Apr 25, 2011

A brief history of mankind

So here is how it went :

First we were scrawny, paranoid little apes who were absolutely terrified of anything bigger, hairier, or teethier than ourselves. And we were right, because boy were those things hungry. So we learned to flee and resent them.
We kept that grudge when we developped the means of getting back at them; fire, weapons, hunting tactics - there finally was predator meat for dinner. And that was great ! We were able to fend for ourselves; we had a respectable niche in our ecosystem.

Then we decided mammoth meat was very, very delicious. So delicious in fact that soon, we were killing off the last ones; not only them, but many other species which were already severely crippled by the receding ice age.
We soon found ourselves meat-less and hungry.
Not for long though. In come agriculture and animal husbandry. That was pretty great too; we were growing our own food, and dominated our former predators, changing them into pets. Take that, Nature !

I think that is when a general feeling of smugness started settling over humanity. We had walled cities, crops and cattle that allowed permanent sustainance; nothing could significantly harm us anymore, other than disease, and other people.

We were modifying our surroundings; we were razing hills to build fortresses, turning hostile forests into fields, and expanding our cities ever more to accomodate for our exponentially growing population. Man ruled over Earth. It is during that time, too, that religions started talking about Man being entitled to everything around him; plants, creatures, soil, were to bend to his will, as they were created for him.

From then on, nothing could stop us. Drunk with all our newly-acquired and rapidly-increasing powers, we set ourselves the goal of conquering every bit of land and sea we could encounter. We eliminated the remaining species which had terrified us for so long; and those we didn't kill, we made into our servants.

With no threats remaining other than ourselves, and our land covered in either tar or industrial fields, and our cattle made into a constant stream of processed goods, we thought this was good, and the way things were meant to be.

And then we slowly realized the horror of our hubris.

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