Scientists say that there are roughly 3 million species of plants, animals and microscopic beings on this planet; but everyday several thousand are breathing their last. It is the fastest recorded rate of extinction in the 4.5 billion-year history of planet earth. Even during the last ice age, less number of species died out as compared to the last two centuries. So, what has changed? What is so different in the current times that we are witnessing a mass extinction? There is only one answer- man!
Man is single-handedly responsible for pushing thousands and thousands of life forms to the brink of extinction. He has polluted, defiled and ravaged this planet for just one purpose- his own prosperity and sustenance. If the tigers are dying today, it’s because man has decimated their habitat. If the white elephants are nowhere to be seen these days, it’s because of man’s insatiable lust for their ivory. If the dodo birds were handed out an undignified farewell, it’s because man found it convenient. Time and again; man has put his convenience and interests ahead of all those that share this planet with him. The question is who gave man the right to act like the sole caretaker of this God-forsaken planet. Many say that ‘God’ made man as the superior being; meant to rule the earth. I see nothing superior in a miserable life form trying to exterminate all competition around him just to sustain his own pathetic existence. Your God did not create this demon. It has been forged of greed, galvanized in the furnace of lust and propelled by its own twisted set of morals. Ever wonder how man is single-handedly responsible for the decadent state that this planet is in. What if we are the infestation, we are the disease that the world needs to get rid of?
Before the industrial revolution, man was just an animal- a harmless one. He feared the beasts of the forests that could rip him into pieces. He was terrified of the forces of nature, which could devastate his home. But the blinding light of his neon cities and the shadow cast by those gargantuan skyscrapers has hidden the truth from him. He has amassed knowledge, which is much more than he can handle. His overpowering knowledge has enabled him to tame the animals that he once feared. He can now slaughter them, mutilate them and treat them like the dirt he thinks them to be. His knowledge has given him a mastery over the forces of nature. He can drive clouds away now; he can manufacture life now; he can do anything- he is God. This blinding God-complex has transformed man from being one of the millions to what he perceives as the master of the universe. In the Garden of Eden, when Adam asked Raphael about the movement of heavenly bodies, Raphael advised him not to ponder over such trivialities, implying that the knowledge was not his to have. Maybe, that was the ideal situation. Maybe man was better off without the destructive power of the knowledge, which will one day lead to his own fall. Maybe he has bit off more than he can ever chew.
Man might not mean this ill. There might still be good in him. But actions speak louder than words. And, his actions have spelled the death of countless forms of life. So, what is the solution? For this, I ask what does a farmer do when a pest threatens to kill his crops and bring an end to all that he has worked so hard to build? Think of the world as a giant farm. The plants, the trees and the entire flora are the crops of this farm. The various animals are the farmer dependant on the crops for their sustenance. What should be done if just one pest threatens the very existence of all these entities? What should be done if the progress of one species translates into the death of an entire ecosystem? Do what the farmer would have done- exterminate; and let the world be free of its biggest pest. Without man, the world would be a much happier place. The trees wouldn’t be killed prematurely; the animals wouldn’t be slaughtered mercilessly and the air wouldn’t be filled with noxious gases. Imagine a world without the smoke bellowing out of chimneys, poisoning the air. Imagine a world free of those ugly stone structures that excrete poison into the waters of the mighty rivers. Imagine a world where the animals are not shot and skinned alive because their skin and tusks are considered exotic. Ah, it’s a happy world, is it not?