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Internal Conflict: Nature, Humans, and Animals

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Internal Conflict: Nature, Humans, and Animals

Caught up in the modern day scheme of things, I haven't felt connected

to nature in some time. I always considered myself a lover of nature and

the outdoors. But driving west on US 41, as I passed the turnpike and

headed into the everglades, I began to think about the last time I had been

so removed from the everyday hustle and bustle. I have been having

internal conflict as of late, and it seems this trip illuminated some facets of

this inner unrest. It has always been easier for me to put my thoughts on

paper. This is the attempt of this essay, to externalize this internal conflict.

As I do this, I am hoping to better understand myself.

One such debate I have with myself is whether human life is to be held

above other life, and if such a concept is even possible. The second of my

internal conflicts is animal rights. Do or should animals have rights?

Finally, and most important, what is my responsibility or place in the grand

scheme of things? This includes my decision to be a responsible human

being, and whether I should have children or adopt. These ideas, not

mutually exclusive, tie together and overlap in a common theme of my

current internal thought processes.

It seems to be my understanding that western religion or Christianity

holds the belief that animals were put here on Earth for us humans.

Human beings are held above all else. This is the justification for things

like animal research, and the draining of the everglades for human

habitation. I personally would put most members of my human family

above my pet dog, if it came down to a choice. But my question is, are our

lives more valuable than other life in the grand scheme of things? Or are

all living things, being in a common ecosystem, interdependent? Finally,

what kind of life will there be if we continue our current path of destroying

these habitats, our habitat?

When I pulled into Coopertown, I noticed I was the first person to

arrive. This gave me a chance to look around a little. Coopertown is a

tourist trap. It includes a quaint restaurant which offers gator tail and

airboat rides, the latter being the reason for our trip. As I walked past the

restaurant and toward the dock where the airboats depart, I came to a hut

with a counter where you inquire about the airboat rides.
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