Homo Sapiens? Homo Stulta (Mindless Man) More Like.
It's a leaky ship, but we all share the planet!
Live and Let Live
Can there be any worse crime in the universe than knowingly robbing some creature of its life? Especially when we are in no real danger and there are other alternatives to us, such as removing ourselves from the creature’s presence, or it, from ours?
A friend just emailed me from La Paz in Baja California, Mexico, saying she had crushed a tarantula between two house bricks at her house in San Jose del Cabo. I saw the incident in my mind’s eye: the poor arachnid, not intending to hurt anyone, having its life ended so tragically. Also, I saw in my imagination my old friend, Abe Blank, the naturalist, as he carefully picked up tarantulas near my house in El Triunfo and let them walk around on his arm and hands. I recall the velvety feel of the huge spiders and the scratch of their careful legs on my own flesh; the fear in me quickly dying as I saw how harmless they were, and they accepted my own benign intentions.
We get so beside ourselves when one of us takes another life, except when it is done against “the enemy.” What hypocrites we are: enemies one day, friends the next. Don’t we ever meditate and employ logic in our lives? This stupidity called war; and don’t tell me it is evolution; it’s neurosis; evolution didn’t decree that one species turn on its own and murder them in droves.
I was watching part of this Labour Conference yesterday as the new leader,Milliband, decried the Iraq war - easy for him, as he had no position in the decision. The leader of the shadow cabinet, clapped vigorously - and she had voted just as vigorously for war at the time.
Can there be any hope for the creatures and plants of this planet unless man finds another place to colonise, and quickly? Once, we heard all about over-population and all its dangers, but that is not politically advisable these days. “Don’t tell me not to breed,” protest thoughtless parents, yet, blameless in the “natural-selection- driven” need to procreate. What we are still unsure of yet, is what safeguards evolution has built in to limit species dangerously contaminating the planet with their own kind.
We can see some of nature’s safeguards at work already: the viral bridge ensures that all fall ill and many die when one person does in some remote place. We now watch in horror as every earthquake, volcano, tropical storm, tsunami, drought and famine kills hundreds somewhere, as they have built home in dangerous proximity to disaster areas, or live in sub-standard, unsafe housing. We have stayed away from huge wars for 65 years, since WW2, but smaller conflicts rage unceasingly somewhere as the finite resources are being drained and people jostle for space to live.
Yet it seems mankind - or any species - lacks the ability to control its own proliferation. Limiting families to one or possibly two children by decree has been extensively tried in China with some success. Yet this effort doesn’t seem to curb the burgeoning rise in population there to any useful degree: meanwhile, many misguided people from several nations, destroy wonderful animals in order to grind up their parts to make drugs increasing their potency.
We are called Homo sapiens - the thinking man, perhaps it should be “Homo stulta - mindless man.
Will there ever be a day when certain creatures on this Earth unite to defeat man’s aggression towards them? This may well be happening now as intelligent animals and fish, such as squid, change their feeding habits and locales and move elsewhere. We are not in their territory enough for them to attack us physically very often, but they might decimate our fish stocks and hurt us this way. And we lack the capacity to retaliate against creatures who own 4/5ths of the world’s surface area and can dive thousands of feet deep to avoid capture or attack. OK, it’s a flight of fancy, but not beyond the realm of the possible.
Even taking more and more space invites attack from simple creatures, such as the ant. If it ever became a question of “them or us,” and the insects could organize, the ants would overwhelm us in days. Again, a pipe dream, but not an unattractive one to some people!
Meanwhile; while we do have some of this wondrous world and to enjoy, why not try to understand the lives and needs of some of the creatures who share our homes and our nation? Virtually none of them wish us any sort of harm, and their predation consists of our food and chattels, which we insist on growing and storing in what has been their country for millions of years before we arrived.
Stop fearing wasps, spiders and the rest: simply trapping them in a large glass; sliding a sheet of paper underneath and letting them go in the garden solves the problem quietly, respectfully and efficiently. Drive slowly along our wooded byways and give the deer, squirrels, pheasants, and all the rest time to escape our murderous wheels. When you acquire a family pet, be a dog, cat or a budgie, make sure it’s for life and it is treated with love and understanding. If you really can‘t keep your pet any longer, make sure it goes to a good home… See how good you feel!!?
Try to steer your children towards good books, and the BBC and Discovery Channel which show natural history programs that will awaken their interest in the natural world and give them a break from mindless web sites…they just don’t need a circle of 200 “friends.” A man is lucky if he can count 3 or 4 real friends in a lifetime…and two of those might be canine!
Hello hubbers, good day to you, I’ll publish this and hope I find a few of like mind and perhaps save one of our fellow travellers from an unpleasant end…Bob