Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Kill All Humans

I have a headache from repressed rage. I just read an amazing article in the NY Times Magazine that explained how we humans are not only exterminating most of the large species of mammals (among others) in this world, but we are driving them crazy. That's right, this article focusses on elephants, and how not only are there less and less of them, but the survivors are as socially and behaviourally warped by PTSD caused by the loss of habitat and killing of their relatives. In other words, not only are we wantonly killing and committing atrocities against each other, we're driving elephants so batshit that they are trampling villages and raping rhinos. Nice going, human race.

Of course, it's not just the elephants. Everything natural is dying on this world, thanks to us, with the possible exceptions of roaches and kudzu. Even when animals go crazy and kill, it's not usually wiping out huge populations to extinction. And hunting for food is another thing altogether, even when nature seems cruel. I challenge anyone to watch The Eye of the Leopard - a recently aired television documentary with gorgeous cinematography, poetic writing and moving and at times appropriately creepy narration by Jeremy Irons. Watch the young leopard, just transitioning from cub to adult, as, after catching and killing her first piglet, she dances around and plays with its body in excited celebration. It could be thought morbid and grotesque, but the sight of that exquisite, graceful, powerful feline body arcing though the air in slow-motion joy, striking spots dappling her fur like the sun through leaves, was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

This animal did not kill for the joy of it, carelessly or for profit. She killed to feed herself, and if she felt excitement it was due to discovering her ability to survive. She didn't then go and try to kill the rest of the pigs in the forest for good measure - because they were in her way or "for their own good." I challenge anyone to witness that, or the sight of elephants mourning their dead, or dolphins supporting their sick brethren, and not wonder at the beauty of nature, and know that they carry emotions as we do, without the power or will to change the very planet that we wield.

Here's the time where Mrs. Nator would point out to me all the people in the article, like the folks at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, TN, who are doing good things for the elephants and trying to help and heal them. However, I can't help but see these people as a woeful minority and figure we are all going to hell in a ginourmous handbasket. Probably a hell where demons shaped like elephants pull out our teeth and gore and trample our loved ones in front of us for eternity.

Seriously, sometimes I wish for a fast, untreatable, human-specific plague, that sterilizes the carriers it doesn't kill. I guess that makes me a bad person. Or, all things considered, it just makes me a human. At least I am ashamed.

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