It's surely the most important question in the world today: Why are we humans driving the Earth into a Sixth Great Extinction – an extinction event that will likely include our own species?
Why, despite the fact that there are more animal protection groups and more environmental organizations than ever before, is the situation for our fellow animals and the whole world of nature getting worse by the day?
And why do we humans, a supposedly highly intelligent species, continue hurtling down this catastrophic track?
This is the first in an occasional series of videos and other posts that set out to address these critical questions.
In this video, we look at our need, as humans, to pretend to ourselves that we're not animals and to distance ourselves from the other animals and the world of nature.
Being an animal means being mortal, and we humans are blessed and cursed with a level of self-awareness that enables us to reflect on our past and our future. But when we look ahead and imagine our future, we see the one inevitable, unstoppable event toward which we're progressing: our death.
So we spend our lives in a state of anxiety – conscious or unconscious – trying to avoid and deny this terrifying fact. And we do this mostly by rejecting our own animal nature.
The effects of this on how we treat our fellow animals, and on how we treat each other, are devastating.
This denial of death is at the heart of the human condition, and psychologists who study it have not been able to come up with a way through.
So, is there a way out of this predicament? And how would it apply to each of us?