Our Understanding and Attitudes of Morality Towards Other Species

Environmentalism – a term created by man to seek righteous levels of empathy and understanding for the world around us, and it’s vast range of living things. Evolution had us fooled that the Earth is ours and so we endanger the existence of beauty much less violent and demonic as ourselves. But have we got it all wrong? And more to the point, could it have gone any other way?

As it happens we’ve rampaged and slaughtered and devoured all before us, whilst in more recent history we’ve attempted to free life from the shackles of human captivity and poaching. In a twist of irony we might well be rushing as best we can to save the planet from the man-virus, and so the lessons we’ve learnt turn our efforts to preservation.

We shun those who still charge out into the open fields and forests armed with guns, other animals, and with sheer ignorance alone as the most destructive of tools. We rally against deforestation. We petition against cruel treatment and housing of our farm animals. We loathe the hunting of elephants for little more than ivory, and we sneer at others wearing fur as a fashion accessory. It is taboo to kill for pleasure or convenience, is it not?

Yet of course fox hunting arose from farmers protecting their livestock, poaching black bears in the northerly wilderness of The United States and Canada is to protect ourselves, and the mass killing of wolves in America was for the very same reason. The carnage is not without cause, but it remains concerning that some of our attitudes towards our neighbours, from fury to freakish, is often solely stemmed from fear, most of which is entirely irrational.

Now I’m not saying that we should be hugging polar bears in the arctic, inviting goliath bird eating spiders around for tea and biscuits or play fetch with a black mamba. But surely a little sensibility should creep through. Essentially, we are not the prey. We die from snake bites. We get crushed under the power of large mammals. We get eaten alive at sea. A simple case of wrong place, wrong time. If we carry on killing for joy or out of ignorance then the world won’t end, at least not for a long time, but we’ll find ourselves continuing to scratch our heads as species wide and afar will slowly die out.

So don’t tread on the spider, he just wants to go about his business. Don’t interbreed dogs, they will suffer on your watch. Don’t kill stuff like bludgeoning idiots unless you plan on eating it. Do not torture any creature, for may torture be bestowed on you.

Lastly, do I eat meat? Yes I do.
Have I killed a wasp before? Yes, I believe I have.
Is morality innately doomed to begin with? Perhaps, but as individuals we can always strive to find a common ground – To save what’s left of the human ‘soul’ by keeping and caring that which is immediately around us. Maybe one day our species can understand and appreciate others better, we surely hope. I certainly do. Not like a pageant queen reading from an auto-cue, but as someone who fails to comprehend humanity when the word itself is supposed to carry the notion of care.