captain watson comments on anti-speciesism

This seriously made my day. 

Following the recent killing of the gorilla Harambe, Captain Paul Watson, who dedicates his life to saving the oceans and its species notably through Sea Shepherd, comes back on our interdependence with all living beings and why our human species isn’t (actually can’t) be superior to another. 

I urge you to read his Facebook post in order to have a better understanding of how our human race is entirely dependent on all these species and how we are absolutely a part of an ecosystem and not on top of it.

Here are some excerpts below, followed by his original post.

***

“What if I ask you to save 200 species of unknown bacteria in exchange for [a] baby?”

[The students] chose the baby.

“Can anyone tell me why you made that choice?” I inquired.

“Because human lives are more important.” One student answered. Another said, “The life of a baby is more important than some germs, how could you even ask such a thing?” she said with a look of disgust.

“Congratulations everyone,” I said. “Your choice just caused the extinction of the human race.”

This is because there are anywhere from 700 to 1,000 different species of bacteria residing in the human gut and without them we could not digest our food or manufacture vitamins for our bodies.

This was part of a lesson I was trying to teach on the law of interdependence, that all species need each other and without some species we cannot survive.

(…)

Nature has three very basic ecological laws. 

1. Diversity, meaning that the strength of an ecosystem is determined by the diversity within it. 

2. Interdependence, meaning that the species within an ecosystem are dependent upon each other and 

3. Finite resources, meaning that there is a limit to growth, a limit to carrying capacity.

(…)

Humans have created a fantasy world called anthropocentrism, the idea that all of reality, all of nature exists only for humanity, that we are the only species that matters and human rights take priority over the rights of all other species. 

In other words we look upon ourselves as divinely created superior beings when in reality we are simply overly conceited arrogant, ecologically ignorant, naked apes who have become divine legends in our own limited minds.

This anthropocentric view of the world has made us selfish, self-centered and extremely destructive to all other forms of life on the planet including our own. 

Our fantasies have allowed us to destroy the very life support systems that sustain us, to poison the waters we drink and the food we eat, to amuse ourselves with blood sports and to eradicate anything and everything we do not like, be it animal, plant or other human beings. We demonize each other and we demonize the entire living world.

This fantasy world we have invented has witnessed our creation of Gods out of whose mouths we can give voice to our fantasies with the moral authority to justify our destructive behaviour.

(…)

I would define intelligence as the ability to live in harmony with nature and within the boundaries of ecological laws. We willfully ignore that dolphins and whales have larger more complex brains and we dismiss any speculation that animals think, make choices, dream and have emotions. We also dismiss the reality that trees communicate through chemicals and fungal networks.

We pride ourselves on our art, our science, our religions, our politics, our cultures and totally reject that other species have their own cultures, their own realities completely independent of our hominid vanities.

***

***

Also check the video below if you want to understand more about each species role in our ecosystem, you can understand how wolves can change rivers (it’s a real experimentation that happened in Yellowstone National Park in 1995).

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