Are humans and animals equal?
Many may argue no: humans are self-aware; they are smart, tool-using; they ride above all the other creatures as taught by the Bible, harvesting, domesticating and utilizing them. For many people, our only interaction with nature is merely steak on the dinner table: a signature of humans’ detachment from and superiority over nature. However, in the past years, there is an increasing awareness that our relationship with nature should be two-sided. Deforestation, fossil fuel over-consumption, waste of water and many other improper unsustainable practices have resulted in global warming, fossil fuel exploitation, and a decrease in biodiversity. This sparked many forms of responses. Sustainability, in a way, could be a completely passive response: trying to preserve what we have and worrying about how we might lose more in the future. This fear, however, is based on the presumption that humans depend on the nature completely and they are in the moral role to save it. It’s ignoring an important truth that humans are also animals, subject to the rules of evolution. And definition of success of a species, evolutionarily speaking, is population. Humans are obviously very successful just by looking at the population size; corps and domesticated animal species are obviously very successful as well judging by their inflated size boosted by human husbandry. So in a way, humans are not “using” other species—other species are instead using us to populate themselves. Plus, as an animal species, human compete directly with many other creatures and by eliminating them, we trekked one step further in evolution. Human needs, directly from nature, can be categorized as nutrition needs, energy needs and recreational needs. As for nutrition, the technology of protein synthesis is no longer a secret. The real primary sources to create nutrition, are chemical elements and primary energy. Agriculture, in a sense, is a complicated version of this process—soil and fertilizers provide the chemical elements and solar energy is the energy that is used. Soil-free agriculture can be seen as a slightly simplified way, eliminating the soil and providing essential chemicals directly to the root. “Artificial burgers” takes one step further, and before long we could diet on protein powders and synthesized fibers—I would not reject this idea. Human brains adapted to have certain sensors and responses to food and flavors, and they can be potentially adapted to tasteless powders as well. Or, if we want to be expensive, we could invest more energy to the synthesized molecules and make them tasty. Moving on to our energy needs: solar energy is obviously one of the cleanest and most promising energy source. Nuclear fusion and fission are great as well and scientists have been making great progress over this. It seems like we are just using the energy endlessly without recycling it—is that true? Sure it is. The energy among the universe is in a way, “diluted”, as the universe cools down and expands more. Deep down our true enemy is our own universe and laws and physics adopted by our own universe when there is no more energy present to be harnessed. What about the recreational dependence on nature? Well, wallpapers solved that problem a long time ago; plus, it could be an adaptation residue as well.