Friday, February 20, 2009

The interconnectedness of life

I feel a need to write about something, but I'm not sure what...

I wanted to write a lovely 'about me' post like Sheila did, but I'm not sure how to go about that... I know myself very well, but actually putting that knowledge down in an even semi coherent manner seems very difficult, especially considering how tired my brain is right now.

I also wanted to write about how ridiculous homophobia is. But I think I'd do a really lousy job of it at the moment.

Oh, here's something I think I can manage, since it's far from the logical/researched end of things and much more on the emotional/feelings end of the spectrum. And that thing is how much it pisses me off when humans look at (our)themselves as somehow special, and "better" than all other creatures. Unlike many of my opinions, this is something that's bothered me for years! I'd often read books when I was younger that portrayed humans as the only ones with souls or real personalities, and all other creatures as nothing more than animals to be used, eaten, or controlled. This portrayal always bothered me a great deal, and felt amazingly wrong on a fundamental level.

On a personal level, I can simply see the ridiculousness of it. I look at one of the furry family members that share my home, I look at the raccoons that clatter around on the deck, or the squirrels that race around the tops of fences, or the maple tree that rustles in the wind, and I don't see empty bodies blindly going about basic tasks. I see separate individuals who are simply living their life. I don't understand how they can be looked at as worthless by so many. Life is life, and every creature looks different. We're just one of a vast hots of different species that inhabits this planet. What makes the human race believe it's so special?

On a much larger level, I've recently realized how absolutely stupid and destructive this world view is. If humans are intrinsically of more value, and everything else is somehow lesser, than that leads to the belief that the world is here simply for us, and we as humans have the right to use, abuse, and destroy absolutely anything we wish.

As many of you know, this worldview is leading to the destruction of our planet.

Yes, I'm going to talk about something Derrick Jensen said again. I love how his ideas and words make such perfect sense. Instead of saying that it's always wrong to kill a creature for food, or that it's always wrong to cut down a tree, he instead says that as soon as you or I consume the flesh of an animal, we are obligated to ensure that species survival and well being. As soon as we cut down a tree, we are obligated to insure the survival and well being of that forest. To me, this way is the most ethical, simple, and intelligent way we can possibly look at things. He also goes on to say that if you consume the flesh of a factory farmed animal, you are then obligated to do everything in your power to end factory farming. Same goes if you consume the flesh of a factory farmed carrot.

By looking at things that way, it's impossible to not see how inextricably everything is linked.

I've heard people question why they should care about the extinction of a specific species, whether it's animal or plant or tree, and the answer is so amazingly obvious. Even if you believe that humans have some innate something that makes them "better" than other animals (for we are simply another species of animal), our survival is linked with the survival of every other species on the planet. When a forest is cut down, every human and non-human is ensured less oxygen. When the great fish of the ocean are driven extinct, we ensure ourselves, as well as countless other animals, and countless other forests, less food. When we pollute a river, or all rivers (there are toxins in every single river now), we ensure that both humans and non-humans will no longer be able to drink clean water. Everything we do to harm another life, whether it's trees, animals, rivers, it harms us. Karma in it's truest form.

My mind is feeling very tired, so I'll stop here for now. Just a few thoughts and opinions I figured I'd throw out there, since I think they are extremely important.



  1. True, true...nice thoughts. I've been thinking about all this in relation to Mountain Top Removal issues....

  2. I saw a shirt the other day that said "recent studies have shown that humans will kill anything" and I thought about buying it, but in the end it just depressed me too much to a point where I knew I would never wear it. This post made me think again about how very true that shirt is...

  3. Linda: Mountain top removal is something I've only done a bit of research on, but want to do more on... Truly nasty stuff. :-(

    Stella: I have one problem with that: humand don't kill everything, "civilized" humans kill everything. Aboriginal peoples the world over have shown time and time again that they are more than capable of living indefinitely in one area, while leaving the land in just as good shape for future generations. But I agree, it can be really depressing. What bothers me more than anything is how blind so many people are...