This being the final edition of Urban Jungle, I would like to thank all those people who have written to me and given me encouragement over the years. The column has been fun to write and has given me an opportunity to voice issues that I have found pressing and neglected elsewhere in the media. Not surprisingly, animal-related issues have been at the forefront of this column; being a veterinarian has given me a special insight into pet-related topics. It was my goal to make age-old animal welfare issues relevant to Hongkongers, even to those who don't own animals. This column has been about the practicality that reflects the soul of Hong Kong society. All the many issues presented have had the same Aesop's Fables quality to them, bringing a moral to even just an entertaining tale. The act of researching and writing the column over the years has allowed me to reflect on the bigger picture of my time, of our time. The 35 years since my conception have been relatively peaceful, especially compared to the turbulent times before; two world wars, the rise and demise of fascism, the disintegration of colonialism, the modernisation of the world, the Great Depression, the end of the cold war. These examples are so huge that they make this little 'war on terror' seem rather insignificant. With the fortunate lack of any major active global conflict in my lifetime, with only regional wars, I have been lucky to live in a place and time of peace. This can be said about most people in the world at this moment. At the same time, there is a technological boom like nothing humanity has experienced since the advent of the Industrial Revolution. We have conquered many diseases and are probing the furthest boundaries of science, which has brought about bountiful harvests and cures for seemingly incurable diseases, and provided the global population with an unprecedented quality of life. We Hongkongers are especially lucky. Despite three major financial crises in the past 30 years, we still thrive and prosper. Since the handover, we Hongkongers have not only shaken off the shackles of colonialism, but discovered a new national and cultural identity, not exactly Chinese but a rejuvenating mix of the old and the new. Hongkongers have discovered a new patriotism that is contagiously cool; suddenly we are proud to be Hongkongers and Chinese at the same time - truly an example of one country, two systems actually working like clockwork, if you don't look at the fine print too closely. With each celebration of National Day on October 1, I have found that many of my friends, many of whom were born or studied abroad, are truly celebrating the day. It is no longer just an excuse not to go to work, nor is it a replacement holiday for those that we lost at the end of British rule to keep the status quo. For me it is a day to reflect on the progress we have made as a nation in the past decade. Once again we have a new ruler with a new set of house rules, but we are freer than we ever were under colonial rule. An example of our new prosperity is reflected in the number of families that have returned to Hong Kong after having emigrated during the uncertainty over the handover. My experience has been that there is a certain level of bitter regret at the loss in financial and social status for many families who left and who have found that they have lagged behind the rest of Hong Kong on their return, having had to start anew. The single greatest and probably the quietest revolution in the 21st century for me has been what I call the conscience revolution of humanity. Having partially solved the basic needs of society, we now have the luxury of time to look at the deeper meaning of our existence. As in the times of the great Greek philosophers and the Renaissance, we find ourselves in a modern renaissance of our own, helped along by the advent of the internet, with its instantaneous ability to communicate a message globally with no censorship. We are sharing ideas and co-operating with those in other countries, and co-ordinating global projects, which was almost impossible before. We are slowly realising there is more to the world than making money. The effects of greed are diluted with ever-increasing prosperity, and we are slowly but surely rediscovering our conscience. Now that we live in luxury, we have excess time and energy to spend on being nice to our neighbours and the environment, and are looking for various ways to become better people. What I see next is the development of a unified online language, probably in the form of more advanced translation matrices, that make more sense than those we use now. With that we are one step closer to a new world order, where there is only one country: earth. Thanks for reading and thanks for not eating fish.