The unique super-predator

March 28, 2018

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The evolution theory of natural selection is the theory of life’s need to reproduce. According to the theory the own reproduction is the main objective for life. The human species is the world’s unique super-predator due to our effect on other life. We humans have during the last 160 000 years increased our effects on earth to consume and pollute as if we were living on 1,6 earths. In Sweden we would need 4,2 planet earths to serve us with the recourses and take care of the pollutions we today produce.¹ The human certainly seem to act according to the theory of natural selection; we want to reproduce the human species. But in relation to our development the environmental effects of our way of living have put us into self-extinction, which have forced us to rethink our behaviour and values. Other animas on earth are also forced to adapt to this human created environment, so called the anthropocene.

Humans as the super-predator have the power to decide what life to care for and what to discard. In the anthropogenic environment we humans care for a lot of animals that we therefor help to overcome the barriers we created in their habitat. There is also a collection of species that we humans discard since we, in some way, do not benefit from their presence. The evolutional human have evidentially taken the power of grading life, even itself. People in power have through history claimed the supposed knowledge of sorting life into different categories.

“Slaves, once sold as chattel, can become gradually humanized, personifed, and reenchanted by the investiture of humanity. But they can also be recommoditized, turned once again into mere bodies or tools, put back in the marketplace, available for a price, dumped into the world of mere things.” (Appadurai, Arjun. ‘The Thing Itself’ in Public Culture, 18.1, 2006, 15-21).

The “thing”, the objectification of life, discarding the personification of life could be one of the reasons why we have made these clear valuations. Just as the slaves were considered as things the animals are often objectified as things. In the anthropocentric environment the human and its needs is the main focus. The street sign on mallards passing the road reminds us of the life in our surroundings but to really experience it we have to care.

Felicia Svensson

 

Readings:
Appadurai, Arjun. ‘The Thing Itself’ in Public Culture, 18.1, 2006, 15-21.

Latour, Bruno. ‘Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern’ Critical Inquiry, Winter 2004, 225-248.

Link:
WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), Ecological Footprint http://www.wwf.se/wwfs-arbete/ekologiska-fotavtryck/1127697-ekologiska-fotavtryck, 2018-01-22

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