I wonder what it must be like to be an endangered animal, watching perplexed and baffled as humans destroy their families, habitats, and the earth itself in the name of “the good old days” and big oil.  We ourselves can barely make any sense of it, so imagine a poor animal, just trying to survive and raise families.

If I were an animal, I’d be asking myself how these overrated savages got to be highest on the evolutionary pecking order.  Human children are born utterly helpless and clueless, and take years, even decades, to be trained to survive on their own.  Imagine being a refugee, hiding out from terrorists, trying to keep your children quiet.  Even animal babies know better.  Human kids often grow up to be just as infantile and dysfunctional, and sometimes dangerous, as we’ve seen all too painfully.

I watched a movie (Virunga) about endangered mountain gorillas in a Congo wildlife refuge, cowering in fear while soldiers bombed the park and murdered people and animals alike, in the name of exploiting natural resources for foreign profit.  You could see the bewilderment and terror in the gorillas’ faces as their security was being destroyed.  Humans, of all beings, should know better, but of course they’re the worst perpetrators of atrocities, and their only main predator is themselves and their stupidity.  The only question is why it’s taking us so long to destroy ourselves in time to leave the earth alone to recover.

Much of classic scifi deals with colonizing, terraforming, and mining other planets and moons, after we’ve mostly destroyed our own.  An animal would ask, why would you do something so irrational and self-destructive?  We had a perfectly good earth to use, not abuse, but as with everything human, it’s disposable, short-term thinking.  Add the illogic of religious delusion, and you have the privileged chosen few going to a far better place, screw the earth and our children.  In other words, the conservative right.

I leave you with these images that speak for themselves.

RUMANGABO, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: Andre, 39, a self described “gorilla mother” looks after 4 orphaned gorillas who were rescued from various horrific circumstances and brought into care by the staff of Virunga National Park, DRC, 2 March 2012. Andre thinks of these gorillas as his own children and even describes bringing his children to see them as showing them their brothers and sisters. Andre lives with the Gorillas 24/7 with the exception of a few days off to visit his own family. Andre is an ICCN Congolese Conservation ranger and has cared for orphaned and rescued gorillas since 2003. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

Gorilla gorilla beringei
Mountain gorilla
Family at play
Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo



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