Jessi Beyer — Why do we, as humans, feel that we are superior to every other being on the planet? It’s true, you know. What race considers themselves the ultimate race, the smartest race? Humans. What race has intruded on nature to “help?” Humans. And this isn’t true just for nature. Certain races of humans feel that they are better than or more worthy than a different group of people. They claim that to be true. I disagree.
To start with, let’s talk about animal testing. Why and how did we determine that rats and rabbits and even apes are only worthy to test medicines? Is that really true? I understand that new products cannot go directly into human circulation, but the conditions that we trap these “test items” in are unspeakable and uncalled for. Those animals, as they go about their daily routines in the wild, where they should be safe from poaching and capture, are snatched up only to be stuck in a 4X4 metal cage, never to see the sunlight again. They are starved and maltreated, even abused… just for the sake of a medical testing. It is not necessary to mistreat these test subjects with any less dignity than we would other forms of life, in my opinion.
Testing is just one example of our self-declared superiority. While many of the acts that we do save animal lives – that cannot be denied, and I thank those who do that type of work – many others do not and intrude on nature’s sound workings. We put it upon ourselves to control the amount of species in an ecosystem when that habitat would be fine without our “help”. We decide to overhunt and to poach because we feel we need more food, without any backward glance at the disruption we have left in our wake. Is all that really needed?
But this applies to everyone, not just the ones living in the wild. Humans of one race degrade and put down people of another because they claim to be better than them. Mexican immigrants, even today, are called names and given the jobs that no one else wants to do. African-Americans were forced into slavery, and sold as property. Children are abused by their elders because they are “below them and don’t know as much”. What right do we have to choose who is loved and who is hated?
None, is the correct answer. Everything on this planet has as much right to be here as anything else. On top of that, everything is tied together. Most people see spiders as pests, right? Without spiders, this whole world would be infected with insects. You can find small ties like that everywhere you look. Nothing would work without each other, so why are we destroying when we should be acknowledging the strengths and building them up? Remember that next time you see someone lowering someone or something else. Everyone has their place in this world. Are you going to stand up and help find an equal place for everyone?
About the Author
Jessi Beyer is a high school editor in Oregon and has a regular column focusing on the environment and those issues that relate to man’s place in the world. She examines this from the perspective of youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.