Its a common thing for people to announce their hatred for humans and I am no exception, or more so, was no exception. What lead me into a lifetime of conservation work stemmed heavily from an utter disgust of the way people were managing the world’s resources and treating the world’s ecosystems. I trust that most people who wound up in conservation got into the industry because they weren’t overly fond of the way humans had acted towards the environment in the past, and are acting towards it into the future. Now I have been active in the conservation world for over a decade, I have found myself starting to roll my eyes back deep into my skull whenever anyone writes that they “hate humans” on social media following a shitty article or just generally proclaiming their hatred for them in passing.
You see, I agree, many people in this world have messed up big time. Big logging companies have logged precious ancient rainforests and governments have approved it to go ahead. Oil miners have destroyed beautiful reefs and again, governments have approved it. On a smaller scale, everyone I know owns a mobile phone, wears sweat shop clothes and drives or partakes in riding in transportation vehicles. In fact, no matter how big or small of an influence you have on this earth, generally you are contributing to something which isn’t leaving a great legacy for our planet.
The thing is though, being in conservation means that I have been constantly surrounded by amazing individuals who have dedicated their entire lives to learning about our world and ultimately taking one for the team to work day and night to protect the ecosystems and wildlife that share our world with us. These people are also humans, and they are lovely. They plant trees and build new homes for wildlife while reducing the carbon load in our atmosphere, they tirelessly monitor plant and animal populations and take measures to ensure that they don’t get lost and forgotten on our planet, but mostly these people have become spokespeople and have inspired compassion for wildlife and the natural world all over the planet.
Hating humans is an unfortunate blanket statement, whereby the people who solve the problems are thrown in with the people who cause the problems. What we also have to realise is that we all have a choice, you can live as one with the land with a tiny carbon footprint, using no electronics and wearing no clothes and riding in no cars or planes or boats or trains, however most people do not choose that lifestyle, and I cannot blame them because neither do I (for most of my life). Call me selfish but I am going to live in a house with heating and a fridge to keep my farmed and mass produced food cold and I am going to have showers and use water to keep myself clean and I am going to use plantation wood furniture. I am not a perfect person and I am causing environmental harm every day, but in the same breath I am experiencing the environment every day.
I do plant trees that I have watched grow throughout many different states and countries all over the world which now house bugs and reptiles and feed birds. My bird photography and long walks in nature allows me to appreciate the biodiversity that is there and to learn more about our world which allows me to inform more people about the wonderful beings that we share our world with. I attend and speak at conservation events, I integrate NGO’s together so they can further their reach across the planet and share knowledge in order to make a bigger impact. I even buy cucumbers without plastic.
To pay for parking the other day, I needed to download an app to do so. This is the society that we live in now and its hard to get around the technological expanse, but it is definitely possible to be a good human and I think it is an honourable task to be a good human in this day in age.
Care for your friends and family, but also the strangers you encounter.
Love openly and without fear.
Embrace the things you love and always make time for yourself.
And try and buy naked cucumbers.
I don’t hate humans, I just think we can all try a little harder to suck a little less. If living amongst nature has taught me anything at all, it has taught me that nature brings wonderful people together to have great experiences, and I don’t hate that at all, in fact, I love that the most.