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Gritfish Credo

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Written by Gritfish

I believe that Planet Earth and its living inhabitants are endangered by the unrestrained activities and excesses of a single species, Homo sapiens.  The precarious status of Earth is a byproduct of human biology.  Aldo Leopold noted that human beings are ordinary members of the biota—man has evolved by the same process that created all other forms of life and therefore has the same fundamental needs. Mankind, by happenstance and the evolutionary process, assumed a bipedal upright stance, thereby gaining distant gaze and an expanded horizon—advantageous in avoiding predators and seeking prey.  Bipedal gait proved to be an efficient locomotion, which has carried man to virtually all parts of the planet.  Freed from the ground, man’s upper extremities became prehensile, allowing him to physically manipulate the environment.  In addition, the cranial end of man-the-organism developed into a neural center emphasizing capabilities different than those of other vertebrates—expanded cognition rather than, for example, long-range navigation or physical agility.

 

The basic drives of an organism are to assure its own security, to meet physical needs by processing materials taken in from the environment, and to replicate itself.  Whether by luck or God’s intent, humans have an enormous advantage over Earth’s other inhabitants in carrying out these biological drives. However, in excess of these fundamental needs, humans are motivated to acquire objects to satisfy sensuality and to maximize luxury.  Indeed, amassing luxury is considered the measure of human “success”.  From the point of view of man’s fellow earthbound creatures, such behavior literally is overkill.  Acquiring luxury deprives other members of the biota of their rightful share of Earth’s commonwealth.  As a result, the most rapid mass extinction of species ever to have occurred is happening now.  Although humans are a common member of the biota, human biology now is drastically out of balance with the rest of nature.Humans have become the most populous large animal on the planet, and hence, by sheer numbers, have an immense impact on Planet Earth.  A healthy environment is the natural economy that sustains all human economies, yet extractive corporatism is consuming the very things that allow life on Earth to flourish. Not only are non-human fellow inhabitants of Earth suffering, but privatization of the commons and environmental destruction are exerting terrible effects on our own species:  social injustice has a basis in environmental injustice; indigenous peoples and the poor are deemed disposable by the profit motive; wealth for a few comes at the price of impoverishment of the many; water, upon which life depends, becomes a commodity; poverty and inequality inexorably lead to war; toxic chemicals and pollution cause human disease—social justice,  human health and the environment are intimately interrelated.

Like Chronos, we are eating our children.

Humans have not always regarded themselves as gods above all other things on Earth.  Indigenous peoples universally recognized their connection to Mother Earth and the interdependent processes that we now call Gaia.  Plants, animals, mountains and the seas—these were not considered soulless objects for exploitation but sentient beings worthy of respect and consideration.  They were regarded as creatures imbued with the Great Mystery and co-existent with mankind.

Humankind is capable of developing economies, technologies and practices that will allow humans to live comfortably and in community with our fellow creatures on Earth. For Planet Earth to survive in a meaningful way, a communal and spiritual relationship with the manifestations of the Creator must be restored.

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