OUR INTERRELATIONSHIP WITH NATURE
AND OTHER SPECIES
By W. Allan
"GO FORTH, BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY", "HOLD DOMINION OVER" - These oft-quoted phrases have brought about much destruction and abuse of our environment and other species, which incidentally, have equal claim to a life of value fulfillment on this planet. Deletions, misunderstandings & misinterpretations of meanings of the biblical language of the day, have added moral correctness to our onslaught of nature itself, not realizing our intimate role in and as a part of nature.
As the human species WE ARE A PART OF NATURE, not standing apart from it looking in. You wouldn't think it would take a rocket scientist to understand that if you pollute, degrade and spoil the environment you live in, you limit your own ability to enjoy these natural wonders of our world. Of course, this attack on the environment affects all species, greatly limiting habitat for those that have not learned to adapt as well as man. When this happens, we see species after species fall by the wayside, probably never to be seen on earth again, removed from our experience.
As I have said before, NO SPECIES IS EVER EXTINCTED, as all species have existed before physical actualization into our system of reality and will exist after, they simply find a more relevant environment suitable for their proliferation in another system of reality. So it is not those species we should feel sorry for, but for the human chance to intermix and experience with them. Truly, when a sparrow falls the whole universe changes, so what do we suppose is happening when we contribute to the elimination of one entire species after another?
The universe has always existed in the mind of and at the behest of "All That Is", non-physical before it was physical, and it was actualized in the beginning with a perfect mix of consciousness for the interrelationship of all species. As we eliminate one species after another, we detract from that ideal mix and the world becomes less perfect.
I am not saying that change should not happen, because change is needed in the quest of consciousness for creativity, but change should not come at the expense of the environment and other species. Indeed if we lived in a stagnant world, where no change could take place, that world would rapidly fade and disappear. I am speaking of the insensitivity of the human species to the rights of others to share and experience this universal wonder called life.
I am not going to dwell on the plight of the spotted owl, the cutting of the old-growth forests, the pending extinction of the snail darter, because that is a story in itself. I do want to focus on the aspect of human cruelty to other animals under the wrong assumption that animals do not feel like we do, they do not experience love, they are cold-blooded and do not feel pain like humans, and the biggest wrong assumption of them all, that we are here to use, decimate and dominate other species. It's our biblical heritage . . . right? WRONG!
Examples of this erroneous thinking was brought to the forefront of my attention recently, beginning with the television special of the hundred or so chimpanzees owned by the department of the Navy. These chimps, now kept under contract with a company that regularly abuses them, are mostly adults that have spent their whole lives caged in small 5' square cages, injected, operated on and subjected to every type of horrific experiment the Navy could come up with. Now, Dr. Jane Goodall, who has studied and befriended chimpanzees all of her life, has put together a non-profit group to protect, and finally allow the animals some measure of freedom from a caged existence, and the Navy department steadfastly refuses to release them to her custody.
In another instance, a night club I visit occasionally, has introduced a claw machine that children usually play to grab stuffed animal prizes. This machine, is retrofitted with a glass tank containing live lobsters. For two dollars, you can try to grab a live lobster and have it cooked for dinner. There is really something to be said for a species that has lowered itself to the point where we make a game out of killing, even if it is for dinner. The lobsters, have learned that the claw will get them if they are under it, so they congregate at either end of the tank as far away as they can get from the ever-present threat of the overhead claw. Who said animals are dumb?
How much can be said in defense of a society that feels it necessary to kill animals to understand how they live? What benefit can be had from reveling over the torture and killing of bulls as a public spectacle in a bull ring? Why is it necessary for our medical profession to experiment on and routinely kill animals under the pretext that it's O.K. if it may save one human life? Why do we still buy fur coats made from dead animals? And in a more oblique sense, why do we ponder the plight of animals' decreasing habitat and their inability to proliferate under such conditions, when we follow old worn-out dictates given to us by old worn-out minds, to continue to overpopulate the earth.
And to the research physicians, I say, if we eliminate a disease one day, one week, one month or years earlier at the expense of torturing animals under the guise of our human superiority over other species, we lose. Only when you do not understand the eternal, divine nature of all species, do you place so much emphasis on time. We have as much time as we need, your soul, your consciousness and indeed, your distinct personality, your YOU, lives on . . . so what's the rush?
Now the good news is this: We cannot extinct the earth anymore than we can extinct a species. We do not have the ability to physically eliminate anything that has a psychic origin, and everything has a psychic origin. Can anyone extinct an idea? I think not. What we do is degrade our experience and the experience of our sons and daughters. If we can begin to understand the deeper meaning of creativity and the eternal validity of all consciousness and its right to exist, we will have then begun the journey.
We are approaching a world population of six billion people on a planet more comfortably suited for two billion people to experience value-fulfilled lives. We must begin to make changes now. We can begin by decreasing the earth's population, reforesting the forests, learning to cultivate more of our food supply. If we begin today we will someday reach the point where it will not be necessary to kill other animals and we may well see the return of many long-extinct species to a more favorable environment and a more sensitive human civilization that understands that we are to intermix and enjoy them, not experiment on, kill and eat them.
W. Allan is a graduate of Harris Teachers College and Washington University in St. Louis and resides in Bonita Springs, Florida. He may be contacted by calling (941) 495-7344.
Return to the March/April Index page