Being a good steward to animals and plants

Humanity being good stewards of plants and animals is vital to their survival.

Stewardship of plants and animals for prosperity rather than exploitation for profit.

Stewardship of plants and animals for prosperity rather than exploitation for profit.

The Australian Aborigines are animists who believe all things have spirit which recycle between the “Dreamtime” and the material world through a process of reincarnation.  The Aborigine believes that whereas many spirits become plant or animal that the spirit that becomes human has the special role of guardian over the plants and animals where it is born.

Many religions also have beliefs where a creator being has placed humanity in a role of steward over all plants and animals on behalf of that being.  The scientist increasingly are becoming aware that every plant and animal plays a part in the health of an ecosystem, each interdependent upon the other, a chain that if it were to break would be sickening to the ecosystem as a whole.  It is obvious that humanity is dependent for life on healthy ecosystems.

Yesterday I signed a petition against the mistreatment of cows in Europe who suffer in confined spaces and are in poor condition.  Milk cows are treated as milk machines for profit.  The farmers forgot cows are sentient beings that suffer.

On the same day the UK government announced they would be massacring thousands of badgers this summer in an unscientific and expensive operation to protect dairy cattle from TB.  All the decision maker sees is an animal that is hitting their profit margin and their answer is to kill that animal.  The same UK government decided to support the continued use of pesticides in Britain that is linked to the destruction of bee populations, since this method is more profitable to use.

The newspapers reported a family of fox cubs shot to death by game keepers in a nature reserve because the land owner wished to protect his stock of pheasants and partridges ready for the shooting season by his fee paying customers.  The fox was seen as a financial liability to profit, and its life exterminated accordingly.

The rising prosperity of the nations of Asia including China has seen a boom in status symbols made of ivory.  One report on WordPress yesterday was of an abundant 40,000 elephant population in one nation collapse with 10,000 killed by poachers for their ivory.  Now entire elephant herds are systematically massacred in one day by machine gun to harvest the ivory to sell on for profit.

One can note a trend in this modern-day paradigm that profit is supreme, and all animals, plants as well as fellow human beings are commodities to be exploited for maximum profit. A cow, badger, bee, fox or elephant has as much meaning as a can of coke, to be used and thrown.  Nobody cares about the suffering or the meaningless waste of life of animals as longs as profit is made.

I am treated with contempt, with no respect in consumer society for believing that animals and plants should be treated with dignity, kindness and in a sustainable way.  Exploitation for profit is the rule of the game, I am treated as deluded and stupid for thinking otherwise.

Damn them! I say each one of us are stewards with responsibility for the animals and plants in our community.  In any ecosystem be it forest, lake or garden every plant and animal can be considered a stakeholder since they benefit from, and participate in that ecosystem, thus should they have a say in that ecosystem on an equal basis as humanity? Often we let outsiders with no stake in the environmental assets in our own backyard to come in to exploit and destroy those ecosystems we should be stewards in.  It is time to rethink our role in this world as stewards rather than as irresponsible consumers since sustainability through good stewardship can be the difference between our living or dying as a species.

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30 responses to “Being a good steward to animals and plants

  1. Bravo!!!
    An excellent post and endorse all you have written. I would write more but I’m mobile at the moment.
    We need more who think and act upon their thoughts. Wonderful Post 🙂 Sue

    • The tipping point will come eventually when stewardship of local community environmental assets will be at the heart of the decision making of each individual. It starts with a minority of individuals to set the example.

      • One might add that Nature will provide the tipping point, and possibly quite soon. The madness of our industrial and profit-driven society is beyond measure.

        Man is from the earth and our destiny is with the Earth.

        Great essay, Alex.

      • You are right. One example is bats, many viruses have jumped from bats to humans such as Ebola or SARS. If bats are being destroyed the viruses won’t hang around but jump to the next available host – humanity.

  2. Lovely post.. and all so true.. the world and its inhabitants are no longer of an issue when it comes to money… animals, insects and birds have no meaning.. money is all that matters… the fact that we are not only killing the bees with chemicals , the GMO’s are destroying the natural health of the food we used to eat… hormones are being pumped into dairy herds to increase production, but they’re being injected with the very hormones that have been found to cause cancer (breast, prostrate, colon and just so many more) and then when the organic farmer wants to advertise the fact they don’t use any of these products the government stops them from advertising it, cause it will damage the big producer who just wants to kill you with cancer, so that their chemo producing companies can make a profit as well… It is just one big money making racket at the expense of the likes of you and me… we nature lovers have no sway in parliaments.. we don’t have money… I must stop now or I will pen a longer comment than your original post… but a good post my friend…

    • All well said Bulldog. The blindness of so many to see the consequences of the existing paradigm that places profit above all else is frustrating to me. Nobody escapes the consequences of greed, the examples are so many of how feedback mechanisms exist in nature to feed back the poisons and harm fed into the environmental systems back to humanity into its water, food and air supply.

  3. Hear, hear! Welcome to the world of the environmentalist. We’ve been treated with contempt for at least forty years, but we soldier on! Pesticides kill people, animals, birds and the bees. We don’t die as quick as the bees, but we will die of cancer some day due to our exposure to pesticides and herbicides. If a product kills an insect or plant, it will kill other things as well, not as fast but eventually…………………
    Your beloved pussy cat or dog can end up with cancer because it walked through someones garden where pesticides or herbicides were used. They lick it off their paws.

    • It is hardly rocket science to see the blindingly obvious as you so correctly observe J Rankin that what is done in the environment comes back at humanity one way or another through feedback. I hope like you that all will begin to awaken that such behaviour must change.

  4. It is sad that man has no respect for the lives of animals. This is called evolving. Man has no respect for his fellow man. This is evident with war and the killing of humans. The creation of nuclear bombs that will destroy all of us. We livevin in a scary time.

  5. You echo my sentiments precisely. I am so sad and sick of people thinking animals and plants can be treated like inanimate objects. It makes my heart ache. I’m only sorry I didn’t become vegetarian before my teen years as I never liked eating meat anyway. Actually I visited a chicken farm at age 5 with my class and found out the baby chicks were going to be killed for food! I didn’t understand why they would be killed but also didn’t know the chicken I ate was just as bad. My family eats meat so I am the only vegetarian but have not eaten animals in close to 17 years.

    • There is a great amount of ignorance amongst people about where meat comes from, there are many who have been unable to link the meat purchased in supermarkets to once living animals. The animals before they get turned into meat often suffer a miserable existence fed drugs and other rubbish, when they end up on the plate the death and suffering of the animal is many times wasted by people who throw the meat away uneaten. You made a good choice with open eyes, well done.

    • So nice to hear. I’ve been totally vegan for about a year now, and it has really paid off in every way imaginable.

  6. An excellent and true post, Alex, and thank you. As the above comments agree, you are not deluded, it is those who say that you/we are deluded that are in fact the deluded ones. What creature or plant has poisoned their environment but us?? They talk about wild animals encroaching on urban areas – surely it is urban areas encroaching on necessary environments for those animals?
    I hate being part of this society, yet I see no way out. All the usual excuses – and all rooted in security and fear. If I had the balls (not literally of course) I would walk away, with nothing, and humbly ask to join an “uncivilised” tribe who still manage, somehow, to live in harmony with their environment.

  7. Our relationship with animals is a tough call. Since people have existed we’ve hunted them for food, used their hides for clothes and ridden them / used them to work the land. It is down to us wild animals are steadily being wiped out and domestic animals continue to exist. To me what it comes down to is leading the wild animals alone and forming relationships with domestic animals that are beneficial for both.

    • Hi Lorna, if only people would adopt the principles of sustainability which is now being advocated by ecologists and was practised by our ancestors then your conclusions would come true.

  8. I am so tired of people around me who harm animals, we’ve had a man attract bears with honey only to shoot them so they won’t come on his property, teens set a horse on fire only to laugh at the tortured horse as it was consumed in fire, and more teens spray painted a horse with graffiti just because they could. What I want to know is where they all learned their values. We are so disconnected from the wonders of the animals and plants around us, we are instead self-centered enough to believe we are the center of the world and have every right to eliminate or torture any animal we want. I have a small pocket of the area where the animals know they are safe. The woodchucks, deer, even the raccoons will stop and watch what we are doing even go so far as to relax in the field a few feet away knowing they won’t be harmed. If only all animals could have a sanctuary like this.

    • The dream that humanity can co-exist with animals in harmony. Reconnecting with nature is one way people can learn to respect animals. Well done on providing a sanctuary.

  9. Pingback: My Friday Favorites, March 1st | livingsimplyfree

  10. It struck me that ivory could be harvested off naturally dead animals and ivory from older animals is a lot more expensive.The whole problem seems to be that people want to get rich fast, not in a sustainable manner.The rich of the developing world are not looking for cheap ivory.Being more expensive would probably make it more coveted.Any ideas on how the focus can be changed?

  11. Excellence, bro! Human, don’t own this planet. We should use our intelligent to live sustainable and co-existence with all beings. Love, Protect and not to harm anything. Let’s do our best to wake up the awareness of others.

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