Chill out

Taking a cue from the far more eloquent Richard Dawkins, I would like to show you a very big and very important idea. I will start with a letter borrowed from the book A Devils Chaplain.

You appeal for money to save the gorillas. Very laudable, no doubt. But it doesn’t seem to occur to you that there are thousands of Human children suffering on the very same continent of Africa. There’ll be time enough to worry about the gorillas when we’ve taken care of every last one of the kiddies. Let’s get our priorities right, Please.

Now it should seem obvious that to waylay the protection of an endangered species until global poverty(eat up me ‘hearties!) is solved is a foolish plan. If we did that, well, there wouldn’t be a world for those poor little kiddies to grow into. They would enter a world with no biodiversity, no wild places, no resources, no topsoil, no clean water, rampant desertification, an oily seashore and yellowish atmosphere.

Not even entertaining the minds need for wild spaces or Abbeyian though(Ha, I bet the cranky ass would roll over at that one) this should obviously be a bad idea. Just imagine dropping environmental protection to concentrate all resources into the little kiddies. Fuck, it makes even me shudder.

I am not saying that we should drop the research and humanities work happening in places of abject poverty, the squatter cities around the world. These problems make the plight of the gorillas/orchid/spotted owl/knobby rams-horn conch even harder. More people means more land means more food means more energy means more dead animals. Continuing this work does not mean we shouldn’t commit ourselves to saving a world for those kids to live in.

If you disagree with me on that topic, I suggest you stop reading. I will now be leaving anthropocentrism behind, treading close to the waters of misanthropy.

Now I would like to pose a further question. Who would you save?

A single gorilla or a single child? Do you save the life, provide the needs of a child or a gorilla?

A child needs food, water, shelter, work, purpose, space, air, dignity, and fire. A gorilla needs land. Lots of land. Hundreds of acres of land with a complete ecosystem, including trees and plants and water and air and bugs and birds and all the trappings of a true jungle.

Of course the guttural reaction is to save the child. (or not answer) The human child that is. It’s just so like us, a human, it’s hard to say no. A distended belly, round faced, wide smiled little african kid is so innocent that nobody could give give the poor bastard a thumbs down. But this world will lose based on emotion, win on facts.

Emotion gives us lenient prison sentences for violent offenders, Fact gives us lower drug offense sentences. Emotion gives us strip mines, Fact gives us renewable energy. Emotion gives up revenge, Fact gives us justice. Emotion gives us church, Fact gives us science. Emotion gives us yelling, Fact gives us discourse. Emotion gives us wild swings in political direction, Fact gives us direction. I am not discounting emotion. There is a place for it. The exuberant howl at the moon, the grind of a lovers thigh, the rush of adrenaline, the serenity of a quiet place, all wonderful places for emotion. But at the end of the day, Fact will trump Emotion when lives are at stake.

So let us look at the facts.

There are six and a half billion people on the earth. Human population is rising as a whole, even if it is stagnant in some smaller and older countries. Humans are poor and starving on a continent basis. Humans have the tools and the technology to fix their problems but let greed and anger cloud their judgement. Humans have created chemicals in the environment that will outlast any civilization. Humans have cordoned of their world from the world of everything else. Humans are arrogant enough to assume priority over the world.

Given their course record and their history, it can only be assumed that this human will need more land, more food, more energy, more more. More more more more. The cycle of more doesn’t stop. Just this moment I ramble on about this while sitting in a fancy coffee hut typing on a two thousand dollar machine and bitch abut out consumption. I am a hypocrite but I a damned right hypocrite nonetheless.

The human will consume like a virus until he turns soylent green. And even that wont stop him. A veritable locust removed from the ecosystem.

There is around one hundred thousand lowland gorillas(this is according to the WWF, not the wrestlers mind you) and only around seven thousand lowland gorillas. The populations of each group are slowly declining as habitat is turned into pasture, they are turned into bush meat, and bits a pieces of the poor bastards are sold as talismans and alternative* medicine.

The gorilla simply needs land to live and to survive. He needs enough land to maintain a healthy diet, clean water and clear air.

The difference in terms of need is the human has become a tool of destruction towards his own needs while the gorilla has done nothing but try and maintain a foothold on survival.

I am sure by this point that you have intuited my answer to that question. I would gladly sacrifice the life of that human for the life of the gorilla. There are to many god damned humans and not nearly enough gorillas. Too many locusts and not enough grizzlies.

Now a note to the first smarmy son of a bitch who wants to ask the obvious question. If I could sacrifice myself and ensure that that gorilla(I would prefer a grizzly though, maybe a wolf) will die in some years of old age instead of a poacher rifle or starvation, I would. At least I hope I would. I cannot say for sure, as this is all a long string of parabolic tales laced with deep amounts of conjecture, but I would give anything to save a griz. The grizz and the gorilla and the wolf and the antelope and the zebra snail did nothing to destroy their world, but the human did.

(notes: This is some fairly vitriolic and angry shit. It is meant more to make you question your stance on the world and its constituents and their billing. Is a man an animal, are animals less worthy than man. Are we all just really fucking hypocritical when we talk about what’s wrong in the world. Read at your own risk, and chill the fuck out)

* just a kind word for bullshit

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