I am lucky that I am born a human. I am happy that I am a human and not any other animal at this point in time. Undoubtedly we, the humans, are the superior animals here. And for all the life here, there is only here, planet Earth: blue and beautiful. But not so much if you think about it: Earth is not beautiful.
You can’t call a village beautiful -- heaven-like -- if every villager is happy; with absolutely no pain, dispute or difficulty; at the expense of a child paying for their happiness by continuously suffering the most terrible pain you can imagine.
Ever since the industrial revolution, our lives have become easier. Machines have made us more efficient and we live in a greater comfort. But then we started using them so much, it started harming living beings and the environment. Because of the waste and the bi-products the manufacturing process made. Now we are at a better place than we were before, but at the expense of all the other lives.
We enjoy the cheap products available to us. We purchase them without a second thought and almost impulsively. We don't pause to think about the hazards it would create in the waste management cycle. It implies we are throwing a significant amount of toxic material into the oceans. We are killing the living, fully conscious animals, consciously. And we do it because of the lies we have convinced ourselves to believe, and how we have silenced our conscience. To make things worse, we are not reminded often about the consequences our impulsive actions lead up to.
Would a chocolate manufacturer want their customers to know that their chocolate is cheaper because the cover has not undergone the necessary treatments to make it non-toxic? Of course not, it would make the customers guilty and ultimately making the whole experience of the chocolate bad. But most of the manufacturers buy cheap ones. These actions are nowhere near beautiful, these decisions qualify us to be horrendous.
We have made things the way they are knowing all the time that it is not right. We made the Earth not beautiful knowing what we are doing is wrong. There might be a billion arguments to justify comfort and ease over discomfort and inefficiency. But there is no argument good enough to prove comfort and efficiency is better over lives being lost. And if there is any that is good enough, it can be modelled as the same thing as agreeing that the pain for the little boy is okay for an entire village to be happy.
One of the many reasons I admire kids is because they have this trust over their moral compass, their conscience. But we are not doing enough to show them how much damage our generation and the ones before us have done.
I studied about Environment as part of official classroom syllabus in class 9th, 11th, and as a course during my undergrad, and a little here and there. But unfortunately, it was never treated the same as the other topics I learnt in class. This chapter would often be divided among the kids in my class to explain to the rest of the class. I never saw this happening with the topics in genetics or when we were learning to compute the roots of quadratic equations. This is a grave problem, and unfortunately, most teachers are not equipped with the knowledge or the tools to both understand and explain the problem or the solutions. Maybe it is not done because that would involve admitting to the mistake we have done. And how we have been a part of it without raising concerns. But that can't be a good reason to not fill the gap of knowledge, conclusions and predictions that are required to fix the broken system of teaching.
I overheard someone saying that humans are lucky that other animals can't speak to us. That inference was wrong at so many levels. We are not lucky that animals can't talk to us, it is our responsibility to be considerate of all the others who can't talk to us about their life-threatening, I mean, species-threatening problems.
I mentioned earlier that I am lucky to be born a human, just saying that makes my heart heavy. Luck is an unfair advantage. We don't have control over it. If a person has no skillset or has nothing that he can contribute to or has never contributed to anything his entire life; it was his active choice. He had control over it, he could have changed it and he chose not to. We were not presented with a choice to be born humans; it was something that happened over the roll of a die or equivalent and we became the desired outcome. And just because of that I don't think we get the right to abuse the ones who are not in the set of the desired outcome.
The changes to fix the wrongs are hard. But they need to be incorporated, slowly and regularly into the way we live our lives. Consistency is hard. But it can't be harder than dying of starvation or poison, just like the polar bears and the turtles.