Today, as usual, I went up to the corner shop at about 6:30 in the morning to buy my newspaper. When I came back I noticed a couple of pigeons on top of a wall. They were clearly courting. They appeared to be in love. It was obvious to anybody that they were going through the courting process in preparation to starting a family. The pavement runs right next to the wall and therefore I made sure that I did not disturb them by walking on the grass about 15 feet away.
Behind me was a couple. I notice that when they got to the pigeons they shooed them away. The man raised his arms in the air to disturb them. They flew away. Why did he do this? There was absolutely no reason on earth to do it. And there lies the difference between me and him. I wanted to respect these pigeons. Pigeons are perhaps the most disrespected animal on the planet. Yet they are animals surviving just like any other. Why should people be prejudiced against them? It is speciesism and that too is unnecessary. It is a form of animal racism. Pigeons are fantastic navigators with some great skills. We shoud respect them.
It irritated me because it was an act of human arrogance over a lowly animal who is often disrespected. We don’t need to behave like this. We can do better. We need to respect all animals because they’re no different from us in so many respects. We should not think that we are better than them. I would hope that we are coming out of that era, an era of many thousands of years during which humans believe that they have this God-given right to be superior to other creatures on the planet. The Bible helped to project this concept. It is completely false.
The truth of the matter is that we are substantially worse than perhaps all other animals because we do more damage to the planet than them. That is not to say I prefer animals to people. Yes, I did love animals but I also like people, those people who respect animals and are sensible. It is an act of incompetence and ignorance to do what this man did today. It was a tiny event, insignificant but telling as to the attitude of humankind. It is an attitude which has led to the sixth mass extinction of species on this planet as a result of human greed and a lack of foresight.
It is truly time for humans to learn to live in harmony with other animals. It is time for humans to stop abusing nature. Whenever you read about the environment and the health of the planet you become depressed and upset because the stories are always bad. Plastic pollution goes to every corner of the planet. It doesn’t matter how remote. Forrests are still being burnt and torn down at an alarming rate. We need forests to create oxygen through photosynthesis from carbon dioxide. We need forests to protect the animals who live within them. So many wonderful animals live in forests and depend upon them. We need that biodiversity. Through biodiversity we can create new medicines and enhance our lives. Why should we be destroying that possibility? Through greed and a lack of foresight as mentioned.
Collectively, humankind is idiotic. On a personal level, on an individual by individual level, there are some wonderful people but there are too many ignorant ones and they are often in positions of power. If it is not ignorance it is a blind desire to increase economic wealth and growth for the immediate future rather than looking long-term at the damage it does to the planet which must surely diminish the prospect of economic growth in the long-term future.
It is an act of suicidal madness to destroy the planet which sustains humankind. But this is exactly what humankind is doing. Collectively there is a madness. How can individuals who see this stop it?