• Tara Lundrigan

This Beautiful Earth

What is the point of going to school if the world doesn't listen to the educated?

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority."

We misunderstand or mislabel intelligence and it's importance, in my opinion. We've deluded ourselves into thinking that there is a "Great Chain of Being", or a pyramid rather, in which we reside at the top. We get to decide what is and isn't sentient, and have concluded that our own thoughts and feelings are what matters the most. Everything else is less than. We think we are highly evolved creatures but simplicity on the outside doesn't necessarily mean simplicity on the inside. It also doesn't mean that our supposed intellect gives us the right to spread like a virus and consume everything in our paths.

Orcas, and other dolphins, have their own languages. Different pods have different dialects. Different pods prefer different foods. Some animals have senses we can’t even understand, such as sharks, which have an acute sensitivity to electrical currents, or insects, some of which can see ultraviolet light. Cows, and many other mammals, mourn the loss of their young. Their lost loved one will make them cry for days.

“How we contrive tests of intelligence may tell us more about the sensory abilities of animals than their intellectual abilities.” - The fact is there is no science, and never will be, that will be able to put us into the mind of another and use their brain the way they do, to see the world the way they do, and understand their true intellect. We wave away any science that tells us otherwise, like the recent viral video of the little fish using rocks to break open clams to get the food. The fish knew using a tool would get him into the clam. Our response? Well he didn't make the tool so it's really not that impressive. Cool cool cool. Well Chimps make their own hammers, Orangutans improvised whistles from bundles of leaves, which they use to help ward off predators. Gorillas use sticks to check the depth of the water they are about to cross. How is this not intelligence??

Which isn't really my point anyways, because even if everything on earth was a mindless cog in a machine just doing its job in keeping the balance - that doesn't give us the right to come in and destroy everything in our paths all in the name of money.

Anyways I am getting distracted because animals and the ecosystems fascinate me and I am astonished daily by the beauty I experience on this planet. I feel blessed to be allowed to live here, experience life and see how the ecosystem and it's biodiversity have created this astonishing world that keeps us alive. Ultimately I want to talk about our contribution to climate change and how disgusted I am with humans and their egos.

I write a lot about politics on here, but at the end of the day I don't really give a shit about them. Politicians are a collection of dumb detached rich people who don't really believe half the things that come out of their mouths. They have the world so divided, fighting each other about things that don't fucking matter. The only thing that matters is this planet. We care more about space than we do our own oceans, the thing that keeps us alive. Just because we have "big brains" doesn't mean we own the earth. A wise man once said "just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe."

"Why don't we assume that, until proven otherwise, others are subjective beings? Answer: because the only thing that matters is that we are number 1. It makes it so much easier to rationalize exploiting everything." Which we did. We have completely exploited this planet and the ecosystems on it, and for what?? Not just a better quality of life. But for a vapid, materialistic, sickening world where the only thing that seems to matter anymore is clout, fame, fast fashion and wild conspiracy theories. We could have had an amazing quality of life and still live in harmony with our local ecosystems. We could still have an amazing quality of life with out billionaires and corporations that fuck everything in their path.

Since 1990, it is estimated that 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through conversion to other land uses, although the rate of deforestation has decreased over the past three decades. Agricultural expansion continues to be the main driver of deforestation and forest degradation and the associated loss of forest biodiversity. It accounted for 40 percent of tropical deforestation between 2000 and 2010. Something people don't seem to understand is it isn't just trees we are killing. It's forests, which are the homes of the earths most terrestrial biodiversity. They are homes for fungi, bugs, birds, mammals. They feed them. They home them. Then the forests feed the rivers that run through them, and the animals that live in them. Then those rivers feed the oceans which are our lifeline. Right now, 25% of our rivers don't even reach the oceans anymore because of dams we build.

I know my rants will change nothing but I have reached the end of my patience with this shit. I am so tired of people turning a blind eye and acting like they are making a difference by throwing their plastic bottles into the recycling bin. Now, of course this is mostly on the corporations at the end of the day, and as individuals we can't do much. But why wouldn't we try?? Why did people freak out just at the suggestion of using something other than plastic straws in their drinks? Why do they freak out when they take away plastic bags at the supermarkets, when you can easily bring your own? Why do people buy plastic bottled water, when you can buy a reusable bottle. Because they are lazy selfish fucks. So no, this really isn't all on the corporations. You have a choice every time you open your wallet, and if we all stop buying what they are selling than they will be forced to change.

I have been screaming on the top of my lungs at the world since I was a kid. Flipping out at my parents because I didn't understand why we, the supposed intellectuals, designed the world the way we did. All I am ever met with is a shrug and a "that's just the way it is" - even 20 years later. Maybe if people went outside instead of constantly staring at their TVs or phones and explored the world around them, they would see how incredible nature is. And maybe if more people spent more time outside exploring nature, they would actually notice for themselves the changes that are happening very quickly around us. They would notice that there aren't any western Monarch Butterflies in their gardens anymore, because they are nearing extinction. They would maybe care enough to sacrifice some of their perfectly manicured lawns and plant some native plant species, wildflowers and learn that Monarchs like Milkweed.

We can't keep brushing this off and waiting for politicians and corporations to do the right thing. The free market doesn't give a fuck about the ecosystems they exploit to fatten their wallets. The barrier reef is vanishing, coral is bleaching, lemurs are almost extinct. We have islands of garbage floating around in our oceans. It is raining plastic. Pesticides and nutrients used in agriculture end up in the coastal waters, resulting in oxygen depletion that kills marine plants and shellfish. Factories and industrial plants discharge sewage and other runoff into the oceans. Topsoil is all but gone.

I don't know what else to do or say, except maybe try to get people to fall in love with nature the way I have. To show you how amazing it is, and how it should be the one thing every single human is ready to fight for. People don't understand how interconnected everything is. Science makes new, astonishing discoveries every day. The way plants communicate with each other using pheromones, or how some fungi help trees and other plants to grow. Because the fine threads that fungal mycelium make, they spread over long distances, can capture water and nutrients from far away and bring them back along the those threads and close to plant roots. Or the different symbiotic relationships between animals like the Ravalli fish who hide from predators by swimming in the stingers of jellyfish. The Clownfish and the Anemone. The Nile Crocodile who lets the Egyptian Plover feed upon the decomposing meat stuck between the teeth. Rats have even been proven to feel regret.

Fact is everything in every ecosystem on this planet lives, breathes, and works together. The only thing on this planet that takes exponentially but never gives back are Humans. I don't think there is room for ego or arrogance on this planet. I find it hard to believe that we weren't brought here by aliens honestly; it seems so obvious to me we don't belong here. And if we did truly evolve here, it was the only mistake that nature ever made. I don't know how anyone could not stand on the side of a lake, inside a forest, or on the top of a mountain and not feel completely awestruck by not only the beauty of everything around us, but our utter insignificance. Our lives are actually meaningless blips in a world, a universe, that we just don't understand. I don't know when or how we decided that we were the only thing that matters, when in fact we have as much significance as the birds and the bees. The only difference being everyone else besides humans lives in harmony with its surroundings.

17 views1 comment

© 2014 - present - Tara Lundrigan Photography + Design