“I do not even know if we will survive as a species.” ~ Chris Hedges
Not all men rape or kill women but all women fear male aggression and are vulnerable. Not all men kill wildlife but all wildlife fear human violence and are vulnerable.
Women and wildlife share the same plight — fear of men.
“One Billion Rising” is a global movement that was initiated because one-third of women worldwide suffer male rape or violent assault during their lifetime. As many as a third of many wildlife target species are killed annually. Patriarchy rules. Ruthlessly.
Elliot Rodger’s killing spree in Santa Barbara manifested the sexual frustration of white male entitlement, inflicted directly on women. Women responded under the hashtag “Yes, all women” that they fear violence and rape from men. Ninety-eight percent of mass murderers are men. And yes, all wildlife fear violence from men too. Over 90 percent of those who kill wildlife year after year are male.
Gender is relevant. Jeffrey Kluger of Time writes, “Testosterone fuels aggression. Stipulated. Boys take longer to mature than girls. Stipulated. And like the forebrains of young females, those of young males are not fully myelinated until the late 20s or even early 30s. The forebrain is where executive functions — impulse control, reflection, awareness of consequences — live. In the case of males, who are already trip-wired for aggression, that provides a lot of years to behave badly.”
“Killing is a normal part of life,” say hunters. “We are just part of the food chain — the top predator.” If true, then be fit enough (and fair enough) to run alongside a deer or wolf and take her down with your bare hands and teeth to kill her. Be part of the natural system. Honor “gathering” as tradition and learn to survive on plants and roots gathered, not killed. Stop at the next freshly road-killed deer and have a snack. Scavenge and recycle death like the raven, coyote and wolf. But you cannot have it both ways — you cannot use high-tech weaponry that kills from a mile away; or lure with scents, distress calls of wild babies, baits or decoys; employ traps, ATVs or radio-collared dogs — and pretend this is natural or traditional.
Compassion, empathy, kindness and cooperation are not in the macho lexicon. Domination and competition measure life by the size of the win: trillions of dollars hoarded for a few individuals; billions of farm animals hoarded for slaughterhouse profits; millions of wild animals killed for ego. Dirty energy destroying old-growth boreal forests; fracking poisoning ground and water systems; oceans acidifying too fast for life to adapt; and climate destroyed by our choices — this is the world designed largely by men.
There are consequences.
Five hundred years of environmental plunder has been driven by the whale harpooner, cowboy, soldier, oil rig worker, coal miner, slaughterhouse butcher, Marlboro man, auto manufacturer, road builder, trophy hunter, and the farmer laying waste to fertile diversity to irrigate sterile, genetically modified, monocultured, poisoned crops.
The world is heavy with the blood-letting of men. And now the game is up.
Male privilege. White privilege. Human privilege. Entrenched privilege. This capitalist monied greedy power structure will not respond to the collapse of ecosystems, oceans, climate, or the suffering and extinction of animals. Nature and the majority of humans and other species have no power over their fate. Having decimated indigenous people, forced economic hit men onto Third World countries, shock and awe on the Middle East, and continual war, men causing mass extinction is but another bump in paving the road of a dying culture.
Chris Hedges, theologian and former war correspondent laments that only a few people have the fortitude to look at reality. He quotes the Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet: “Living is no laughing matter. … I mean living must be your whole occupation.”
Hedges says, “We now live in our own hearse, (and) ignore the suffering of those who impede our hunt.” The progress trap has us in a mode of expanding exploitation, cannibalizing our life support systems. Hedges cautions that dying civilizations make war on critical thinking, saying, “This time, when we go down the planet goes with us … with no new resources to plunder.”
He calls on us to face the “certainty of a crushing fate without the resignation that should accompany it. … We only need 1-5 percent of the population for overthrow of this totalitarian structure.”
We cannot be paralyzed, even though it seems that it is too late.
Hedges calls on us to summon a “sublime madness” and civil disobedience to make the world a more humane dwelling place. Actively obstruct. He concludes, “We have bound ourselves to a doomsday machine that grinds forward.” Again, Hedges quotes Hikmet, “The earth will grow cold one day … like an empty walnut it will roll along in pitch black space. … You must grieve for this right now — you have to feel this sorrow now.”
We are a manipulated, passive, indoctrinated, and now impoverished and surveilled populace — yet Hedges calls upon us for the only remedy: Revolution.
Please comment and sign a petition against old growth logging clear-cut in the Alaskan Tongass National Forest.