Protecting the Natural World at the Expense of Humanity

by admin on December 1, 2016

in Tyler Businesses

It is interesting to note the overcorrection made by social activist groups. I think it’s a human trait that often our passion for one thing becomes passionate opposition to something else. The more dogmatic we become in favor of one position the more we devalue the others. As evidence and example, I would offer the constitutional debates that followed the American Revolution. The side that favored the ratification of the new document, (namely the Federalists); successfully redefined skeptical faction (the Anti- Federalists) as the side that opposed national unity. In fact nothing could have been further from the truth. The Anti- federalists didn’t oppose national unity, they opposed (wrongly I would argue) the adoption of the constitution. (Which by the way, they did for some valid reasons. But I digress…)

I note this fact after reading an article about a California rancher who has been issued a permit to kill a mountain lion who had killed several of her livestock. (By the way, as evidence of the paper’s immediate bias I offer the fact that the author referred not to a permit to hunt a predator, but a permit to execute a lion).

As a history and Literature teacher I am forced to recognize the truism that in order for one thing to live, something else must die. It seems however that this lesson is lost on many of us. It’s striking to me that so many people protest the proposed “execution” of the lion but are unconcerned with the death of the livestock. It’s the predator that must be protected for those who protect the prey. So why is this true? I suspect it has to do with the self- loathing so many of us feel for our own species. The protection of the natural world has grown into a resentment for the rest of humanity. It’s not enough to protect animals, we must specifically protect the one’s that make human lives more difficult and in one way or another add to the struggles of our fellow men.

So is it always true that our cause must over compensate into passionate opposition? In other words, does every cause have a polar opposite? Too often in life are causes are defined for us. And perhaps this is the sticking point. It’s hard to keep our commitment to one thing from becoming hatred of something else. The important thing I think is to honestly evaluate our defining principles, and then resist the natural evolution of our passions. Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with caring for the natural world around us, but we should resist the temptation to labor against flesh and blood.

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