The greed and lack of compassion I see on a day-to-day basis aggravates me. Just watching the news or skimming through a paper makes me contemplate running away from home and never returning. And don't even get me started on what humans are capable of doing to one another, it simply horrifies me that rape, torture, murder, and child abuse are common, meaning that we all know someone who has had something horrible happen to them. Then there are the statistics, which drive me bonkers, like how the wheat we feed the cows for our meat could feed all the starving countries in the world. Like, seriously?
But it isn't just how we treat each other. It's how we treat the Earth. Of course, how can I expect people to treat the world well if they can't treat their neighbour right. It's the sense of entitlement people have and how they think they own everything that makes me furrow my brow. (Gee, thanks humanity for the trenches in my forehead).
The Earth isn't mine. I'm just a minor cog in the machine. For the short time I will grace this place, I share it. Not just with Joe, Jack, Judy and Jenny, but with animals, insects, birds, fish, trees and plants. A friend of mine said, "Tyson, people don't think like you." And he was right, because a lot of people think this planet is theirs. And, it looks like, they can do whatever they please with it. They litter, use up the resources, invade the natural habitats and displace critters from their homes. They clear cut and whale, hunt and slaughter, kill and maim, and, apparently, not lose a wink of sleep over it.
I wonder how it feels to lack a moral compass.
The truth is, I feel bad driving to work because I feel like I am polluting. If there isn't a recycle bin around, I'll carry the bottle with me until I find one. If I drop a gum wrapper on the ground, I pick it up. And if the wind kicks up and blows it away, I chase after it. I move snails and slugs off the path when it rains. Worms too. I stop if there are raccoons crossing the street and, when they pause to look at me, I don't honk my horn to get them moving. I take spiders outside. I have a healthy respect for nature and don't approach animals, not a beaver, nor a moose. If a friend's dog dies, I cry. I consider myself lucky to watch the sun rise every morning. And there is nothing more refreshing than the smell of the forest. Also, I truly appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds me.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people ruining it. Some of you might be asking, what brought this blog on? Well, I'm going to tell you.
This last weekend, I went up to see the parental units. I love the mountains. It's where I want to be all the time. It's peaceful and as close to serenity as I have ever been. The only issue? People.
Okay, wait...I am getting ahead of myself.
First let me introduce you to this guy:
That's a pack-rat. It's actually the first pack-rat I ever saw. He came out with whiskers twitching when my mom and I went into the feed shed to empty the goat food into its bin. Not only was he absolutely adorable, but he was a very curious little fellow. My mom explained that they have a few of them, this guy who keeps residence in the feed shed, another who comes out to visit her in the chicken pen and the one who makes his home in the wood stove in the barn. Apparently, my mom feeds them. She feeds everything. And to be honest, when she told me to put a handful of apple to the side for the pack-rat in the chickens' pen, I wasn't surprised in the least.
So, I went dawdling out to the chickens, to give them food and fresh water. And I saw this guy:
You can't really tell from this photo, but this little man wasn't doing so well. He was coughing, breathing heavy and stumbling around. I put his food out, but he wasn't having any of it. I watched him fumble his way down to the water and hack and spew his little guts all over the place. Later that day, my dad and I found him keeled over on the ground, dead. His little life simply gone.
Death isn't new to me. Not death of animals or people. I grew up with many pets and saw some rather horrible things. Still, I found myself sad. I know to a lot of people this little guy is a rodent. Nothing more than a vermin that needs to be snuffed out to make their lives more pristine, you know, because rats carry diseases and stuff. (Apparently, they are unaware that the most filthy, germ riddled creatures on the planet are actually humans, who they brush shoulders with daily.)
Later on, my mom told me he was poisoned, hence the gasping and gagging, and that their neighbours had been putting out poison to get rid of the rodents. See, this enrages me. What is with these people who move into the mountains and then consciously try to extinguish all the wildlife? It isn't just about the rats either. There are squirrels, chipmunks, meerkats, bunnies and a plethora of other itty bitty beings who ingest the poisons these people purposely set out.
My parents also have dogs. Meet Ginger and Presley (pictures in that order):
Of course, this is just the tip of the ignorant iceberg. The stories my parents had to share with me weren't ones of nature hikes and listening to the crickets in the waist high grass around the reservoir.
I'm not a hunter. I don't like hunters. In fact, if you are a hunter and I currently like you, it might be best for you not tell me, because it will change the way I think of you. Some might think that I am being judgemental and wrong. Well, then I am judgemental and wrong. I simply don't understand how anyone can shoot, gut and quarter this:
See, that's what I call beauty. And this world needs as much beauty as it can get. So why take any away from it? Just a question.
I, myself, am physically incapable of killing an animal, let alone putting my hands in its steaming innards and pulling them out. Without ever having done it, I can 100% say having the blood of an animal on me would mess with my head. And, this might be insulting to others, but I think there has to be something slightly (putting that in to cushion the blow) off about people who are capable of slaughtering innocent, defenseless animals.
This didn't start out as a blog about hunting. And I won't go down the food industry route, nor will I talk about our mass production for mass consumption and how it all ties into the gluttonous, greedy lives so many of us live. No, no, I won't get myself started. I don't have all night to write this and I highly doubt you want to read a ten thousand word rant-fest by me on the inhumane ways of humans (such an inappropriate name for us, if you think about it). Not to mention, I've probably already lost a few of you to boredom as it is.
My main point is my misanthropic tendencies. On a whole, I hate humanity. I do. At times I look at mankind and think we're just a cancer using up this earth, spreading, consuming and obliterating everything in our wake. Most days, I don't think the good outweighs the bad. Sometimes it feels like I am being suffocated by misery. What do I expect though? All we ever see is the bad.
Where's the good? Who is reporting the good?
Do you think the Internet and social networking has made us more detached? It certainly seems to make us more aware, but I get the distinct impression that there is a lack of connect, compassion and responsibility behind it all. I think that's probably a blog for another time.
Let me end this by saying, even though I am classified as a misanthrope I still have this overwhelming urge to help and change things. If anyone is hurt or in need, I want to lend a hand, a shirt, a dollar or an apple. How does that work? As a whole, I think, fuck humanity. But individually, I'd sell my soul and give you half my heart if I could.
You need someone to lean on? You can lean on me. I won't judge you...
Well, unless you hunt and you want to complain about how that stunning buck got away unscathed.
Anyways, maybe I should end this on a happy note.
I'm lucky. And I'm happy enough. When I can get out of the city, most of my troubles fall away. Sure, my parents have questionable neighbours. But I don't have to talk to them or acknowledge their existence. For the most part, I don't see them or hear from them and that is just fine in my books. I have an escape, and I thank my stars for it.
Apparently, and I just learned it, this hen isn't the one responsible for the eggs. Broody hens don't lay. She's sitting on another chick's eggs!
Fall has arrived.
The trees they are a changing.
I call this one "Old Man Relaxing"
Girl on a Quad.