We Humans enjoy a certain level of comfort as the dominant inhabitants of this planet. Our intelligent minds have brought us remarkable advancements in medical science, The technology to speak to our neighbors all over the world, and a unique view of our existence as conscious beings. There is no doubt that we have evolved into astonishing biological organisms capable of almost limitless progress. But this intelligence comes with a few inherent responsibilities that we have been ignoring for a dangerously long time. The first being Common Sense; This is perhaps the most important. A species that refuses to use it’s logical mind to divert itself from destructive circumstances is doomed for self-inflicted failure. Another responsibility we inherit is the obligation of compassion. We have been given minds that are able to solve some of life’s most puzzling questions, We have challenged our natural limits and mastered the ability to fly higher than the birds, we can look into the vastness of Outer Space and witness the unbelievable beauty of our Universe; This same creativity should always be used to make sure our actions do as little harm as possible. That principle is as essential to our survival as the Oxygen we breathe.
Our planet is a very finite resource. We sometimes don’t realize it because of how big it seems to us tiny Humans, but the earth only has so much to offer, and once a resource is gone, for whatever reason, it is effectively gone for good. The Human race has developed a kind of amnesia to this rule, We have turned a blind eye to the obvious truth that we lead an unsustainable existence. I think subconsciously we have convinced ourselves that we have nothing to worry about, as if the problem will just go away. Nothing could be more deadly than an entire race lying to themselves. It’s time to muster up the maturity we are so proud of, and as a species, face the facts.
In April of 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people, and causing a massive underwater geyser which for three months pumped over 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf. The full extent of the damage is still unknown. Fossil fuels have been shown to produce toxic gasses that affect the quality of our air, causing cancer, asthma, and other debilitating diseases. And the emissions may also be a contributing factor to global climate change, an event that could easily wipe entire populations off the face of the planet. It has become very obvious to me that our reliance on petroleum and other fossil fuels is a deadly addiction to the familiar, and nothing more. We have the ability to harvest energy from the sun and wind, We know how to create power with hydro-electric facilities, and have developed ways to produce Geo-thermal and even wave generated electricity. Vehicles that run strictly on Hydrogen have been made, the only emissions produced by these cars is clean, drinkable water. New technologies continue to surface as a result of our astounding ingenuity, I think the time to leave our old habits behind is extremely overdue.
We owe a great amount of respect to coal and oil, and the rapid progress they allowed us to enjoy as we paved our way into the advancements that have helped us adapt and evolve into a relatively comfortable existence. But this way of producing fuel and energy should be viewed as a metaphorical raft, that has given us the ability to make it across the river of time safely. But having landed on the other side, all we are doing now is dragging the raft behind us, expending valuable time and energy on a load we need not bear. In essence this addiction is a retardation of our own evolution, placing limits on the Human species that grow tighter by the day. How much more devastation will we need to experience before we accept the fact that we are destroying the only place we have to live, and robbing our children of a chance to lead a happy, meaningful life.
Another major cause of both pollution and unnecessary suffering are the methods we employ to raise, and slaughter animals for food, clothing, and other reasons. The popular image of a happy cow or pig basking in the sun on a small family farm is a mirage. The reality is the demand for meat, leather and fur has driven the industry to mass produce it’s animals in intensive “factory farms”, often ignoring the basic rights that a conscious being incurs at birth, the right to live a happy, natural existence, with as little suffering as possible. To purposely inflict suffering to another living creature is the lowest form of depravity we can sink to. This is added to the fact that our methods of raising these animals leaves us with millions of tons of waste, which has found it’s way into our food and water supply, and carries deadly diseases like E. Coli and Salmonella. It is estimated that just one modern pig farm produces more waste than a city of 10,000 people, and with approximately 100 million pigs being raised and killed each year in the U.S. alone, we are facing a serious problem. Instead of just asking you to take my word for it, I invite you to investigate the ways the animal industry has chosen to “solve” this destructive problem. I believe you will be appalled at the level of irresponsibility and blatant carelessness we have shown in regards to this situation.
Our deed’s have been not only destructive, but also cruel. Because we view them as inferior to our own species, animals rarely have very much protection from the horrible cruelty we are capable of. We are shoving, living, thinking, feeling beings into tiny battery cages and pens, forcing them to live in horrible conditions their entire lives, and then shipping them to slaughterhouses to be violently killed. Using inhumane methods simply because they are cheap and easy, completely ignoring the massive suffering we are inflicting on these creatures. If we can make a plane soar through the sky at hundreds of miles an hour, or build a rocket that will take us to the moon, why is it we can’t seem to figure out a way to feed and clothe ourselves and produce safe products that don’t cause unnecessary harm or damage? And the resources we expend feeding these animals could easily solve world hunger if the food and energy were diverted from this wasteful, destructive industry. It is time to reevaluate our priorities and analyze our actions and the consequences.
And while our creativity has given us amazing technology that has improved the quality of our lives, there is yet another dark side of the path we have chosen to follow. As time goes by, we Humans continue to invent new and ingenious ways to kill each other. More often than not leaving these deadly weapons in the control of greedy, corrupt tyrants who use them at will to manipulate social circumstances in their favor, or to force their beliefs or morals on others in some despicable act of ego-maniacal imagined superiority. If a person expects to enjoy freedom and happiness he must never encroach on another’s right to liberty and peace. This is a basic fundamental of Human existence. We start wars because others don’t agree with us, or have something we perceive as rightfully ours, which naturally provokes the victims to retaliate in kind with as much violence and hate as they can muster. It is a vicious, pointless cycle of intolerance, hate and death that is poisoning our hearts and stealing the lives of innocent people all over the world. Imagine how much better off we would be if we focused more on our own progress, and not on developing weapons of war.
These are only a few of the serious problems we as a species face because of our actions. The human population has risen to 7 billion people, a staggering number that most economists, and environmental scientists suggest is entirely out of control. Our small, precious planet cannot support our lifestyle of wasteful consumption. And with an ever increasing number of people on the planet our problems are only going to get worse unless we make a change. Yes, it will be a difficult process of trial and error, but the most important thing is to begin. To put one foot in front on another and start the journey to make things right. And once we have overcome this obstacle facing us we will be that much stronger, that much smarter, ready to face the future with experience and, hopefully, Love.