Saturday, December 3, 2011

A word to the Environmentalists

Hey ya'll 

this post is directed to the conservationists, environmentalists, and animal rights activists that I know out there. Being one of you, I understand the passion and the dire need we all feel to save the world. It is difficult, watching the forests dwindle, the air grow poisonous, our oceans turn to muck all in front of our eyes... but as we get out there to fight for Mother Nature, as we raise our voices and call for a greener and better tomorrow, I ask us to stop for a moment and realize, what exactly are we calling for? Is it that all environmentally damaging activities must stop? Is it that we should stop completely, the felling of trees for building material and fuel, the killing of animals for food and custom, the construction of cities and housing areas to accommodate our ever-growing population? Are these things what we are really calling for, and if they are... should they really be what we are calling for? It is in my opinion that this is not so. As an environmentalist and conservationist, I find this to be slightly conflicting with my impassioned claims. Nontheless, I believe that if we are to progress as a whole, as a movement, more practical measures need to be considered as well. 

Saving the world is a must, but we need to realize that the human lifestyle comes at a price. Conservation should focus more on the effort to develop sustainable development measures, as opposed to halting development all-together. Like everything else, extreme measures will never work. Progress cannot stop. The human race, as a species, relies on progress for its existence and to stop progress would mean to trap certain members of society in specific social spaces that they cannot move out of.

Indeed, while we are demanding that logging companies stop chopping down trees in the Amazon Rainforest, while we are demanding that farmers stop clearing land to raise lifestock, perhaps we might also like to try telling the starving and illiterate child in South America why his father must not do what must be done in order to get money for his food and education. Perhaps, before we call for such drastic measures, we should first try and tell him, that to save a bunch of trees, he will have to go hungry and forsake the chance at a better future. Also let's not ignore the fact that in saying all this, all of us will later go home to our cushy homes, prepared meals, and air-conditioned universities. The child will not see things like that, neither would the farmer! It might be the "selfless" way in our eyes, for them to sacrifice their needs for the "greater good" but I'm afraid it goes against every evolutionary instinct in a living thing's body to purposely lay down its life. Hence, It. Will. Not. Work.

Progress cannot stop, it can never stop because if we do not believe we can progress, if we do not believe that we have a future than as living organisms we have no future. This, is simply not true. To live, to desire to live, is a basic instinct for all organisms and just as we cry to have the rights of animals recognized, so should we realize that human beings are no different. Sure, some might say that if we do this, the "killing" will never end. The "rape", the "plundering" of our natural world will only go on and on and on. Certainly, some might even believe that there is no "point" to sustainable development as it only encourages the supposedly "human" condition of disregarding the value and sanctity of all life.

But, let me go out on a limb here and ask you, Sure enough, the "killing" will never end, but what is so wrong about killing, if we first ensure that there will ALWAYS be enough to kill in the first place? Isn't that what happens all the time in nature? Animals kill other animals, they exploit the jungle to their benefit, what we are doing is not so different, the main difference is that we are much more numerous then them. Hence, sustainable development.

perhaps it is time for us, as conservationists, environmentalists and animal rights activists, to take a step back and realize that in "valuing life", many of us have forgotten to value the human life as well. Look, I breed butterflies to rehabilitate them into the wild, but do you honestly think I would be able to be doing these things if I didn't first have enough time, and money on my hands? Anyway, I hope I have not overstepped my boundaries in saying this... or trod on too many toes for that matter, but this is something as close to my heart as it is to many of you fellow nature lovers out there, and I truly think that four our cry to be heard and embraced by the general public, we must change the things that we are crying for first... just something to think about. 


To save the world, we should always aim to save all of it, not just certain parts

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