To those of us who
seriously delve into global ecology issues, pessimism awaits. This pessimism
sadly reflects the realities of our current ecological state. You do
not need a Ph.D., college diploma, high school diploma, or any diploma
for that matter. You will require a conscience however. "I have
with my own eyes how our waters have sickened. Reefs that teamed with
fish only ten years ago are now almost lifeless. The ocean bottoms have
been raped by trawlers. Priceless wetlands have been destroyed by development.
Everywhere there are sticky globs of oil, plastic refuse and clouds
of poisonous effluents."
The reason for our thus far, unimpressive ecological stewardship of Mother Earth is in great part explained by a tremendous imbalance between our ethics and our technological growth. Ethical evolution has progressed ever so slowly, but steadily. Technology however is growing wildly. Exponentially. Fifty years ago technologically, televisions were magical machines . Today we can create entirely new species or clones via genetic engineering. Fifty years ago ethically we had Nazis threatening to dominate the world. Today we have fewer Nazis but better weapons are available to those few and ethnic cleansing is a reality. Today we can also exterminate nearly all life on this planet instantaneously with the press of a button. Fifty years ago this was not possible. Is this truly progress?
leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until
we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."
Our problem is that technology demands proportionate growth ethically.
Consider this. Are
we alone in the universe? Given our understanding of the age of the
universe and its immense size, is it reasonable to surmise that alien
life forms do exist and that they are visiting us regularly? I believe
it is. Not only is there tremendous circumstantial evidence supporting
this, but massive amounts of empirical evidence as well. Among the evidence,
the pyramids, crop circles appearing out of nowhere, Easter Island,
crash sites with unidentifiable spacecraft materials, mountains of video
and still photographs of UFO's, many of which have withstood our most
intense scientific scrutiny and even alien bodies appear to have been
recovered by the US government. Given this I have developed a theory.
This theory is expressed as:
The theory is supported in part by citing potential alien life with infinitely superior technology. If indeed we are being visited by alien life forms, they are unquestionably superior to us technologically by virtue of their ability to travel here in the first place. This being the case, it would seem fair to conclude that they also have proportionately superior weapons capabilities. Indeed, when we project our version of science fiction aliens onto the big screen or books, they nearly always have intents to dominate and destroy the human species. These projections are in reality projections of ourselves into the future we envision and are reflective of our poorly developed ethics. Because we currently as a species subscribe to the philosophy of might makes right, we limit our understanding of other beings with highly developed brains as having the same violent tendencies that we do. If I am wrong and we are destined to fight these interstellar wars with marauding bands of evil aliens, why then have these menacing aliens chosen thus far to simply leave us alone? Why haven't they simply come here with their superior technology, destroyed us with their superior technology, and taken whatever it is that they want, with their superior technology??? The reason I believe is one of two primary possibilities.
#1 There are no aliens. We are alone in the universe.
This sounds terribly reminiscent of the earth being flat and our planet being the center of the universe.
#2 All aliens able to travel millions of light-years, perhaps into other dimensions of time and space understand and apply one amazingly simple yet critical principle. The principle of respect and compassion for all life. The principle which acknowledges the unity of all life.
Its that simple. Essentially this is ecology balanced with ethics. This is the secret to survival and prosperity as a species. Technology can only evolve so long in an ethical vacuum before that technology inevitably destroys its producers. The clearest example again being nuclear weapons. How long until some maniac gets his hands on one of the hundreds of unaccounted for nuclear warheads? When this warhead is detonated in New York or Moscow will it trigger World War III? This is the reality of a world dominated by technology void of ethics. A recipe for disaster. Any truly "intelligent" species would recognize this before ignorantly exterminating themselves and everything around them. But do we recognize this? On the contrary, we continue to develop weapons of mass destruction and other technologies which exploit and destroy.
spirit is not dead. It lives on in secret
It has come to believe
that compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain
its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does
not limit itself to mankind."
Ethics in its purest form is respect for life, all life. Bacteria, viruses, plants, cockroaches, people, etc. This does not mean that the killing of life is unacceptable. It most certainly is, especially regarding self defense and self preservation. But more often than not we kill without necessity, or worse yet, we kill for selfishness and greed.
"When you realize
the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate
more on the preservation of the future."
"If a man aspires
towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury
In reality our 99 cent Whoppers and Big Macs have more to do with the destruction of the planet than virtually anything else we do as consumers. More than anything!
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival on Earth as much as the evolution of a vegetarian diet." Albert Einstein.
Rainforest depletion, topsoil erosion, desertification, pesticide and chemical proliferation, global warming, fossil fuel pollution, fresh water depletion and groundwater contamination, unparalleled human caused species extinction, biodiversity loss, the list goes on. All these things are impacted most by our consumption of resources high on the food chain. I shall win no popularity contests by writing the above facts but popularity is the last of my concerns. My goal is to protect what life we haven't already exterminated, including ourselves.
"It is the
fate of every truth to be an object of ridicule when it is first acclaimed.
It was once considered foolish to suppose that black men were really
human beings and ought to be treated as such. What was once foolish
has now become a recognized truth. Today it is considered as exaggeration
to proclaim constant respect for every life form of being the serious
demand of a rational ethic. But the time is coming when people will
be amazed that the human race existed so long before it recognized that
thoughtless injury to life is incompatible with real ethics. Ethics
is in its unqualified form extended responsibility to everything that
My theory in short is that by adhering to the principles of respect for life, we ensure our continued existence. By violating them we doom ourselves and countless other life forms to a regretful and pitiful early demise. Highly intelligent beings able to travel to other galaxies know this. That is precisely why they have evolved to such a high degree of technology. Furthermore, it explains why they have not, and will not destroy us.
"As long as
man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he
will never know health or peace.."
We as a species are suffering from a critical case of anthropocentrism. Defined word for word as: considering man to be the most significant entity in the universe. Talk about a conceited species, but this mentality is held by the majority of the roughly six billion people on this planet. This conceit leads us to a form of injustice known as speciesism. Just as the racist and sexist violates the needs and lives of other races or sex, the speciesist does the same. The racist believes the interests of his race to be superior to the interests of other races. The sexist believes the interests of his or her sex is superior to the interests of the other sex. The speciesist believes the interests of his species to be superior to the interests of all other species. The pattern is identical. All life prefers comfort over pain. Life over death. Often times however the most trivial of human desires is given priority literally over the life of another species.
Our most profound violation of life begins with our visit to the grocery store. Many products we purchase at our local store inevitably bankroll large scale commercial fishing operations. These operations are completely unsustainable ecologically, and are destroying life in gargantuan proportions. Included in their activities, shrimp trawling. Results in immeasurable amounts of destruction and waste bycatch and in Cousteau's words, "rapes" the ocean floor. Longlining. Target species include swordfish, tuna, and mahi mahi but bycatch includes sharks which are usually finned. This process involves the shark fins being hacked off and the mutilated shark which moments before moved so beautifully through the ocean being thrown back into the water alive as crucified trash. Purse-seine netting for tuna. Millions of dolphins and porpoise have died and hundreds of millions of tuna. Many of these species are now seriously endangered yet they continue to die from this fishing practice. "Dolphin Safe" tuna is a fallacy, and has led the unwitting public to believe the problem of dolphin slaughter is past. Not so, the real reason less dolphins are killed today is that there are less of them to kill. Driftnet fishing. Up to 50 mile long nets are used even though this is banned internationally. Enforcement however is practically nonexistent. Aquarium fish are regularly caught using Clorox or cyanide to stun the fish for easy capture. Often times the fish die from this poisoning as does the coral reef in the area. If you have not researched who supplies your local store, you are undoubtedly contributing to the profitability of the above industries, insuring their continuance.
were looking at here is a biological holocaust of unprecedented proportions."
"I have from
an early age abjured form the use of meat, and the time will come when
men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look
upon the murder of men."
Say for instance that a technologically superior alien species wishes to expand their real estate holdings. They look at earth and see a dominant species (us) with little or no defense against them. Should they simply destroy us for their own desires? If they are to do as we do, they will. This is speciesism. Speciesism violates respect for all life and breeds injustice and destruction. As does racism and sexism.
"As often as
Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had
the same thought: in their behavior toward creatures, all men were Nazis.
The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased
exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might
and speciesist ways are at the core of our currently self destructive
path. Throughout history our greatest thinkers have warned us of our
ignorance and arrogance in believing this.
Going into the new millennium we must divorce ourselves of our primitive and destructive beliefs. Substantial progress can only be obtained with the strength of a compassionate and open mind.
petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul."
To my generation, "Generation X" as we have been so labeled, I challenge you to rethink all that you have previously held to be true. Let the X stand for the generation that destroyed the destructive beliefs of our past generations. The generation that shall pave the way into a better world for all people and all life. One that denies selfishness and greed and embraces justice for all. Let all of us who have known the pain of persecution channel our collective pain into a combined force of energy like no other. We can and will create a "new world order". An order that protects the current generation and the generations yet to be born.
The good news is we do have it within our means to control our future. We can indeed change the world, if we as a people desire to do so. This is what gives us hope.
the ability of an individual to change the world. Indeed it is the only
thing that ever has."
more powerful than an individual acting out of his conscience, thus
helping to bring the collective conscience to life."
"I hold today
the same opinion I held then. The life of the lamb is no less precious
then that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of
the lamb for the sake of the human body. I hold that, the more helpless
a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty
When the driftnetter sets his fifty mile long net and destroys countless life he cares nothing of our approval. It is our money that he wants. If we as a people buy his product, he will set his net again. This fact is more powerful than we currently acknowledge. We can literally shut down industries, or guarantee their success based on how we spend our money. Our task then becomes to spend our money the same way that we would cast a vote. To challenge ourselves to reach new levels of awareness. We can and will survive if we so desire. I am not naive about our chances but the possibility certainly exists that our ongoing environmental holocaust can be replaced with a harmonious natural evolution that would produce magnificent technologies, art, spirituality and an inner peace previously unknown. All this to be born out of our new and revolutionary reverence for all life.
"It is our
duty to share and maintain life. Reverence concerning all life is the
greatest commandment in its most elementary form. Or expressed in negative
terms "Thou shalt not kill!"."
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