By Richard Fraser, Inverness, Scotland.
My best friend Richard Fraser from Inverness, Scotland gifted me this beautiful article.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better” – Albert Einstein.
Modern, sentient man’s last major evolutionary step was around 200,000 years ago and the first was around 450,000 years ago; so says the official story. Crocodiles however, were around 55 million years ago.
Why then have I eaten crocodile meat in a restaurant; shouldn’t the crocodile have eaten human meat in a restaurant?
These numbers can of course be argued, but the point I’m making here is that although humans are supposedly the most advanced species on this planet, we have a lot to learn before we can earn the title of ‘human’.
We as a species have an ingrained sense of entitlement to this planet, and all that inhabits it. Nearly every other animal on Earth has established an equilibrium with its habitat; it takes what it needs – no more, no less. We however exploit this planet, with no signs of stopping, far more akin to a virus than an animal, and far from human.
What brought this thought to mind was a conversation with my friend Sajjad about the indigenous wildlife of Pakistan, and the endangered status of some. I suspect what I can write about those who would hunt these animals for ‘sport’ or stealing birds’ eggs will be limited, as I have no insight into the workings of a mind like that – it’s well beyond my understanding.
However, I am convinced that it stems from the same sense of entitlement and superiority. Animals have been walking the earth long before we arrived, and were likely a lot happier doing so back then. It is nothing short of a travesty that people would seek to kill for entertainment.
It’s not acceptable to do this with people; why then is it OK for animals?
Just because we’ve the ability to do something doesn’t mean it’s right to do so.
In the case of my home country, stealing birds’ eggs, for example, yields no real monetary gain for the thief – it’s nothing more than a trophy. What I struggle to grasp is why these people feel that an animal who has as much of a legitimate claim to roam this earth as you and I, is so much less important, to the point that one can steal their unborn offspring to claim as a trophy.
I’m pretty sure that if I were to collect babies from the maternity ward of the local hospital, that might be frowned upon, but why is the value of another living creature so much less than that of a human?
Perhaps I’m reading a little too far into things, but it seems this is very much a part of the human psyche. We’re predisposed to believe that we are the top of the chain and that all of the resources we have are our property. We do not own the earth; it owns us. It was the earth that inherited humans, and what an unfortunate inheritance.
For those of us who enjoy the great outdoors and have a healthy respect for nature, this is of course a given. It is the duty of us all to respect and care for all around us because otherwise what kind of a world will we be introducing our children to?
It is no coincidence that there are a lot of questions in this short piece; as I said, I cannot even begin to fathom the reasons behind such behaviour, but there is an ever-increasing number of species around us which will eventually be adorned with the label ‘extinct’. Unless we can learn a lesson, perhaps it is a shame that ‘human’ beings are not among those species.