By Spencer Cathcart
In front of you, you have access to more information than any human in history. But you probably don’t care. That curiosity we once had in the world is gone.
Why is it the older we get, the less questions we ask? Throughout history we’ve always accepted whatever world we were born into. And if anyone tried to question our world, they were ridiculed. It’s only years later we look back and ask ourselves: how could anyone accept that world?
Today we call ourselves developed, as if we have nothing left to learn. But in a hundred years, when people look back at our generation, will they too ask themselves: how did anyone accept that world?
It’s no secret our world is full of problems. We rally, we protest, still the problems only seem to grow. And maybe, because they stem from a much larger problem we fail to see.
Why do we search the universe for new life, when we can’t even coexist with the life on our own planet? It’s as if we expect any life out there to be just like us. As if life can only be human. How is it in a world with millions of species we see ourselves as the only one that thinks, feels, or matters? It’s a reoccurring theme in our history, the belief that some life is inferior to others. We’ve always struggled to accept those unlike ourselves. To recognize because something’s different doesn’t mean it should be treated differently.
When we look at other life, we say our technology makes us more advanced. Yet all we seem to advance is the destruction of the world surrounding us. You look around and there’s little life to be seen. Most animals we know, we’ve only witnessed on screens.
It’s funny how we call them “animals” but ourselves “humans”. As if we’re two different life forms with nothing in common. We see them as beasts and ourselves as people. Calling their actions barbaric, yet our actions tradition. But while they kill to survive, we kill even as we call ourselves civilized. And we don’t just kill; we raise life to be killed. Not because we need to. Because we like the taste, the look, the feeling. And when you see life as an object of value, it’s hard to see the value in life.
Why is it when some animals are killed it becomes a headline. But when others are murdered, we don’t blink an eye? Why are we enraged at the thought of a culture eating dogs? But laugh when another culture refuses to eat cows?
Our idea of normal may change depending where you are, but our desire to be normal has always been the same. It’s only when the norm changes that we criticize our former ways. Today we live in a nation where it’s normal to get cancer; to become obese; to develop heart disease. Clearly there’s something wrong with this way of life we call normal. But it’s all we’ve ever known.
For as long as we can remember we’ve eaten animals. Growing up we’re taught meat gives us protein and makes us strong. Yet so do many foods we don’t need to kill for, but we’re not told that. We hardly hear about the numerous studies showing the diseases associated with meat. Or all the food and land we waste fattening the animals we eat. When you drink the breast milk of another animal your whole life it doesn’t seem odd. It just seems normal. After all, it’s what we’ve always done and we don’t question tradition. We embrace it. But if we never questioned the traditions of our past, we would never evolve.
I’m sick of this politically correct yet morally fucked world. A world where we’re afraid others will be offended by our words, but not that others will be affected by our actions. A world where everybody says they want a solution, but nobody’s willing to admit they’re the problem. The choices we make travel further than we think, but we choose to ignore the impact we have. There was a time I thought we could change. But as I get older I find myself asking, even if we could change, do we want to?
Perhaps this is simply who we are. From the beginning, we’ve been unable to coexist with other life on this planet. And no matter how far we’ve evolved, it’s a theme that lives on. If the story of our planet were a film, up to this point humans would be the villain. And like any great villain, we’ve always refused to see ourselves as the bad guy.
Each generation comes into this world thinking they can make things right, only to be remembered years later for what was wrong. Today we may have more information than any other generation. But what good are answers if we never begin to ask the right questions.
None of us chose to be born into this world. None of us chose who we would be. But all of us have the choice to change what we become.
-Written by Spencer Cathcart