Why would it be in Chuck Muckle’s best interest to save the owls?

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chuck Muckle is the Vice-President for Corporate Relations for the Mother Paula's All-American Pancake Houses, Inc. As Mr. Muckle tells Curly Branitt, the construction site foreman, Mother Paula's is an international company that places great importance on its reputation among the public because the company is publicly traded. That means stockholders can affect the company's finances. If stockholders find a reason to dislike the company, they may sell their stock, and the value of the company's stock will fall, meaning the company has less income with which to operate and with which to reward its employees, such as Chuck Muckle.

This is why Chuck Muckle is so obsessed with keeping every little item about the construction site out of the newspaper. He is upset to learn about the report of the police officer who fell asleep while guarding the property because he believes it puts Mother Paula's in a bad light. That is highly ironic, of course, considering that the company is in actuality involved in a far greater scandal than having a policeman fall asleep. Executives at the company have bribed a city councilman to remove the Environmental Impact Statement from the company's file at city hall. The company plans to build the restaurant on the site even though it would be breaking the law that protects burrowing owls from having their habitat destroyed. As it turns out, the company suffers far more from attempting to skirt their responsibilities to the environment than they would have if they had tried to protect the owls as soon as they learned of their presence on the property. Chuck Muckle is disciplined for his role in the scandal, especially for being physically violent with a reporter, and he ends up being demoted. If he had stood up for the owls in the first place, he may have been fired, but at least his name would not have been tarnished with scandal and he may have been hired by a company that possessed more integrity than Mother Paula's. Instead, he ends up becoming a cruise director in Miami. For the sake of his company, himself, and the owls, Chuck Muckle should have obeyed the law and acted with integrity.