Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] NMOC - Enemies of Sustainability

Julian Shaw (Man Myth or Monkey?) julian at monkeyfamily.freeserve.co.uk
Fri Oct 8 06:30:41 MDT 2004

I think it's time for me to bow out of this debate before we digress into 
discussing the nature of free will. I honestly don't have the time or energy 
to keep up.

For those interested in animal ethics issues I highly recommend Peter Singer 
an Australian philosopher with well developed ideas. His web site contains 
lots of good articles:




>===== Original Message From "Michael Blackwood" 
<blackwood_michael at hotmail.com> =====
>>From: "Julian Shaw (Man Myth or Monkey?)"
>><julian at monkeyfamily.freeserve.co.uk>
>>That is fair enough Bruce. I think people rejected most of the reasons for
>>other "isms" very quickly over the last few hundred year but speciesism is
>>probably one which will never go away. It's quite understandable really as
>>very nature has taught us to do what we need to survive at the expense of
>>other species. It is what has led to our survival. But is it still needed
>Well, pathenogenic bacteria are species we kill for our own survival, and I
>kid you not when I say that I've met people who (while accepting the
>necessity of the situation) find killing germs to be philosophically
>I look at it this way - pollution, habitat destruction, etc are all products
>of humanity's refusal to see itself as part of the ecosystem of Earth,
>preferring instead to see itself as somehow seperate from, and superior to,
>nature.  But the truth is, we are hominids.  We are mammals.  We have
>canines and the digestive processes to utilize an omnivorous diet.  We are a
>part of nature, designed to behave in a certain way.  We let our tastes run
>to excesses, which is a problem (most westerners eat far too much meat in
>proportion to vegetation in their diet, just because we can), but
>fundamentally if we recognize that we are a species, part of nature, with
>our own natual behaviours and our own natural impacts on the environment, we
>will be better equipped to "pick our battles" and curb the worst of our
>behavoiurs and find the least-desctuctive ways to satisfy our primal
>biology.  The alternative is to waste engery in unwinnable battles against
>the realities of our species' nature.  We must strive to minimize our impact
>on the environment, for example, not try to make the existence of Homo
>Sapiens undetectable in the world - that would be as unnatural and
>unsustainable as industrial effluent in our river systems.
>hold together,
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