All Life Has Consciousness | Carl Safina | Are Humans Capable of Letting Other Life Continue?

There is Love on Earth Besides Humans

There is Love on Earth Besides Humans

Carl Safina, PhD in ecology, conservationist, writer

Carl Safina, PhD in ecology, conservationist and writer

I am very grateful to have discovered Carl Safina’s work and this TED talk just a day previous to posting this. Tears ran down my cheeks as I watched and listened to this scientist’s portrayal of animals, and of humans. Tears continued to stream from my eyes after I listened to his last words. I am so disappointed and basically frustrated with what humans deem as important.

I was about to write a blog about Borders? Why are Human Beings ‘Not Allowed’ to Walk Around on the Earth? However, to me, putting this concept out there of recognizing the importance of all other life forms besides humans, is far more important than the absurd political scenarios that humans impose on one another. What we are doing to the natural world and to other life forms, with our over-population, degradation of the environment, human-induced global warming and inciting a mass extinction, to me, far outweighs any of the absurd things that humans are doing to each other. Carl Safina does not by any means bypass this subject in his talk. He says, what humans do to other empathetic creatures is also what they do to one another.

Animals, Carl Safina, Empathy, Sympathy, Compassion

Animals Carl Safina Empathy Sympathy Compassion

I felt an urgent need to immediately post this to both blogs. I feel very sorry for those humans who do not feel compassion and awe with nature and all of life. I thank my parents that nature and an appreciation for all life forms was revered. I grew up with National Geographic and Smithsonian magazines in the home, and was curated to think way beyond my immediate vicinity.

I recently lauded friends who regularly inform and urge people to think about the protection of animals and wilderness. I mention this in association with a concept that is part of a new mode of thinking, systems thinking, seeing all life forms as interrelated. Human beings should prioritize protecting all other life forms, rather than destroying them and wiping out their habitats without any consideration whatsoever. The various bloody traditions of various cultures that consider it ‘sport’ to kill wolves, whales, bulls is disgraceful. The massive consumption of cows, pigs, chickens and use of land to feed these animals needs to be stopped. Wiping out wild horses and donkeys and other creatures because some believe that by eating particular speciality foods that they somehow will maintain their health or erections, also are dramatically mis-informed. Creatures penned in horrible conditions, blood baths and slaughters because of tradition, must all be reconsidered. People need to be educated. It begins with all of us communicating to one another.

The concept of actually recognizing that we share the same genetics and similar brains and spinal cords with other creatures perhaps will bring about a different sense of empathy.

It is the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh who introduces the concept of inter-being; all life is intricately related.

With a PhD in ecology, conservationist and writer Carl Safina has written several books and papers and has studied various species in their habitat. He was invited by Greenpeace to witness the changing climate in the Arctic and the impacts of industrial fishing on the marine environment.

Human brain is merely a larger size of the Chimpanzee Brain

Human brain exact replica of Chimpanzee brain, merely larger

Dolphin brain larger than human brain, with more convolutions

Dolphin brain larger than human brain, with more convolutions

In his TED talk Safina asks:

“What’s going on inside the brains of animals? Can we know what, or if, they’re thinking and feeling? Carl Safina thinks we can. Using discoveries and anecdotes that span ecology, biology and behavioral science, he weaves together stories of whales, wolves, elephants and albatrosses to argue that just as we think, feel, use tools and express emotions, so too do the other creatures – and minds – that share the Earth with us.”

Animals, Carl Safina, Albatros, Plastic

Animals Carl Safina Albatross nest on most remote islands Full of Plastic

6 month fledgling, Albatross, packed with cigarette lighters

6 month fledgling Albatross Death packed with cigarette lighters

Of the 22 species of albatross recognized by the IUCN, all are listed as at some level of concern; 3 species are Critically Endangered, 5 species are Endangered, 7 species are Near Threatened, and 7 species are Vulnerable.

Welcome Human Life with pics of Animals - Shared Lifes in the World

Welcome Human Life with pics of Animals – Shared Lifes in the World

Since humans tend to adorn the rooms of their new born babies with images of the other creatures with which we share our planet, in which every animal of Noah’s Ark is now in mortal danger, instead of asking the question Do animals love us?, We need to ask, Are human beings capable of letting other life continue?

Carl Safina states, “From all I’ve seen, my main conclusion is that at this point in history, nature and human dignity require each other. Where wild places are destroyed, wild animals lost, and the world degraded and polluted, not only is that itself a great loss for the world, but for people in degraded places it becomes almost impossible to maintain a dignified existence.”

This article in the USA Today describes that global warming continues, with each year breaking record temperatures of the previous.”NOAA’s analysis does not include data from the Arctic, while NASA’s does, NOAA climate scientist Deke Arndt said. The Arctic has been warming faster than any part of the world.”

“This announcement should shock no one,” said Lou Leonard of the World Wildlife Fund. “The key question is what we do about it. With the costs of inaction piling up, Washington, D.C., is largely looking the other way. So it is up to a new class of leaders from American businesses, universities, cities and states to pick up the slack.”

Elephants as in every other species, become who they are

Elephants as in every other species, become who they are

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Obama pledges to combat poaching elephants | If humans are so smart, why do we act so stupidly?

Or shall I say, why do human beings act so irreverently towards the earth and the creatures with whom we share our planet? I’ve written in a former blog about the plight of elephants and rhinoceros due to poaching https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/battle-for-the-elephants-documentary-speaks-louder-than-words/

Elephants in Africa

Elephants in Africa

You can read World Wildlife Fund’s article about Obama’s pledge to fight against wildlife crime.
http://worldwildlife.org/stories/obama-pledges-support-to-stop-wildlife-crime-in-africa?utm_source=wildwire&utm_medium=email&utm_content=july2013&utm_campaign=wildlife-trade

I’m honored that Obama has shown his concern and taken action to defend the rights of other species with whom we share this planet. He recognizes the delicate process required to affect change. It’s an integrated system that has to be dismantled. The actual poachers have a quasi militaristic/mafia type organization with sophisticated weapons and transport. Barack Obama as well as Hillary Clinton and others realize that not only does money need to be infused into local economies to combat this problem, but also education. The way to counter this criminal warfare against elephants and other species which inhabit this earth, is to withdraw the incentive; use money and programs to leverage against the poaching operations. Since the indigenous inhabitants of areas of Africa where this poaching exists are lured because of its financial rewards, the people need to be educated about the true worth of these creatures (as opposed to ivory torn from a dead elephant) and enticed with incentives to no longer have interest in poaching. For example, if programs would become available to guide people into ways of conserving water, land, reveal alternative types of farming, growing, building, and display renewable ways of generating energy, etc. and showing the true benefits and appreciation of real ‘live’ elephants (i.e. their uniqueness and intelligence) the people would no longer feel the need or desire to engage in this trade that destroys their treasures. By creating means for local people to help themselves and learn techniques to live more prosperously and harmoniously in their environment, they will be less inclined to ‘sell out’. Certainly part of this investment Obama pledges will also need to go into educating people on the ‘buyers’ end, who want ivory for various reasons. Though the demand for ivory carved for ornamentation or for alleged cures may be ingrained in generations (or over millennia) of people in China and other parts of Asia, the world is a different place now. Our world suffers from over population for one thing. And in this post industrial era, desires of the past need to be reassessed. It is no longer okay to plow through acres of forests, wetlands, to dump toxins into water supplies, or to act in any other careless ways that obviously damage or obliterate pristine environments, just because there may be profit in it for someone. Whereas somehow actions such as these were overlooked or tolerated when the earth seemed to offer an endless supply of abundance of everything, we now know that this is far from the truth.

As our technological advancements have increased our knowledge of the world and extended our reach to every corner of the globe, we have effectively shrunken our world to within reach of a click. Many of the things that we produce to make our lives easier and more convenient have made a dramatically negative impact on our environment. We can no longer blindly pretend that our actions don’t have consequences; drilling for oil, fracking, dredging, coal mining all affect the delicate balance within the ecosystems where these procedures happen. Our production of tools and toys have repercussions affecting everything around us; i.e. superfund sites (designated toxic waste areas) speckle the areas where high tech production of computers and electronic gadgets takes place. Many of these are out of sight, yet can’t be ignored; we can’t discount the consequences that affect air and water quality, environmental health, the dramatic increase in extreme weather (storms, draughts, fires) and the physical and mental health of human beings. We have continued to scourge the earth in the last 60 years. Despite all of our sophisticated high-tech gadgets, the human condition is dramatically out of balance and morally bankrupt. Our emotional and psychological insights haven’t evolved in the same exponentially rapid pace as our technological knowledge. Smart devices have outsmarted human relations. We have machines that talk to us, and yet neighboring countries or rivaling ethnic groups still haven’t mastered the ability to talk through their feuds. Yet what is more savage than warfare against our fellow humans, is the fact that our modern luxuries and expectations coupled with overpopulation and negligence towards other species, means that in the not so distant future, the plethora of creatures who inhabit this earth, of which we are the guardians, will be gone. Massive extinction precipitated by ignorance, greed, short-sidedness and a complete lack of reverence for life. It will no doubt ultimately precipitate the decimation of our own species, by playing too recklessly with the delicate balance of our ecosystem.

Ironically, it is primarily modern ‘civilized’ man of the ‘developed world’ who is responsible for so dramatically destroying the health of our planet and annihilating an alarming number of creatures. There is something glaringly uncivilized about the way in which we have continued on this path of environmental destruction and species irradiation, without having empathy for our fellow man and fellow inhabitants of this planet. As one observes the hierarchy of predators and prey in all species, nature reveals that it is the strong that survive. My question is, if we human beings are so intelligent, with our abstract thinking and rational thought, what has gone so glaringly wrong? Perhaps there’s something very lopsided and obviously missing, when merely measuring the standard IQ, intelligence quotient. We have been fatally disregarding emotional intelligence (EQ) in this equation, and for that matter, an empathetic quotient. It seems to be pretty clear that actions strictly driven by economic motives and consuming, is where we continually go wrong. We need to make more ‘conscious’ assessments about how each of our thoughts and actions affect and ripple throughout our entire environment. Considering that this incredibly beautiful planet with its inextricably interwoven life forms is our only home, to not act responsibly is criminal. If human beings are so ‘gifted’ and the most intelligent species, why have we done more damage to all of life than any other species? What is missing, that we have been so tragically unconscious and acted so unconscionably towards the miraculous ‘gift’ of life? “Don’t destroy what you can’t create.”

Fundamental is mental | no matter where it is brewed | July 25th Day Out of Time

Sorry that I’m using derogatory slang, but you get the drift, and it rhymes. I don’t have time at the moment to write more on this subject, because I have to continue doing my writing project of “Business English” preparing MBA students for their interviews as wannabe consultants, through which I currently pay my rent. Set aside contemplating, playing bass guitar, singing, playing piano, composing music, writing in my blogs, continuing with the writing of the children’s book that’s on hold……….because I have to do this ‘work’, and toss the arts aside.

I think that this in itself is ‘mental’ – art, thinking and contemplating life, put on the back-burner – but we don’t live in a sane world. We live in an insane world dominated by greed driven economics, and fear driven beliefs in some sort of savior, somehow explaining the fact that we’re all gonna die.

It doesn’t matter where it’s roots are, if it’s blood soaked Christians or Muslims who are the targets; fundamental religious beliefs are mental.

Fundamentalists – whether representing Islam or Christianity – demonstrate holding onto one’s beliefs and being incapable of seeing what is real and breathing, beyond the dogma one is repeatedly stamping and recycling ad infinitum into one’s thoughts and hence consciousness.

It’s the same with gun toting defenders of the ‘right’ to bear arms, which ultimately, makes the annihilation of a life, so absurdly easy, that it’s a cosmic joke.

With respect to 9.11, to all of the anti-Christian attacks, to the myriad of people around the world slaughtering their neighbors in the name of ethnic or religious identity… and now this Christian right-wing dude in Norway who slaughtered the left leaning labor party youths due to his anti-Islam fanaticism and xenophobia.

I just say it again, any fundamental clinging to a religious or political party or whatever identification with a group, which then isolates it and casts another group into the category of an ‘enemy’, is mental…full-on insane.

how can a person remain sane, when the world is insane? well, I guess it’s all a matter of balance, and making every moment a precious attempt to reach for love and unity, and to look for peace and beauty around you.

Oh yeah, today, July 25th, is the Day Out of Time, here’s some information about it, I’ve posted on my other blog.

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/

Happy Day of Contemplation!

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Mahatma Ghandi:

Keep your thoughts positive, because they become your words.
Keep your words positive, because they become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive, because it becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because they become your values.
Keep your values positive, because they become your destiny.