By Oğuzhan Özkan
We, the human race, are the defilers of the earth. I have strongly believed this fact throughout my entire life, even when I was a little kid. What we do has been reprehensible to me from the beginning. Everything our species has done is a guarantee of our future deeds. The factual evaluation of the causes of our greed, lust, consumption, savagery, bloodthirstiness and so on must be done by someone who dares to say that his own kind is scum and expendable when it comes to the greater good of the universe. Our acts here, on Earth, do not only affect us, but also inhabitants of our warm blue planet, and maybe someday, they will affect other life forms in space. We must become extinct if we have the slightest dignity left.
Our earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. Human life began only 6 million years ago, and the oldest signs of civilization go back no more than only 8,000 years. So to be specific, we have been destroying this planet only throughout 0.178% years of its age and we already made a huge progress toward total annihilation. That takes a special effort and a special gift of barbarism. The impact we cause on the extinction rate of species is 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate, and, 0.1% of species are becoming extinct each year. There are nearly two million different species are out there, and it is painful to estimate the numbers and impending doom. We are hunting, we are killing, we are bombing and we mow down other species.
Animals are not the only example. We are also sharing our planet with trees. We have been cutting down the trees since the beginning of agriculture. We need to eat and satisfy our endless desire of consuming. We are obese, we are fat, we are insatiable and we eat more than we need. We need fat for our junk food, we need oil for our vehicles, we need wood for our furniture and our sense of aesthetics, we need plants to die in a few days for our girlfriends or for our ceremonies, we need cotton and silk for our clothing, we have to kill alligators for our purses or we need to kill furry animals just for our vanity and showing off. We need everything that nature does and does not offer. But we need to consume more than anything to maintain ourselves and pursue our goal of self-destruction.
We built palaces, houses, stone walls, fortresses, mansions, skyscrapers, farmhouses, statues, roads, highways, pavements, sewer systems, subways, churches, cathedrals, mosques, wells and even the world’s seven wonders while we were searching the meaning of life. And what we need on our road to destruction is more space. Space for ourselves and our descendants. Space for our tools, machines and facilities. Cutting down trees is not the only problem when it comes to creating spaces; biodiversity is what we’re also ruining. Deforestation causes the extinction of a vast number of species. Even reforesting is not ever enough: Once the biodiversity is gone, it is gone for good. Plant and animal species will go extinct or lose a great deal of their genetic diversity and variation. Rare animals or many potential medicines are lost because of deforestation.
In nature, everything is linked to one another. As a result of our consumption, we lose species and forests. Losing forests cost us our atmosphere, the very atmosphere we share with animals and plants. Losing the atmosphere impacts the water cycle. Species die because of lacking water. We try to ease our conscience by donating money or donating food for African kids, but as long as we keep consuming the way we consume now, it is nothing but just an endless circle of poverty.
The human race has a lot of disgusting qualities, but hypocrisy is the worst. World peace is what we seek, but on the other hand, we preserve nuclear weapons that have the capability to easily wipe off every single living creature from the face of the earth. Science, sociology, philosophy, folklore and cultural learning has brought us to a point where now we have our own self-made weapons for our doom. Everything we aggrandize, such as scientific research, is only an instrument to satisfy our endless greed. Our religions preach us good behaviours, but only again, in our own human terms. We still kill our own kind for some gods that have probably never existed in the first place. A phenomenon such as religion that is widely accepted and feared by people is still not enough intervene against our instincts.
Our instincts drive us to lunacy and we are desperate, helpless about it. It is the essence of our souls: We are unique killing machines. When we become a society, we are unstoppable. When we were kids, we were killing bugs just for fun. I have a recollection that I killed a hedgehog that was no threat to me when I was 10. It was fun, and I still recall that specific memory in shame. I rolled it down from the top our neighbourhood’s slope to the main road and it gave me a great pleasure to see it killed by the car tires again and again. I watched the dead hedgehog or what was left of it about an hour as the cars were running it over continually. Then I went home and watched cartoons like it never happened. That was only the effect of a 10-year-old boy on nature.
If time has taught me one or two things, one of them is definitely that I am, too, a unique killing machine myself deep down inside. I am not excluding myself while I am sticking the knife in my race — I must be destroyed for innocent species’ good. We will become extinct someday, happily, and recent studies show that it won’t be long. You may say, “What about the good people?” Exceptions make no rule; if you can’t stop it, you are a partner in crime. Every breath you take is blood on your hands.