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More Than One Billion Animals Killed in Australia Wildfires Called a 'Very Conservative' Estimate

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/07/more-one-billion-animals-killed-australia-wildfires-called-very-conservative

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How do those lacking true empathy dismiss this? “It’'s just God’s will.”? I don’t know. My sister is of that ilk and it drives me crazy. She actually has empathy, but does use the thought stopping phrase to deflect from any anthropogenic responsibility. But then again, her career involved the leasing of lands for the oil and gas business…


Meanwhile innocent lives suffer and are lost while all the madness and war mongering continue to distract and separate us when we need to come together if we are to have a future at all. The madness, oh, the madness!


At this point, anyone who loves innocent animals and the living earth is heartbroken and in mourning.
The Aussie fires are an obvious example of anthropogenic mass extinction, but worldwide, via fires, wars, logging, population growth, development, paving, mining, fishing, hunting and other human activities, we’re killing innocent animals and stealing their habitats.
At least 50 BILLION animals are killed per year in the USA in the slaughter industries, to feed non-vegans. The total worldwide, including fish, is far higher.
Our species has become the ecocidal death species.


Your misanthropic rant ignores the fact that “innocent” animals do in fact eat each other, and often.


Madness? Yes, It’s the logic of capitalism. US capitalists and their imperial allies (like Australia) are not just willing but eager to kill millions of people just for the profits of Wall Street and the MIC. Do you think they care about the rest of the animal kingdom? There are disaster capitalists right now salivating on Australia’s wildfires and prospects of picking up cheap land.


They simply don’t. Anyone raising an empathic issue is silenced. That’s how it works here in anti-empathic USAmerica.


What makes you think that I have not realized this and what is driving us all off the brink of existence–the system of exploitation we call capitalism? Capitalism is the madness because it denies Life itself. It seeks to impose some madly construed idea of economics irrespective of the real limits of eco-systems. Ethics do not come into it at all, and no honor as they are thieves.


A close reading of ecologist Chris Dickman’s meaning reveals an unfortunate flub in CD’s headline. Dickman is saying > 1 bn is a “very conservative estimate” not for all of Australia, but for New South Wales alone (roughly the lower right-hand sixth of the continent) if you count bats, frogs, and invertebrates.

Misanthropic no, a desire to live in “harmony with nature” is the message.


Perhaps it is. He does a really great job of covering it up, though. Perhaps too great.

Must admit Wayhey, I also have misanthropic moments when man believes he is at the center of nature and thinks it is all here just for him.


I’ve had those moments, too. But we are not separate, and we have never been. Our delusions are not part of some tragic moral failing, but part of a much larger picture that we do not yet see.

The difference here is that extinction is a not a structural change, and mass extinction as a result of intentional behavior is not empathy. Ignorance is no excuse.


Yup. Goes back at least 40-50 years to Rush Limbaugh’s amplified vilification of liberals as “bleeding hearts,” which characterized empathy as weakness antithetical to the character of any “real American” (cue Eastwood’s Dirty Harry, and to hell with Alda’s Hawkeye Pierce).


It also goes back to the debate over the annexation of Texas in the 1840’s, and to… you get the point: It’s silent turtles all the way down.

Your mention of Hawkeye Pierce brought to mind my recent reconoiture with the cinematic version. This happened before, when I reviewed the spaghetti western The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly… something seems to have flipped in me such that I can’t stand some movies I used to adore. The putatively funny parts aren’t funny anymore. I haven’t lost my sense of humor (opinions differ on this matter). There’s plenty of stuff I get a good belly laugh from.

But so much, even of the old classic stuff, is looking like violence porn to me anymore. The viewer is invited to enjoy the humiliation of someone who supposedly deserves it. Fiction’s razor edge. Cut too broadly, and it tastes like sadistic bigotry. A little too exquisitely, painfully USAmerican.


Love the addition of “silent” to the classic phrase!

Guess I don’t agree, I think it is “some tragic moral failing”. I observe it happening all around me.


What I said was scientific fact, not a rant.
Anthropogenic mass extinction is what we cause.
Some other animal species eat each other because they have no other choice–it’s in their genetics to do so. And some animals species are vegans, such as manatees.
Humans have godlike powers and can satisfy their need for nutrition in ways that are cruel, less cruel, or not cruel at all.
Further, your comment wrongly focuses on eating. Our ecocidal folly goes way beyond that. For example…
Humans are the only animal erasing entire ecosystems, species, habitat zones; the only animal with the capability to blow up much of the earth’s crust in a nuclear conflagration; the only animal dumping millions of tons of manmade poisons into air, land, water, etc.
I’m not a misanthrope, but you are guilty of speciesism. This is the worst ism, the ism that arrogantly and selfishly says humans are the “best” species, the one that matters most.
You work hard to make excuses for humans, because you are one, and don’t want to acknowledge what you and your species is doing wrong.
Those of us who admit and feel bad about the fact that we are the only animal creating a mass extinction event are scientifically accurate, and ethically honest.
You are not.


Nature cares not a whiff for ignorance intentions, or even mass extinctions. It is only human beings that are interested in such things in the first place. We create all the standards which we are judged by, save one. Our survival.

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