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Attention: Humans

by on October 14, 2017

                                                                       Attention: Humans

                                                                       by Marco M. Pardi

“People in our culture have a morbid tendency to avoid blame, because they do not wish to take the trouble to change their conduct in any way: blame-avoidance and blame-transference are therefore endemic amongst us. These are substitutes for repentance and renewal.”

BEHAVIOR RESEARCH PROJECT (Texas) 1951

“Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

The Dalai Lama

He who cannot dance claims the floor is uneven. Hindu saying.

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All comments welcome and provided a response.

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Humans, we recently became aware that one or more of your number published a plea that you no longer refer to solitary mass murderers as “lone wolves”.  While we wolves have not seen this publication and therefore cannot give it due credit, we, the wolves, wish to enhance the theme with information and thoughts by which you, with your self declared intellectual superiority might benefit.

First, we remind you that you are animals.  Oh? Think not? What are you then, plants? Stones? We find it curious that an animal which bristles at being called an animal uses so many comparisons to other animals.  You say someone eats like a pig, is stubborn as a mule, reproduces like rabbits, and drinks like a fish. Yet you say someone is brave as a lion, has a memory like an elephant, is agile as a mountain goat, sly as a fox, wise as an owl, and noble as an eagle. Even one of your classic civilizations credited us. Remember the legend of the two infant brothers raised by one of our female wolves? Of course, when the boys grew up Romulus murdered Remus and went on to found Rome. We suspect we should have seen that coming.  But doubtless you can think of more examples.

Second, as animals you, like any other species of plant or animal exist only through the relationship you have with your environment.  Sure, you have developed endless technology to intervene between you and the normal variations and processes in “nature”.  But in truth, you are the Apex Invasive Species, you are the Apex Predator on this planet.  You have spread your teeming masses to every livable continent on this planet, despoiling everywhere including Antarctica.  Your “pesticides” are found in the body fat of almost every species no matter where they are.  You claim to need these pesticides to assure your crops. Yet every year you throw out millions of tons of food before it ever reaches the market. Why? It’s not aesthetically pleasing. Or, you want to ensure high prices. Your plastics are found in the dead bodies of animals you will never see.

You came into our forests, thriving ecosystems for a broad spectrum of biodiversity, and you stripped them bare for an extremely narrow ecosystem you know as pastureland to raise cattle and sheep, animals which require huge amounts of fresh water and which emit even larger volumes of deadly methane gas.  You then force these animals into slaughter houses where, if they are subject to your religious laws such as kosher or halal, you slit their throats and let them stagger around in their own blood until they collapse.  Of course, most of you don’t do this; you allocate the dirty work to butchers who will wrap the meat in pretty packages for you.  You cannot stomach the reality of getting food for yourself. You eat some and throw the rest away. Our cousins, the coyotes, have long known they can subsist entirely on the dumpsters outside your restaurants and fast food joints.

You came into our forests to kill us when in fact you destroyed our food source and laid out a buffet of cattle and sheep we had little choice but to take our sustenance from. You gas our dens to kill our children so they will not grow up to sustain the balance with our prey animals such as deer and elk, animals you want to kill for your own amusement or because, having killed their natural predator they have become overpopulated.  You claim hunting is to “put meat on the table” when the money you spent on a hunting vehicle, fuel, high powered rifle and ammunition, hunting license and tags would keep meat from the local grocery store on your table for many months if not years.  No, you just enjoy feeling the power of killing an unarmed animal as in those “canned hunts” so popular in States like Texas. You kill an average of 96 African elephants a day, taking the ivory for trinkets and leaving the animal to rot.  You kill scores of rhinos yearly taking only the horn the powder of which you think will make your pitiful penises erect. You de-fin live sharks, leaving them to die a miserable death of starvation while you cook the fins for soup. You torture bulls to death, even setting their horns on fire for your amusement. And, sadly, the list goes on.

You raise populations of fur bearing animals, including “Man’s best friend”, in cages to electrocute them for your fur trimmed fashion garments and soft gloves made from dog skin.

You “introduced” us (we call it “returned” us) into parts of the northwest United States to show how good you are, how ecologically advanced you are. What happened?  The ecosystem quickly began recovering.  Streams that had become fast moving torrents yielding flash flooding and unsuitable conditions for fish, beavers, and a multitude of other animals began returning to a state which supports the balance of life. How so?  After you had trapped and shot us to near extinction the deer and elk were then free to wade into the wetlands, where they had been vulnerable to us as they sank a bit into the mud,  and eat the young shoots growing there.  Those shoots would have grown into the plants that stabilized the stream, keeping it from eroding the banks and making the water unlivable and dangerous.  As we returned, the deer and elk avoided those young shoots and the streams returned to a livable ecosystem.  And now you want to trap, gas, and shoot us again.      

Recently one of your “intelligent” hunters shot and killed a family therapy dog from ten feet away.  He claimed he thought it was one of us.  Apparently his only familiarity with us comes from the Big Bad Wolf type cartoons you scare your children with, just as the only familiarity so many of your self-styled “cowboys” have with cattle is the drawing of Elsie on their milk carton.

We know of no other animal which kills for enjoyment on the scale you do. You even kill each other in massive numbers.  You gut programs that help people live healthy and educated lives in favor of programs to develop even deadlier weapons for killing each other. No other animal on the face of this Earth is so consumed by and dedicated to the mass extermination of its own kind. No other animal on the face of this Earth claims divine sanction from some spiritual being as the justification for exterminating people who do not believe in or worship this particular being.     

For these reasons and many more we, the wolves, demand you cease and desist from calling your murderers, whether killers of a few or killers of many, “lone wolves”.  That is a despicable slander against our good name and against our long standing place in nature.  In fact, we can think of no greater slander than calling one of us “human”.

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13 Comments
  1. Mark Dohle permalink

    Yet another thought-provoking piece my friend. Each time I read you it helps me to broaden my perspective and to become more conscious of my own thoughtless attitude towards nature. I can assure that have helped me in this regard with your prophetic essays.

    As we learn more and more about our misunderstanding of the inner life of animals, hopefully, it will change how we treat them. I do believe this is a ways off. However, t the seeds have been planted and I am sure will take root and grow.

    I do believe that animals who have self-awareness, no matter what level, have a soul and will move on. the Church in the past taught that only humans have self-awareness, but we now know this to be untrue and some Christian/Catholic are writing about this. Even plants and who knows insects as well……

    I do believe my friend that things are “more”, not “less”. What we need do is to keep our minds open and a growing ability to be amazed and surprised as we learn more about reality, who we are and what all of the creation is.

    Peace
    Mark

    • Thank you, Mark. I share your reverent awareness of all that is around us. I think often of a quote, though I forgot the author, “The forest is my cathedral”. I hope we are able to stop the horrendous degradation under our current presidential administration, or at least that we can recover once they are out of office. As you know, I strongly tend toward the dark side of that equation.

  2. Marco, I wrote a longer response and it disappeared after I posted it. This is very frustrating, especially having written it from a cell phone. My reply was about city noise pollution. Oh well.

    I cried reading this. What a powerful, moving piece, and one of the best you have written. You made an important point about the lone wolf. I wish this could be published widely.

    “Pitiful penises.” That got a chuckle through the tears.

    • Thank you, Dana. I’ve very sorry your initial reply did not come through. I do not know how to remedy that. But this reply makes it, for me, very worthwhile. You and I share a deep and complete connection with our brothers and sisters in life. And I’m so glad you got a chance to laugh.

    • Dana, I found your original comment and reproduced it here. Thank you so much, Marco

      Marco, I am speechless at this post. The tears will not stop flowing. For me, this is the most powerful piece you have written, and I wish it could be widely published.

      The other morning I took Violet for a walk around 5 am. This is the only way we can somewhat peacefully commune with nature while living in the city. I crave solitude away from humans and the all day incessant noise pollution they cause – some of it for their personal enjoyment. The invasion is endless – car stereos blasting music, the bass booming with windows rolled down, high rise construction, sirens, angry honking of car horns, leaf blowers, street vacuums to pick up the barrage of human litter everywhere. The list could go on. I wonder what toll noise pollution has upon non-human life; it is certainly affecting my own.

      We enjoyed this walk immensely, always staying aware of our surroundings. As we rounded the corner to go home, I observed a man across the street finishing his soda from a large QT cup. There are city trash and/or recycling cans on most corners, but he hurled the cup into the air when he was finished, letting it land in the street. Others deliberately set trash beside cans, I suppose feeling some sort of power over their environment.

      “Pitiful penises.” That got a chuckle through the tears. Thank you for this incredibly moving installation.

      • Mark Dohle permalink

        Dana,

        Many people need more silence than is possible in our culture today, at least in the cities. Perhaps that could be one cause of much of the violence, people being stretched like a rubber band and then snapping. I am glad that you can at least find some time to be able to have some peace.

        Peace
        Mark

      • Mark, I think there is a great deal of merit in your comment to Dana. I wonder how, if possible, we could encourage people to seek solitude, and the reflection it brings. Marco

  3. I think the most important thing we can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves. You have done that beautifully in this piece.

  4. Ray Rivers permalink

    Just brilliant and on so many levels. The wolf, a lone or in a pack,never kills for pleasure – only to feed him/herself and his/her extended family.

  5. I’ve waited until the last to add my words to the mixture; let me begin by saying how much I enjoyed this offering. To personify the wolf (no insult intended) was a stroke of genius. “His” words were both plaintive and a bit whimsical. The lesson here for all of us is to question whether we are deserving of the title “animal”; we are certainly the most careless and destructive of all the creatures of the earth.

    Hunting for survival is one thing; trophy hunting is quite another. I once met a woman whose husband had mounted the animals he managed to “bag” while stationed in Africa; I can’t imagine. I don’t know whether humans are the only animals who hunt for enjoyment, but I do know we are the only ones who kill each other in such numbers with little to no provocation. Lately, there seems to be one such incident after another. No wolf, lone or otherwise, would do this to others of his kind.

    • Thank you, Rose. We are something which does not quite fit with the rest of life on the Earth. I knew a grove owner in Winter Haven who absolutely filled his home with stuffed trophies. I gave him a book on endangered species. I doubt he ever looked at it.

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