If the human race manages not to wipe itself out in the coming centuries, people will probably look back on our treatment of animals, the planet and each other with sadness and anger.
The consequences of our disrespect for the Earth are going to be with us for a very long time, even if we do mend our ways. The damage we’ve already done may even be irreparable. It’s saddening to think of the suffering that will ensue – famine, extreme weather and droughts will be the tip of the iceberg.
But the tragedy I’m referring to is a selfish one, and it is this: it bothers me that I’ll never experience the planet in its unspoilt natural state. I’ll never live in a world where the oceans aren’t full of plastic, the rainforests are intact and marine ecosystems are teeming with life. I’ll never live in a world with dodos, quaggas and sea cows. This, to me, is a huge tragedy.
These days, only the most remote of places are untouched by human activity. Isn’t it incredible that we’re just one of thousands of species on the planet, yet we’ve exerted our influence over almost all of it?
Some might argue that all this is necessary if we are to progress as a species, but can we really call it progress if the planet is being destroyed? I’m very grateful to live in an era and a society where technology and modern medicine are easily accessible. But if we really are such an advanced species, we ought to be capable of innovating in a way that doesn’t cost the Earth.
I can’t be the only one who thinks about this. Does it bother you that you’ll never see the planet in its unspoilt natural state? Or do you see it as an inevitable or even acceptable consequence of human progress? Leave a comment below.
P.S. You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as frequently as usual – there are several reasons for this, including the talk I’m preparing to give at Cornwall Vegan Festival next week. Normal service will be resumed soon!