Saturday, January 24, 2009

Reflexions from field walks

There is no better pleasure and appeasement for the mind than being outdoors. Many of us do not realize it. Sometimes we are unfamiliar with the calmness brought by silence or the sounds of nature. We have forgotten that we are one of the organisms in this planet. One of the many species sharing the same space and resources.

Our disconnection has lead us to overuse the resources of the planet. But the same disconnection has increased our level of stress. We have settled ourselves outside our natural habitats. As we abandoned our hunter-gathering life-styles in favor of more complex ways of living, we disconnected ourselves from the daily lives of our fellow companions on the earth.
The adoption of modern life-styles requires much more resources. The change from hunter-gatherer and simple sustainable living styles to demanding modern life-styles has profoundly influenced the whole planet. In the processes, we have change the habitats and life-styles of many other species.
If we think about the hungry raccoons, the feral cats, the small birds, the deer, the geese, and the many small critters around us, perhaps we would be more conscious beings. Animals, plants and microbes are sharing the same space we occupy, even when we fail to see that. They all need a place to live and resources to sustain their own lives.
The other species rarely, if at all, would protest our advances to overtake the world resources. But if they were able to say something, would we listen?
Howler monkeys are among the few animals that express their dislikes against the naked ape invasion of their forest home. But even so those expressions cannot be considered acts of violence. Most of the time they show curiosity about people. Sometimes, however, they would try to hit people with small branches. These peaceful beings will seldom vociferate their dislikes for the presence of humans. In the worse case scenario, they attempt to splash people with excrement or urine. But, how would those behaviors help them to protect their habitats?

We are the keepers and the voice of nature, not because we have more power or better brains, but because we can negotiate with others humans. Even if we are in different camps, we need to approach each other to find the best alternatives to the problems we face. We need to do that also to communicate the needs of other species.

Thinking about all the creatures that share the world with us, we must wonder about how could we make sure there is enough room/resources for them and for us in this small planet. Could we stop 'developing' their homes or habitats? Could we do something to decrease our impact and avoid partially or totally excluding other species? Could we share with them? Could we think about how our paper, clothing, cars, or other goods may be impacting other species nearby or far away? Please give it a thought.

1 comment:

  1. For Sarah: Thank you owl sister!
    You said "Your thoughts are my thoughts. Word matches word. How good, how easy to be together!!"
    Dear friend, we are critters of the same cohort.