What is our place in the world? Are we higher up in the “ranks” of the life forms which occupy the same world we called Earth?
David Suzuki often talks about the problem of the world is not only do but how we think of it.
Loggers, he argued, saw the forests as economic resources and not as ecosystems of flora and fauna. The life contained within it did not seem to matter much as compared to the need to trade and sell the wood products. In other words, loggers have desensitised themselves to world. The old ways of objectifying things organic and inorganic are still at work.
Human beings tend to believe they are different and better than the other beings in the world (apart from God). But human beings really are just another animal among other animals. Sure we can probably think of things that other animals cannot and that makes us clever, smart, intelligent or whatever adjective we would like to use. And perhaps the adjective missing from our choice of vocabulary is wise.
No, we need to change our vocabulary if we are to be wise, to have wisdom. This is why I propose we start with redefining who we are by choosing a term for ourselves which reflect this. Rather than being humans or human beings, why not accept that we are animals? Or else call other animals “beings” as well.
We are human animals in the humble sense. Or if you want to make the term derogatory then we we are (more) wild and unruly as the animals we choose to define ourselves against. We are worse than the animals that have lived “peacefully” on the planet only to be exterminated by this one species that is more disease than medicine.