Tuesday, 22 April 2014
What is the question?
I am not an environmentalist, I’m not a conservationist, I’m not a humanitarian, human rights activist, animal libertarian or whatever label would be applied to me for speaking out about such issues. Why should it be necessary to be one of or any of these? What are the opposites of these terms and why is it ok for those who are them are to be so? Is it their right?
What if. I am simply, a human being considering the implications of my own existence as a member of the earths ecosystem. I, you, we, they, are all exactly that, inescapably so, members of the human species that emerged through natural processes to fill a niche in earths ecosystem.
Since that emergence we have utilised the facilities attributed to our species such as the opposable thumb, a relatively longer larynx, increased tongue mobility, a larger pre frontal cortex, narrowing of the hips, the ability to think abstract thoughts and apply them to memory, predict the future, pass down knowledge, seek truth, reason and rationalise through language, mathematics and art. All these things are our tools that allow us to be human and assert our place in our environment. And even dominate it.
We have discovered new minerals and natural resources that allowed new inventions and innovations through the aged that allowed us to further dominate our environment. We've discovered new ways of thinking that have allowed us to further dominate our environment as well as other humans. We've discovered new ways to enhance our own senses to tell us so much about ourselves and our universe that one can feel so isolated or so connected depending on the end of the seemingly infinite spectrum that one stands. And further dominate that universe we do.
And we know thanks to our unique set of facilities that whenever we expand to dominate further, we decimate that environment into which we expand.
We invent concepts such as rights to justify actions against nature or to defend our selves from one another. Why do i need rights? Except for one right, the right to exist, what rights should i need? If I and every body else were to consider the implications of our actions could we seriously impinge on anyone else's right to exist with a clear conscience? Unless one was a sociopath, or more commonly as it is, brought up not to consider how ones actions resonate through their ecosystem, one would have to then intentionally interfere with another beings, human or otherwise, right to exist.
Of course with the rate of growth of our population its only possible for my existence to have displaced the existence of a portion of the ecosystem. The bread i eat, one loaf to about 9msq of wheat. The diet i consume. Do you believe that animals don't die as a consequence of a vegetarian diet? Maybe you eat exclusively organic. Even then, how much space on the earth does only your individual diet use. and what habitat has it displaced? How are the lives of other humans, oceans away affected by the brand of coffee and tea you drink? What number and quantity of resources were used to grow, process, package, ship, purchase, eat and dispose of your weetbix? When you run your heater, those leather shoes made in wherever, your pillow cases, E10 petrol(which gets a big WTF) the list is literally endless?
Yes, everything you do has an impact on someone or something and everything on this speck of space dust exists as in balance. Your actions are balanced by the reactions which resonate through your ecosystem.
I know its a lot of questions, but they can all be boiled down to one.
¿What are the implications of my actions?
It might be annoying or depressing to think of all the possibilities every time you make a purchase or lay out a rug for a picnic, but what is the point of having these fantastic facilities built in to your very being if your not going to use them? They are what defines us from the lower order animals. And if this is so and If one does not use them then what does that mean for such a person.
But beside, if you simply knew the answer, you needn't think of the negatives of your impact, simply because you could choose not to contribute to the condemnation of another beings existence. Of course one can only arrive at any answer to this question through sufficient education, self guided and motivated must it be and the more one learns the more one furthers their understanding of their impact. And is thereby able to choose at all. But only through this question can we come to understand how we can do better.