Logically, scientifically humans are part of nature, not separate divine entities. Whether we like it or not we are part of an ever changing process our predecessors were animals, we are animals and if humans survive for any length of time after what we have done to the planet, they will be animals too and will probably evolve into something else unrecognisable as human in the future. This is common sense, the word “animal” can be attributed to the ancient Greeks meaning a being with a soul.
Many cultures around the world regard humans as part of, not above the rich tapestry of life but for some reason in the UK it is heretical to say that humans are just another animal. Savage prison sentences have been handed out to those who protest against vivisection “justified” by citing actions carried out by “persons unknown”. The vilification in the press by the UK SHAC 7 has been extraordinary as though HLS, its customers and suppliers were innocent of any wrong doing. For those who do not know HLS is a contract testing laboratory which tests things like artificial sweeteners and floor cleaner on dogs, mice, rats, primates, fish ,cattle etc. Every one of those animals is an individual with a fully functional central nervous system, a capacity to feel pain, to feel lonely, to feel hungry, to feel frustrated by incarceration, to feel frightened and angry. There is absolutely no moral justification to maim, torture and murder these individuals.
It is galling to hear scientists talk of evolution as fact (we agree there) and then describe humans as superior to the rest of creation also as “fact” when what they are doing is expressing a personal opinion. In fact we challenge anyone to prove that humans are superior. To describe a species as “superior” is as logical as describing people with red hair as “superior” it is a nonsense and yet it is the only justification for abusing other species in the most horrific ways. We are not superior in any way, different yes, superior a resounding no. It is natural for all animals including us to include families, (including companion animals) and friends in our circle of compassion first but this does not mean that our families and friends are superior to people and animals we do not know or that others are there for us to use and abuse.
At present we kill, torture and exploit one another relentlessly and mercilessly. When people talk of humans as being “superior” do they not think of the atrocities carried out by the Khmer Rouge, by the Nazis, Polpot, Mugabe, the military thugs in Burma and so forth? What is it about crucifying another person or maybe burning them to death on a spit and thoroughly enjoying their pain that makes us superior to other animals who would never do such things? Forced child labour, poisoning whole populations with pollution, people trafficking, dropping missiles on civilians, these are frequent occurrences and affect billions. We believe that instead of crowning ourselves as deities worthy of the subjugation of other creatures that we should be ashamed and disgusted, we should only respect ourselves as a species when we have defeated the mass of atrocities we inflict on ourselves.
Of course all the other species are at our mercy and instead of showing compassion we torture, maim, taunt, kill, slash, burn and obliterate. There is no-one to stop us we are, apparently, the pinnacle of evolution, the chosen ones and because we can for example put millions of chickens in battery units we do so, say it is survival of the fittest and thus proof of our “superiority”. Of course if a group grabs hold of 5 battery egg eaters and puts them in a tiny cage for a year or so before breaking a few limbs, electrocuting them and then putting them still alive and thrashing in a tank of boiling water this argument could also be used by this gang who have demonstrated their “superiority” by subduing their victims. Actually we believe that incarcerating, torturing then murdering another creature just because you can either makes you in need of serious help or makes you a serial killer, someone who should be locked away indefinitely to protect others (we are against the death penalty here at NW).
In arguments with vivisectors and those who argue for human supremacy the argument that animals should not be afforded rights because they have no responsibilities is always dusted down. We argue that other animals do have responsibilities as is seen repeatedly by watching wild animals as they bring up their young and protect one another. We also argue that many humans cannot take on responsibilities because for example someone might have extreme learning difficulties which should not exclude them from having rights. Furthermore many people who can take on responsibilities do not, there are many throughout the world whose only concern is themselves and it is sickening to think that someone who kicks someone to death for a laugh is afforded rights when an innocent and loving dog is not. We believe all sentient beings even if they are vicious thugs should have rights regardless of responsibilities concerning not being subjected to torture or murder or unnecessary incarceration. However if we follow the responsibility argument of the human supremacist they are basically saying that humans only should have rights because we are human, this does not really make sense unless we exclude nasty people like Mugabe but then where do we draw the line at mass murderers, gang s, drug addicts, burglars, CEOS of evil corporations? People who do not pick up their rubbish, clean behind their ears, do their washing up or who scorn civic duties BEWARE!
Whilst we regard ourselves very highly and assume that we are better than the rest of creation we are destroying everything in our wake. From the bloke swaggering down the street smashing beer bottles as he walks to the animal collector who fills her home full of animals, lets them breed to then dumps them all on overstretched sanctuaries humans everywhere cannot be bothered to contribute anything to the world we live in. Billions of animals die horribly so that people can choose to eat meat, billions more die (including the human animal) because meat eating destroys resources. Millions of animals die because some pretentious idiots choose to make a statement about how heartless and devoid of compassion they are by wearing fur actively supporting the skinning alive and anal electrocution of rabbits, dogs, cats, chinchillas, foxes etc. We destroy forests, we pollute the oceans, the air, clean water, we are directly responsible for climate change and we actually have the audacity to call rats and pigeons “vermin”, the sheer arrogance of our species defies belief!
At present it is impossible to hear pure birdsong uninterrupted by traffic or look up at the stars, our quality of life is diminishing as fields are destroyed with concrete, trees are festooned with plastic and the rivers filled with assorted human crap. The average Brit is directly responsible for the deaths of 11, 047 creatures in a lifetime through eating meat, fish and dairy alone. Many more will suffer and die as people spray pesticides, smash up wild areas because they look “untidy”, bulldozer roads, pollute rivers, lay down slug pellets, ad infinitum. We at present contribute nothing to our planet, a minority of brave souls try to counter the devastation we wreck but are outnumbered and often persecuted . As a species we really are nothing but a killer ape apparently devoid of any realisation that all we do is make what is beautiful and life sustaining ugly and dead. As someone once remarked if other animals had a hell the demons would wear human faces but then we have made hell on Earth for all animals including ourselves. It is not the time to be congratulating ourselves far from it. When we stop killing one another and our brethren, when we replenish the environment, remove our filth from the seas, the air and the land, when we diminish our numbers to allow others to thrive and ourselves to live in harmony, when we ensure that every single person on the planet has food, shelter, freedom and equality, when we stop behaving like bloated obnoxious brats wanting more and more sweets that is the time we can actually have respect for ourselves. Until then we live as a mere shadow of what we could be i.e a benevolent, compassionate species able to contribute to the world as well as enjoy its wealth. We live as the dirtiest, most violent, most greedy, most hateful species ever to have been spawned. We have the capacity for intelligence and compassion and being what we could be starts with recognising that we are part of the web of life not any better than any other part. The fact that we are more badly behaved than any other species is something we should remedy it makes a mockery of any pretence of “superiority” if we cannot.
If earthworms were to become extinct tomorrow we would all starve. If bees were to become extinct tomorrow we would all starve(NB this is starting to happen thanks to humans spraying everything with extremely toxic pesticides). With bees, worms, flies and many other creatures their demise would be catastrophic for countless complex lifeforms but if humans were to become extinct tomorrow the planet would be infinitely better off. We need to eat a considerable amount of humble pie, either that or join in with the creationists, join some killer ape death cult and wait for a deity to transport us to some other Eden which we would probably defile as quickly as possible because we’re “worth it”.