We humans are “a many splendored thing.” We have enormous intellect, curiosity, creativity, tenacity, imagination, eagerness to “master,” pugnacity, altruism, kindness, cooperativeness, side by side with competitiveness, our altruism side-by-side with readiness to “kill the enemy” of the adjoining tribe, whoever that may be at the time.
We are also the only remaining Homo species on this Earth. The other one disappeared 30,000 years ago. We call him Homo Sapiens Neanderthals. Our relationship though with this Earth was and still is basically parasitic.And we are short on foresight. We invented machinery, we harnessed energy, we manipulated the environment for our own benefit. We literally now conquered the Earth. But overall, our relationship through the 300-400 thousand years we have been on this earth has been basically parasitic. We took, we extracted, we used. We despoiled for our own benefit. And we multiplied by the billions, so far successfully.
And we are killing the animals. All of them. Save of the dogs, the cows, who contribute 14% of the gas pollution — i.e., methane on this earth — the lambs, and a few other pets. We rapidly and at an enormous rate are destroying the biodiversity — all living things on this Earth, whether trees, microbes, or animals. They are all interdependent. They contribute and are being contributed to. Trees, for instance, have vast roots communicating with the adjoining trees and they assist fungi which in turn they help the trees survival and the trees in return do the same for the fungi, the common mushrooms.
Here is an example with the result of our thoughtlessness. Years ago, we took the wolves — or killed them — from the Yellowstone park because allegedly they were eating a few lambs. As a result, the firs disappeared and the Yellowstone park was turning to desert. The wolves did not eat elks. The elks multiplied and ate the trees. We brought the wolves back and the trees are growing up again.
Unfortunately, worldwide we are killing living things — all kinds — big time, thoughtlessly. Do they know it? Do we know what is coming for us after that? We may join the Neanderthals that became extinct 30,000 years ago.
Fortunately, parallel to our thoughtlessness, a new world-wide attitude is developing. Side by side. Neck to neck. To protect, to promote, to safeguard, to husband what is around us. With the knowledge and wisdom the Indian Chief of Nez Perce. Joseph said in his immortal letter: “Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth. What happens to it will happen to us.” We also have to learn how to get along together in order to tackle this and the other problems for which we are responsible.
Well, next time when you walk in the woods and the meadows — and if you don’t you should — please take time to ponder. We, all of us, are in it together. For you, for your neighbor, for your children, and for the generations to come. Remember the latest headlines. 50% of biodiversity will be disappearing in 2-3 decades… all as a result of our own thoughtless doings.