The song by the legendary singer is rather nice. And I use it here only because it is catchy and has a sense of instant recall about it. I also use it to draw a pun on the word chain as I talk about the food chain here. But the issue that I want to bring out here is far from nice and palatable for many.
Man is easily on top of the food chain, today and was always I guess. But does that give the right to man to disturb the other links in the food chain in order to pander to his undying gluttony and utterly lascivious lifestyle that reeks of selfish desires and self-centered needs.
Sample this -
Was man, as an integral link in the food chain, meant to devour the prized sturgeon's priceless eggs in the name of luxurious living. To please his palate and to beautify himself, man goes about it in the most barbaric fashion. Did you know that "the fish are stunned and transferred to a fish barge in fisheries, where they are kept alive until processing. Then the sturgeon is cut open while still alive, and the roe is scooped out and placed in buckets" (Stewart 1992).
Was man meant to grind the tiger's teeth or claws or penis or whatever into a potent potion, thereby turning the mighty beast into an endangered species, just to increase his own libido. Which the man sadly has, libido I mean. The figures, just for India, are shocking. "India holds over half the world's tiger population. According to the latest tiger census report released on February 12, 2008 by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the current tiger population stands at 1,411." - states Wildlife Protection Society of India.
And then there are the lions, elephants, rhinos, wild boars, black bucks.......... the list is fast becoming endless.
For leather, for fur, for shahtoosh, for ivory, for jewellery ........the mighty man goes for the big kill to make himself beautiful and ultra comfortable.
Caviar, Paté, shark's fin, tiger paws, ground deer antler, deer blood wine, and three variations of deer penis......... man partakes of this and more to satiate his most basal of physiological need as defined by Maslow.
There are two sides to this coin, two sets of arguments in favour of and against man's role and impact on his environment. Both are strongly, vociferously and vehemently put in varied fora.
My last blog on man's lack of responsibility towards his environment seemed to have kick-started a debate. An anonymous reader quoted Michael Crichton, of Jurassic Park series fame, extensively and commented thus -
"You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity! Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away -- all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time.
It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again." - Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park.
Another reader, thelonelytrader, had the following to say against what Crichton upholds has his belief. I quote thelonelytrader here -
Quote begins -
(1) Destruction is always, always, always an easier and quicker process than creation and evolution.
(2) Destroying the planet and destroying life are two completely different events. One is a lot harder than the other. I'll let you guess which.
(3) It is not a proven fact that life would survive a total nuclear war. (The converse also holds, but who wants to test that theory?) It is a huge assumption (and a bit absurd) to go from total nuclear war to, "Sooner or later, when the planet is no longer inhospitable...."
(4) "Ultraviolet radiation is good for life." Yes, in measured quantities and in combination with an as yet unknown array of other physical events. We are still discovering what makes life work. To make any presumptions while apologizing for human progress is, simply put, stupid.
(5) If we are gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us. Life on earth, however, just might go with us. It is how we go that matters. We have only been around for a blink of an eye on a cosmic scale, but most catastrophic events happen on such timelines. And we, as a collectivized organism, are fast becoming capable of triggering such events.
But that is beside the point. We really must err on the side of wisdom and responsibility. If not, then we should at least err on the side of caution. - Quote ends.
And to the dismay of many who fall under the other category and continue to distort science, life principles and Darwin to prove their point, I must state that I am all for making thelonelytrader less lonely. For I espouse what he puts down so passionately.
Here's another fact - "When we spray pesticides, we put the food chain in danger. By breaking one link on the chain means all of the organisms above that link are in threat of extinction (like the domino effect). By hunting animals nearly to extinction, everything above the animal in the food chain is put in danger. A 'chain reaction' in the food chain can be perilous! Since the food chain provides energy that all living things must have in order to survive, it is imperative that we protect it." - library.thinkquest.org
"Humans kill wild animals for many reasons. These reasons can include primal needs for critical nutrients such as protein and energy (as discussed above), fear of death or injury, the desire to eliminate competition for economic resources, the desire for wealth and related power, or spiritual incentives. Some of these motives
are rooted, in the most fundamental sense, in our own imperatives to survive and reproduce. The first three reasons fall in this category Manifestations of the other motives are substantially influenced by culture, and thus potentially subject to long-term change or considerable variation among societies and nations," writes David Mattson in the International Journal of Wilderness, Volume 3, Number 4.
All I would like to say, as a humble and polite reminder to my fellow travellers on this universe is that, it is not survival of the fittest but the hunger of the avaricious. It is not need but greed; not survival but a sense of self destruction.
Are we prepared to live with this Karma in the face of an utter lack of good dharma!!!