A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Posts tagged ‘denial of death’

The Tree of Knowledge

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In the story of the Garden of Eden, our early ancestors find themselves confronted by a choice.

They’re already developing an increasingly complex self-awareness that gives them the ability to think in terms of good and bad. And they’re acquiring an existential understanding of their personal mortality.

As this awareness grows, they find themselves hearing two voices: one calling them back to a state of innocence in paradise; the other beckoning them forward to a future where they might become “as gods” in their own right, taking dominion over the world, freeing themselves from their animality, and even becoming immortal.

(Second in a series about how and why our relationship to our fellow animals has deteriorated to the point of an unfolding mass extinction.)

“I Am Not an Animal!” – the video

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?

The Horsemeat Taboo

The horsemeat scandal that’s eating away at Europe isn’t about bad food or labeling or criminal black markets. It’s about the violation of cultural taboos.

Every culture has its food taboos, and for some people, eating horses is one of those. But what we really need is a new set of taboos that aren’t rooted in outdated religions and will engender a new relationship with our fellow animals.

"We’re Humans, They’re Animals"

The comments of soldiers at a checkpoint between Israel and Palestine are a classic example of what has been called the signature cry of all humanity: “I am not an animal.”

In this case, as one of the soldiers puts it, “They’re animals; we’re humans.”

Are Religions Bad for Animals?

While religion itself is not in itself bad for animals, religions that seek to separate humans from the natural world are indeed a problem.

(And, incidentally, there’s very little difference between a fundamentalist religious believer and an atheist transhumanist worshipper of technology.)

Why the Gun Lobby Always Wins

It’s hard to argue that murdering children with an assault weapon is what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they said that a “well-regulated militia” could protect a “free state” at a time when the newborn nation was fighting for its life against the British Empire.

But this is not about rational arguments. Something much deeper is going on. Why are so many Americans afraid of losing their “right” to carry around practically any weapon of their choice? Why are they so emotional about it?

‘I Am Not an Animal!’

For thousands of years, we humans have sought to separate ourselves from the rest of nature, to see ourselves as superior and “exceptional.” We don’t even like to be reminded of the fact that we are animals. They are animals, we are humans.

So, what is it about being an animal that we so very much don’t want to be? What frightens us about the fact that we’re animals? How does this affect the way we treat other animals? And how could the answers help us get a grip on why we humans are on a path to disaster and self-destruction – and taking a lot of other lives on this planet with us?