, the zebra flees–and no rich ground will become a nurturing place for new vegetation as a result.

    “I spent considerable time bringing all these harmonious components together into today’s ironic and environmentally-conscious denouement. Yes, it’s subtle, but I tend to think that environmentally-aware people are intelligent enough for this type of subtlety. Perhaps you missed my earlier strips this week which set up this moment of environmental tension and the crash of conflict?

    “Sincerely, etc.”

  80. I’d say that since the Crocs have finally made their way into Zebras house to eat him, that they are on their way to living a more green and sustainable life. By patronizing their favorite “Fried Zeeba in a Bucket” establishment, they are ensuring the continuation of mass-produced food from a factory (and no doubt eating chickens that were fed chicken-meal). By making this step towards eating a “natural, whole-food” they are helping their environment. It’s their own Food Revolution!

  81. The crocs falling is a visual metaphor explaining how that if we pollute the Earth to an extreme and put too much waste then the earth can handle, then things will start to collapse.

  82. SKYLIGHTS actually save wear and tear on the environment by decreasing the use of electricity!
    you’re the Best! =^..^=

  83. You were trying to show the effects of urbanization on endangered species. Embellish how you please.

  84. how much more green can you get than a room full of crocks…..????? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!

  85. Tell them that you didn’t talk about Earth Day because you are more enlightened, and you realize that every day should be Earth Day, not just one day a year where people pretend to care about something.


    Don’t put the barf in by the way.

    Oh, and and tell them that duh, the crocs are green.

  86. Zebras using that thing that uses the suns shine instead of turning on the lights that helps the enviroment

  87. the overload of crocs symbolizes the overload of carbon on the ecosystem, and the zebra symbolizes us

  88. Why it is clearly a rebus that spells out Earth Day in Croatian, give or take a few vowels.

  89. Earth only has a certain limit it can take or it will shatter, and crocs will rain from the heavens.
    The first part should fool those fools.

  90. Tell them that not everything has to be about Earth Day. Then ask them if their so concious of Earth day then how is it they can read your strip today and e-mail you.

    Reading it in the news paper? Well, trees had to be cut down to make the paper. And a lumber mill had to be built, tearing down more trees and land so the trees can be turned into lumber as well as the wood pulp needed to make the paper. Then more land had to be built on for the paper mill (bye-bye more trees) to make the paper and even more land for the building where the news paper is published (bye-bye even more trees). All three of which require a power plant to be built which means the destruction of even more trees and land for both the plant and the power lines (and sub-stations) not to mention the very strong possibility of polution from the plant.

    Oh wait, reading it on recycled newspaper. Gotta go back to the paper mill, where they could be using chemicals mixed into the slury of paper and water to remove the ink from previous printings. Bet those chemicals aren’t enviromentally friendly, either.

    Well, they read it online. Oops, there’s the whole powerplant issue again. Even if that power plant is hydro-electic, solar, or wind power you can bet a lot of land was lost to build it (hydro-electric means damming up a river to form a massive lake which is going to mean losing a large area of land, many trees, etc. as the water rises while solar power and wind power aren’t going to cause water to rise but you probably will have to cut down trees and level terrain depending on where you build your solar or wind farm) Plus what the computer is made of could be dangerous to the enviroment. Same ends up going for the e-mails.

    So they want a lot of destruction of forests and lands and pollution so they can read a greater strip and then complain there’s nothing in it about Earth Day.

  91. The crocs are green and piled into a fairly circular mound, therefore showing that you support a green earth.

  92. Zeebah neighba has shown his dedication to Earth Day by utilizing a lively “go green” decor scheme.

  93. Patrick’s post is perfect:

    “You’re uncomfortable with the fact that ‘Earth Day’ is nothing but an anagram of ‘Death Ray.'”

  94. Tell them your job is to make me laugh, not to celebrate days randomly selected for us to not be AS BAD to our planet. 😀 I laughed! So, you did your job, that’s all that matters.

    I like the “‘death ray’ anagram” idea too. Good one, Patrick.

  95. You’d think that either your Pearls wall calendar or your Pearls box calendar would have warned you about this holiday…

  96. They are saving the environment by staying indoors, thereby not burning fossil fuels when driving or making the roads more congested. By breaking through the glass, the crocs are letting fresh air in. Maybe it even killed one of them to decrease the population, which would mean one less to feed.

  97. Why should you do something special for Earth Day? Every day, your strip exclusively uses an all animal cast to show how these creatures are no different than us. While strips such as Garfield and Maraduke show animals as slaves to their masters, you show these creatures as their own masters. What a better message about respecting animals could there be?

  98. You could say that the whole week’s theme of a skylight has celebrating the light of the sun.

  99. Pingback: Top Posts —

  100. If Zebra had had solar panels on his roof instead of the skylight, he wouldn’t have his predators tumble into the house. Hence: being good to the earth = safety and comfort.

  101. Tell them that this is a criticism of how flimsy environmental reforms are. Like Zebra, environmentalists mean well, but often time their efforts fall short of being truly successful. By showing how easily the crocs break through his attempt at conserving energy, you’re making an argument that people need to stand up for their planet and strengthen it’s defenses.


    You’ll think of something. C:

  102. Ooh! Ohh! Have the crocs sitting around smoking a bit of Mary Jane! You could do jokes about crocs cookin’ with Croc-pot! And we all know Croc-pots cook with a lot less electricity. Ergo, Earth Day happy!

  103. Today’s strip was a commentary on the delicate nature of the world’s ecosystems. Should one single element shift, Chaos ensues.

  104. What’s not earth-friendly? Earth-friendly is about being green, and that’s a lot of green I’m seeing in that last panel!

  105. lol loving all these comments. Just goes to show how many different angles one can take.

  106. How many trees were cut down to print Pearls on the web?

    And aside from that, tell the freaks to get a job.

  107. No problem. You say, “The crocs were trying to block out the sun, making Zebra’s home easier to cool, and thus saving energy.” Take that you smelly hippies!

  108. If you put too much pressure (many crocs) on a resource (skylight), it won’t be able to sustain it and will come crashing down just like the skylight.

    It’s such a beautiful, lovely message that the tree huggers have failed to see.

  109. Option 1: Make an Earth Day strip tomorrow that explains why todays strip is in the spirit of “Earth Day”.

    Option 2: “Are you serious?! How can you be so dumb not to get the Green Spirit of my strip! You GOT to be kidding me..”

    Option 3: Let ME take care of ’em. >:-)

  110. Personally as I see it the crocs are totally aware of the overcrowding in cemetaries and is doing their part to alleviate the problem. Eat em! Two problems solved. The overcrowding in cemetaries is a thing of the past and the worlds hunger problem is also gone. 😉 You are personally fixing two of the worlds BIG problems, how much more earth friendly can you get?

  111. Earth day is a holiday celebrated by both americans, and cubans. The crocs are cuban. This shows the contrast between the two countries. The amount and continents of the bomb are HORRIBLE for the environment. Thus the problem portrayed in the strip showed how the two countries can’t get along. The earth is screwed.

  112. You already did an environmentally friendly one. When Zebra put the sky light in he was saving energy by using that light instead of a lamp.

    Oh and I like what the first guy put, tell them to go to hell.

  113. What GREAT COMMENTS one and all. I’m so impressed.
    This continues to be my FAVORITE BLOG, hands down.

    Stephan You my friend are a GEM ! ! ! I hope Stacy sees that. Has she forgiven you about the sunglasses? haha

  114. Skylights seldom do NOT leak and therefore waste energy so getting rid of it is ecologically sound. You’re welcome.

  115. I’m reposting this because my comment disappeared. You say: The crocs were blocking out the sun, making Zebra’s home easier to cool, thus saving energy.

  116. Simple. It demonstrates how buying a skylight can make your home greener. Crocs are green right?

  117. Just tell them that,

    The skylight is like earth. It is beautiful but delicate. If we pile up like stoopid crocs on each other, one day the weight is going to bring us crashing down. No zebra, no fud, no earth.

  118. Based on the responses you can go one of two ways: You could take the short snippy “up-yours, I don’t answer to you” approach. Or, you can take the, “Here’s my detailed, yet subtle earth-friendly meaning behind not only this but EVERY edition of Pearls cartoon…” approach followed up with, “Most of my more intelligent readers already get the rich subtlety of Pears, I’m sorry you missed it…” type of backhanded apology.

    I like the second approach. Any time you can bring someone down a peg, it’s a good thing.

  119. Say that it shows what will happen if we let the prey population get too low. The predators will start to hunt the same prey, and run out of food, therefore lowering the predator population too. If too many zebras are killed, the predators in that area could die out.

  120. I’ve rethought my statement. Zebra’s are herbivores, and thus produce large amounts of methane. The crocs are simply doing their part to reduce contributors to global warming.

  121. “My comic today was intended as a metaphor for the effect humanity is having on the earth. The crocodiles epitomize all negative human habits while the zebra encompasses nature as a whole. If we merely gather around the “skylight of discussion” instead of putting our thoughts into action, we will eventually crash through any hope remaining for our planet. Discussion does have a weight limit: one that our obese humanity reached long ago. Now is the time to leave talk at the table… Let work together to save our Zebra!”

    Or something like that. 🙂

  122. Why not point out the new, environmentally-friendly, no-power/vertical-entry crocodile habitat you created?

    You could claim that the strip was created using 100% post-consumer recycled* brain cells (* – “recycled” after being killed off drinking in Florida).

    Or maybe just say that no lawyers or other laboratory animals were harmed in the creation of the strip?

  123. Zebra has graciously turned his living room into a nature preserve for crocs. What more do these people want?

  124. I’ve got it! Earth is becoming so over-populated that it can’t support us anymore (hence the breaking skylight).

    I expect my royalties will be arriving in the mail promptly.

  125. being human is like the skylight and the crocs are like tree huggers. the tree huggers are growing so great and pushing us to be non human by eating the organic plants from our back yard and not using the bathroom instead craping on our plants for manure. Stephan being human has cracked and you know it so you put the truth in a paroble in your comic.

  126. It should be patently obvious that there is an overpopulation of crocs in the neighborhood and the local ecology (the Zebra’s house) cannot support them.

  127. Crocs are green. It’s a subliminal message that only really smart people get.

    Anybody who’d buy a Prius will buy that.

  128. Just tell them that now Zebra can buy a new, even more eco-friendly skylight. Maybe work in a joke about a tax credit to keep with the usual tone.

  129. My suggestion? Go with a slight variation on the truth:

    “Sorry, I work far enough ahead that I forgot about Earth Day altogether. Also, if you want a strip that accurately reflects your own politics and pet causes you might want to try drawing one yourself. Works great for me.

    “However, you’ll be pleased to know that this email is made of 100% recycled text, as I have copy-pasted it into replies for every email that asked the same entitlement-laden question.

    “Much Love,
    Stephan P.”

  130. The first three words “creak crack creek” is totally referring to preserving bodies of water, as in don’t throw your creaky crack (or any other types of drugs)into the creek where it will pollute water. Also, Zebra is preserving energy by keeping the TV off and installing an electric light saving skylight window (which is double paned as shown in the last panel, hence saving heat energy). There are also 4″h”‘s in the strip (crash, skylight, have, and weight), which also refers to the community helpful environmentally friendly 4-H club. Zebra is also using a cotton pillow instead of a feather pillow (because feather pillows don’t fold as shown in panel 2). Also the last panel is epically “green”.

  131. I finally had a chance to catch up on some reading, and it occurred to me that it’s a shame your 4/4 comic couldn’t have been postponed until Earth Day, what with the crocs already pointing out that they’re green, etc.

    Also had time to watch the chat/q&a session at the Walnut Creek Library with Darrin Bell, and one of the questions was about if there is any character who wants to steal the spotlight. You mentioned that you have to balance the crocs/zeebra with rat/pig and the two rarely cross, then today’s strip is zeebra going to rat asking for help as a repercussion of the crocs. A rare crossover with rat/crocs – interesting coincidence (for me) to see today.

  132. You see, the Crocs are breaking through the skylight to symbolize how we need to break down houses and plant more trees. Obviously.

  133. If we take it metaphorically, zebra is one of the few “good” guys (meaning activists, Greenpeace supporters etc.) and all the crocks are just normal people who do not spend too much time thinking about the problem’s of our earth but just about the fulfillment of our basic need (you took “food”, but it is only a pars pro toto for “food, sex, money etc.”). While only striving to fulfill their basic needs, normal people endanger the living space shared mutually by all beings, and finally cintribute to the collapse of the roof… eh, world. I mean I think it’s kind of easy to see, so maybe people will actually buy it if you add some exclamation marks here and there.
    Well, maybe you should act that you did not really meant to say that the normal guys are cannibalists or something like that but that you had the genius to incorporate your message so well into the actual story that only reader’s who were smart enough AND remembered the Earth Day would have understood it.

    By the way I didn’t read all the comments so if there is one which is somehow like this one: I didn’t copy, the other person was reading my mind by far distance and I am the innocent victim of plagitarism.

  134. On second reading, it’s just about a bunch of green idiots getting together for some pointless cause.

  135. Just tell them that because of EARTH’S GRAVITY, the Crocs were able to fall through the skylight. No gravity and they would just float away…

  136. Try this:

    “You see, those green crocs symbolize being eco-friendly, and them falling onto Zebra’s house means that I support saving zebras. You people don’t really get subtle references do you?”

  137. Zebra is using a skylight instead of a lightbulb. A skylight is even more “green” than an energy-efficient lightbulb. And, he’s letting the Zeeba Zeeba Eata crocs stay in his living room!

  138. Wait… You don’t pour oil on seagulls and chop down redwoods so they fall squarely on baby seals?

    Get with the times.

  139. I think Stray had it down pat. It’s a very in-your-face answer without actually saying it!

  140. The Crocs represent all of the problems with the environment, and Zebra is the government. when the problems crash through our roof, Zebra denys them and leaves instead of kicking the crocs out. Very subtle satire!

  141. Just tell them that in essence, the strip talks about saving wildlife (in this case Zebra) and point out that you have one entire panel going green 🙂

  142. The most obvious point would be that the crocs represent how we are exploiting the earth and causing it to collapse beneath us, but I think the more important issue is that Pearls was the only strip that made me laugh that day.

  143. tell them
    The strip is encouraging you to go outside instead of watching T.V. because a pile of GREEN crocs might crush you if you dont.

    simple as that.

  144. While the tree huggers should just eat a organic muffin and shut the F up, I can’t leave you in a tight spot…maybe you could argue that once the crocs crashed through into Zebra’s house, it became a wildlife habitat for endangered [and somewhat retarded] crocs. Just doing my part for the environ.

  145. I thought it was obvious to everyone… You were demonstrating how foreign species are invading the natural habitats of other species. In fact you are so dedicated that you have had several strips in a row to emphasizing what will happen if it continues on.

  146. God bless you Mr. Pastis, you genius of puns. Every time you publish a pun strip I laugh out loud. Just found this site because a guy I chat with sometimes in a forum we both like has a copy of your two crocs that says “Pees shut up wooman” and it cracks me up because it reminds me of me and my husband; and I have red hair like her.
    Feel free to lie outrageously to those earnest Tree huggin’ granola munchin’ holier than thou Gladys Kravitz wannabes. Tell them that the last frame of the reptiles plummeting through the skylight is a metaphor for human overpopulation crashing mother earth, and that Pig is the canary in the coal mine warning us all of the dangers of overpopulation.
    Keep on doing what you do. 🙂

  147. because you’re referring to the carrying capacity of the earth – AND you’re making a reference to the precipitous balance of earth’s ecosystem…

    I can write bullshit from a mile away!

  148. You could always tell them that your comic ALWAYS supports Earth Day because you show the natural circle of life and death. Today, in particular, the cunning Zeeba getting away from the yet unlearned young alligators.

  149. Stephan: Skylight is good since it lets in solar power which is a sneaky way of telling the tree-huggers to get a grip on their minds since they are likely reading the strip in the newspaper (paper comes from trees, mostly), or they reading it on-line which uses electricity that is most likely not generated by solar power. Plus, if they have a problem, tell them to get their own damn strip. Jeez.

  150. Earth day is for a bunch of feel good #&%* types tro tramp out 1 day a year
    Reduse your plastic and shun styrofoam use

    Yo Steph, I got a idea for a strip

  151. say that like the window the earth has a limet so we should be careful how much we use

  152. Dear Stephan,
    I believe it is a earth day strip because the crocs (green) invade Zebras house (world). Pretend its a code.

  153. It’s a metaphor – the crocodiles symbolize humans, who put weight upon the earth (the Skylight) until it crashes down.

  154. Elementary my Dear. The Skylight is a metaphor for the earth, and the Crocs are a metaphor for mankind. Thus, our overpopulation is putting a strain on planet Earth, and endangering the animal species, specifically zeebra’s. And no, I am not amazing. I’m just a man.

  155. A little late but…

    The crocs drink so much beer, and they obviously litter the beer cans/bottles all over the place, being stupid as they are. Obviously a few of them died falling from the skylight (they’re the crocs… they’re dying all over the place). Dead crocs don’t litter.

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