Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Earthlings - Do we deserve to be called that?

Racists violate the principle of equality by giving greater weight to the interests of members of their own race when there is a clash between their interests and the interests of those of another race. 
Sexists violate the principle of equality by favoring the interests of their own sex. 
Similarly speciesists allow the interests of their own species to override the greater interests of members of other species.
- Earthlings, 2006.

  What is it that gives the human species the power to rule over this planet? If we look closely, on the grounds of sheer strength, human beings are almost powerless! We do not run as fast as the cheetah, we do not have teeth like a tiger, we cannot roar like a lion nor can we fly like the eagle! So, logically we ought not to be on top of the food chain, and yet, we are.
Some say, it is our intelligence that sustains us. Yet others say we owe it to our adaptability skills, the fact that we have been able to survive everywhere on this planet. Some even give thanks to the ovulation cycle of the human female, that gives humans 12 chances to reproduce every year,a privilege most animals do not have. Irrespective of the reason why, we humans believe that we are a superior species and our arrogance reflects this.

  Power is not good or bad, it is neutral. The person in charge of the power is the one who decides which way it goes. Power is misused when those at the powerful end of the spectrum treat the ones at the other end as mere objects.  The human species uses this power not only to exploit its own but also other species. Ironically, we call the other species 'animals'.
Why is it that we feel the need to exploit, torture and kill other Earthlings? It is probably the same reason that the first world exploits the third world - they are poorer and thus, their lives are cheaper. We think it is our right to use others for our benefit, no matter what they go through. In a crazy capitalist world where commodity and cash flows determine the quality of life, the value of this same life is lost. As long as I am looking fine, as long as I am making profits, as long as I am teasing my taste buds, as long as I am entertained... who cares if another sentient being is in pain, being brutally tortured, living in the worst possible conditions or freaking dying! Who cares?

  We must stop being so insensitive. So arrogant. So disgusting.
These so called animals, have feelings. They feel compassion, loneliness and fear. They feel pain. They are not different from us. They do not have insensitive nerve endings. The brutal ways in which we kill them are ways in which no being deserves to be treated. We close our eyes to the cruelty that goes on in the world and feel that it doesn't exist or even if it does, its not that bad. Animals we eat, they are killed quickly, they don't know what is happening, at least they had a good life before dying(in the rare cases of biologically produced meat)! All of that is bullshit. Only rationalizations to make ourselves feel better. Everyone needs to see how this killing is done. How their food gets on the table, the way it does. How their fur coats are made and how their leather goods become so good!

  You may say that you do not want to traumatize yourself, that u can't take such 'heavy stuff', that you don't want to spoil your dinner! Do you realize that it was a million times more traumatic and 'heavy' for the poor animal who had no idea that he was going to be your freaking dinner!!  Some say ignorance is bliss, and it may be so, but it doesn't make reality go away. This is the least you can do for that poor animal that was killed to appease your 'need for protein'!

We have to stop! If for no other reason, then for ourselves! We have to remember that we share the Earth with other species. We are not the only ones alive. Everything is connected. This neo-holocaust that we have inflicted upon other species is leading to the downfall of the planet as a whole and that includes us!
It may already be too late to change but if even a few of us do change, it will save not just our life but the lives of millions of other creatures that inhabit the Earth.

Perhaps it is time to rethink our barbaric ways, and try to be a little more... whats the word? oh yes.'Human'.

P.S.: Here is the link the documentary that inspired this piece, Earthlings documentary, 2006.

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