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Dialogues. — Yes, I've got a cat, Murka


— Do you have any pet?

— Yes, I've got a cat, Murka. She is black and white and her hair is soft and fluffy. I find it really beautiful.

— How old is she?

— Oh, she is very young, that's why she likes to play very much. I often play with her after school.

— Where did you get her from?

— Well, my aunt gave her to me as a birthday present, and I was really happy. I have always dreamt of having a pet.

— Why? Why did you need a pet?

— You see, I have neither brother nor sister, so I often feel lonely And Murka is my real friend.

— Do you take her with you when you go somewhere?

— Actually, she is very young, so she always stays at home with my grandmother, but I hope I'll be able to take her to our country house next summer. And what about you? Do you have a pet?

— Yes, 1 have a dog Rex. My parents bought it in a pet shop last summer. Rex is a bulldog and he is very strong and brave.

— I know that dogs are good guards, so you are lucky to have such a strong dog.

— You are right. Dogs are very good pets. They can help people in many ways. A lot of dogs help blind people to walk and to cross the street.

— Do you punish your pet?

— Actually, I don't. Rex is a very clever dog. He always answers to his name and does what I tell him to do. And what about you?

— Murka is also very clever, and she never does anything wrong. I think that pets are our friends and we must love them.

— I completely agree with you.



— What do you think about zoos?

— In my opinion, they are a good thing. I'm for them.

— Well, I think I'm against them. I don't like to see animals in cages. Personally, I think zoos are bad for the animals and bad for us.

— That's not right. They aren't bad for the animals. Animals are aggressive. We have to put them in cages.

— I don't agree. I think animals like chimps and elephants can't live a happy life in the zoo. Captivity is not natural for wild animals.

— I wouldn't say that. First, elephants don't live in cages and, secondly, why don't they escape all the time? In my opinion, that's because they are happy in zoos.

— Perhaps, you are right. People take good care of animals in zoos. But some people keep exotic pets like snakes, lizards or even wild cats. What are the reasons for having such extraordinary animals at home?

— Well, exotic pets are capable of bringing tremendous joy into the lives of their owners. They are often fascinating and beautiful to watch.

— But we often come across warnings about keeping wild animals at home. Isn't it dangerous?

— Yes, it's very dangerous, because such animals may become unpredictable as they get older. For example, a 13-year-old boy was recently attacked by a tiger kept in a cage built near his grandfather's home.

— Oh, it's really terrible! I agree that wild animals can be only kept in zoos. But what animals make good pets, I wonder?

— Domesticated animals make good pets because they have been bred for thousands of years to coexist with humans. I'd recommend dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, domestic mice or rats, budgies, canaries and tropical fish.

— Thank you for your advice.

— What is your attitude towards animals?

— Well, I think that animals are an important part of our life, aren't they?

— I completely agree with you. Humans have always lived in close association with animals. But unmanaged exploitation and hunting have driven some species to the edge of extinction.

— That's terrible. People all over the world protest against hunting, but many people still prefer this way of spending their free time. For example, in Great Britain fox-hunting is among the most popular leisure activities.

— But today fox-hunting and other blood sports are under discussion in Britain too. Some people suggest using guns that injure without killing.

— Yet not all people realize that animals are very important for humans. A lot of people still regard them as simply lumps of walking meat and they are not against hunting.

— But on the other hand, some people see them as almost human. For example, when a rich Londoner discovered that her poodle was diabetic, she paid for daily injections for 16 years in order to keep it alive. And when it died, she had a memorial erected to it at London's Battersea Dog's Home.

— It's incredible! But I agree that some animals, like dolphins, are truly intelligent. Some scientists who have worked with dolphins believe that they might be even more intelligent than us. But they are still being hunted and killed.

— I'm sure that we must ban hunting and cruel experiments on animals.

— I completely agree with you.



— What do you think is the most important environmental issue nowadays?

— Well, in my opinion the most serious ecological problem today is the shortage of clean water.

— Why? Don't we have enough water on our planet?

— My answer is "yes" and "no". On the one hand, there is a lot of water on our planet. It is in oceans, seas, rivers and lakes.

But on the other hand, very little water on Earth is good for drinking.

— Really? Why?

— Because rivers and lakes are polluted by factories and farms.

— Is there any solution to this problem?

— Of course, there is, but it requires cooperation of all people.

— So, what exactly can we do to improve the quality of water?

— First of all, we can ban pouring industrial waste into rivers and lakes. Besides, we can install different purifying systems.

— I am with you there. Fresh water is very important for human beings. But we shouldn't forget about the ocean.

— 1 completely agree with you. Because the ocean gives us food, energy and minerals.

— You arc right, but today the ocean also needs help because ships dump toxic waste, tankers leak and spill oil and boaters throw trash overboard.

— The situation may sound hopeless, but I'm sure we can do something about it.

— Yes, of course. For example, we can protect birds and marine life.

— But how can we do it?

— First, we mustn't throw plastic bags or bottles in or near the water, because sea birds, turtles, whales and other sea animals often mistake plastic things for food and die. Besides, we can take part in beach clean-up projects.

— I can't but agree with you. And I want to add that people should understand that their activities can affect oceans and seas.

— Exactly! People should understand that all water usually flows into seas and oceans, so what they do inland can affect marine life.

— I agree with you, but first of all we must learn more about the state of the ocean and what can be done to improve it.

— You are absolutely right!



— Many people think that life was better in the past. The air was cleaner, the water was purer and life was safer.

— No wonder, because there are a lot of environmental problems nowadays. You only have to listen to TV news to realize that they are not solved.

— You arc quite right! However, problems such as the hole in the ozone layer and acid rain often seem unimportant to us. It's difficult to get upset about tropical forests on the other side of the planet.

— 1 can't agree with you. Of course, we can't see ozone holes, but the dangerous rays of the sun get through the atmosphere, causing skin cancer and other diseases. More and more often people are told not to be in direct sunlight.

— To tell the truth, air pollution seems to be much more serious problem. We pollute the air we breathe. Everyone can see smoke coming out of tall factory chimneys. Everyone can smell the gas from the back of a bus. In big cities the concentration of harmful substances in the air is rather high. This can also have disastrous consequences for our health.

— I am of the same opinion. Water pollution is another serious problem. Thousands of fish die every year because factories pour a lot of waste into rivers. If people drink polluted water, they may die too.

— What is more, the seas are also in danger. When I went with my parents to the seaside last summer, I was surprised that the water was not blue but brown with rubbish floating in it.

— But the most urgent environmental problem is nuclear pollution. I am against the use of nuclear energy. The waste products can last hundreds of years.

— And who is to blame for all these environmental pro­blems?

— The answer is simple: all of us. The technological progress of the 20th century resulted in widespread mechanization, atomic powers stations, new roads and highways. But it cannot be denied that the price for rapid industrial development is very high.

— Should we reject the progress then?

— Never! But we must take control of the progress to give it a humanistic direction. We must take into consideration all the factors that people's survival depends upon. The solution of the environ­mental problems requires the cooperation of all nations.

— Are you a Greenpeace supporter?

— Yes, I am. It's a noble aim to keep the planet and cities clean. We want everybody to do his or her best in caring for all human beings and living creatures.

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