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Sunday, March 11, 2018
QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL SENTIENT BEINGS: A UNIVERSAL RIGHT By Dr Michael W. Fox
I would like to share with my readers This tribute written by my dear friend and collegue Michael Fox. Durig this period of pollitical uncertianty and conflict we must heed the warnings of concerned individuals with life experieinces and before it is too late open our minds, We have a responsibilty to act and protect this planet we live on. Meg Smart DVM, PhD
QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL SENTIENT BEINGS: A UNIVERSAL RIGHT
By Dr. Michael W. Fox
In memory of Dr. Alan Wittbecker, (1946-2018), dear friend and my former graduate student who dedicated his life to the recovery of our humanity and the conservation and restoration of the natural environment, indigenous animal and plant species and communities with the designs of sustainable human communities and eco-economies. (See his writings at athttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7966854.Alan_Wittbecker).May his spirit live on in all we embrace.
The deteriorating human condition, paralleling and aggravating the deteriorating condition of the environment, cannot be denied unless we ignore the rapidly declining indices of quality, health, viability and sustainability of planetary life: Of ecosystems, biodiversity, individual animal and plant species and communities including indigenous human peoples along with their culture and native wisdom, many already extinct.
The planetary drivers of the rising tsunami of anthropogenic planetary dystopia---overpopulation, pollution and over-consumption, coupled with increasing emotional and cognitive detachment from the natural world---if not arrested by political, financial and educational intervention, will mean the escalation of transgenerational suffering as the wastelands spread along with famine, pestilence and war.
These drivers are surely in our reach to control since, after all, we are the drivers. To invest in the future is to commit to the present, the existential crisis of declining quality of life on Earth. Otherwise, if our “Manifest Destiny” fails to embrace the global bioethics of respect and reverence for all life, humankind will surely join the Dodo: And if not physically extinct we will be extinct in spirit, of those qualities of humility, empathy and compassion that make us human.
Are these ethical and therefore moral and political imperatives---to serve, protect and facilitate the collective good of all life--- not part of what being human means for every transient one of us on is the planet? Or is the rising tsunami of our collective inhumanity toward forests and mountains, whales and wolves and the life community of Earth to be the nemesis of Homo sapiens? This tsunami is already upon us in the quickening and inexorable deterioration of the Earth’s climate and accelerating loss of biodiversity. President Donald Trump’s virtual dissolution of the Environmental Protection Agency and withdrawal from the international community of other industrial nations to stem climate change highlights the drivers of the nemesis of unbridled capitalism spurred by America’s 19th century imperialistic ethos of “Manifest Destiny”. Our collective existential angst could lead us to self-destruction in a culture of bio-fascism and is pause for concern since such an absurd and ignoble destiny is not preordained by nihilism, rational materialism or religious fundamentalism but by our individual and collective states of mind and heart.
So a first step is to give equally fair consideration to all living beings with scientific understanding of their place in the life community and healthful ecosystems, and of animals’ sentience and suffering under our inhumane dominion. To rectify the pathology and harmful consequences of anthropocentrism and replace it with an evolving eco-centrism, compassionate action and service is enlightened self-interest. (For further details see Animals & Nature First by M.W Fox & Alan’s books at Amazon.com).
Generations to come will experience internecine strife and wars
So long as we fail to control and lower our consuming and breeding scores:
Do not try to heal the planetary sores from our poisons, sucks and gores:
Do not feel the pain, beauty and life force in all sentient cores.
Can we not hallow all covenants of peace established through laws
That protect all life (especially the insect kingdom) with harmonizing mores?