It’s trickier than you think. For me, the instinct is to keep things alive. But at the same time, I don’t know to what extent we should just let the world screw up and catapult back and forth until a new equilibrium is reached.
Or do we need to find the equilibrium ourselves.
While ‘civilisation’ creeps over the planet like an ever expanding virus with shoes we are just throwing any idea of stability in the ‘natural world’ (which, lets not forget, we are part of) out of the window.
But then, that’s how the world works. Instability, constant flux, reactions and counter-reactions. Chaotic, beautiful, lunatic.
The concept of nature is broken. It doesn’t make sense. It encompasses everything or it encompasses nothing. Either way it is utterly useless. Humanity likes to pitch itself against ‘nature’ on account of we have cement and the X-Factor and mascara and harpsichords. It’s a false distinction. The brain evolved through ‘natural’ processes. Once it got to a certain point, we started moving forward in a different way. We started building things and being ‘smart’ and community driven.
Just because it turned out to be a very effective survival strategy (so far) doesn’t make it something outside of the path of the world. It’s happened.
When a monkey picks up a bone and uses it as a club, it doesn’t mean he’s suddenly become some separate force from the rest of the world. It just means he’s got a club.
But somehow we got smart (as evinced by the X-Factor). And now we are capable of having opinions on how natural something is.
So we have morality. And that makes everything confusing. Difficult.
Should we preserve anything.
Leaving the locusts and the ticks behind, should we even bother preserving the Pandas?
Pandas are fucking beautiful. They are cute and furry and could probably tear your face off in an instant. They are also not good survivors. The only foodstuff they eat is so lacking in nutrition that they essentially have to spend all of their time eating (cf obesity epidemic). Bamboo is not a balanced diet. By rights, Pandas would’ve died out by now (probably) if we hadn’t interfered. Now that’s partly because we destroyed habitats. But I reckon they only had a while to go anyway.
Maybe they would’ve evolved out of it, but it would be up to luck.
Same goes for cows, actually. I’ve had someone argue against my vegetarianism by saying that if everyone was vegetarian then we’d stop farming cows and they’d all die.
So maybe they should?
Or at least be given a chance to evolve into some kind of minotaur beast that can start some shit in a McDonalds.
But of course. I’m a hippy. And this all sounds a bit destructive. How do we walk a line between self preservation and ‘nature’ preservation?
I don’t know; but I’m pretty sure the free market isn’t going to sort it out.
Alternatively: ‘only if they make tasty jam’.
Illustration by Anna-Kaisa.