Opinion/Editorial

LOXODONTA

It’s about elephants. Loxodonta is the name for the genus of which elephants are a large part. Where current national leadership really lives and thinks and exists is best symbolized and expressed by the fact that the White House, and the members of the White House alone, has chosen to make elephants hunted creatures again. Under previous administrations, going back thirty years, elephants and other big game were becoming ever more protected from human hunting, trophy shooting or whatever you want to call it. Almost all the rest of the world, except for so many of the leaders of America, and their children, thinks that the remaining elephants, these wonderfully wise, aged and huge beasts of the earth, should be protected from becoming more and more endangered.

American leadership wants them hunted for sport and for their ivory. Now, if you are a Trump supporter, then you should consider this action by him, not just as an action attributable to him and his belief system. You should consider what you are coming to believe yourself, as you continue to follow him and take another unknowing (or maybe knowing) step to living in his kind of earthen hell. He is doing this, but so are you. Many of my conservative friends living in the Southern Wisconsin area are generally warm and wonderful people in many ways, but are they hurting us all? Should the rest of the population simply let this, the elephant indicator, go, and say “oh well it’s okay, this is just politics?” Or should there be a price charged back for the price they are charging the rest of the world? Should elephant hunting be allowed, continue so there will be no more of them, or should the remainder of society let the elephant hunters and those that believe the killing and passing of elephants is okay, know that the rest of us believe hunting elephants is wrong? Should the elephants be allowed to propagate, and if they are allowed is their continuance and propagation on the planet going to be at the expense of humans who don’t care about them being prevented from threatening continuance and propagation?

It’s about elephants. Eight percent of the world’s population of elephants is disappearing every year. That’s according to National Geographic in 2017. Do the math. If you are an aging human being, then your children’s children may be the last human beings who will ever have a chance of seeing a living elephant. The Loxodonta, as big as they are by individual size, have become something on planet earth that is anathema to long-term survival. They have demonstrated need. They have become targets of another more dominant species that views need as weakness. That dominant species does not admit that it sees demonstrations of need as weakness. But there is little evidence available to counter the fact that the human species has almost no regard for prey, and it is prey which demonstrates need. Human beings are omnivores, as opposed to the Loxodonta, that are all herbivores. That means human beings can choose what they eat from the entire variety of living things on the planet. By and large, human beings do not choose to exclusively eat vegetation. Human beings choose to eat other animals. The animals they eat can rightfully, and within the bounds of any definition, be assigned the label of prey.

It’s about elephants. Or is it? Although humans do not admire or show much in the way of generosity to anything or anyone demonstrating weakness, human beings can choose to do so. All other animals on planet earth spend their lives eating, defecating and moving to support doing those two things. Humans are special, and the human capacity for possessing a brain of significant enough size to consider its own existence, and bettering that existence into the future, makes the world a different place to live in almost every day of everyone’s existence in and on the earth.

It’s about elephants. Or is it? Humans have the capacity and ability to choose not to let the elephants on earth die out, or it can encourage them to die out. Humans have the capacity to forego eating animal prey, as well, as bizarre as that idea might seem to most people. Humans also have the capacity and ability to stop seeing and treating other human beings as prey, even if such human prey are not commonly consumed. The competition among animals, through the millions of years of animal life on the planet, has created such a merciless and heated race to possess ever more stuff that humans have become blind to the fact that, as a species, humans do look upon one another as prey. War is a manifestation of this seldom discussed the fact, as is the execution or banishment of humans who do not obey serious rules set forth by others of the species. If humans, most of whom venerate and are stunningly admiring of elephants, cannot stop killing these giant gentle beasts, then how are humans ever going to stop killing other humans? It is not even known how many humans die as prey when competing against other predating humans. When humans developed the technology to allow almost all other humans to survive against the threats presented by the dangers of living on the earth itself, they turned inward to use that technology to survive against one another. The great competition for ever more stuff to support ever more comfort, and the desire for a security that can never completely satisfy human fears, was born. How does humanity even admit that this situation within the species graphically exists? Then, if such an admission was to be generally acknowledged, how would humanity move to counteract it?

It’s about elephants. Or is it?
~James Strauss

 

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