Aurochs

August 23, 2014

At one point in time, humanity competed with aurochs, but over the millennia, we successfully captured, selectively bred, and genetically dominated them. Aurochs are dead now — the last herds of the once Eurasia-spanning beast were hunted for sport, and eventually died once and for all in Poland during the 1600s — but their children live on today as the common cow. We turned our competitor into a zombie to be bred, used, milked, and eaten, all at our leisure.

Aurochs are not the only example of our global dominance. Dogs and cats, common in our homes today, have similar origin stories, just as we’ve selectively grown fruits and vegetables for millennia, too. Corn itself, the crop that fills most all processed foods in the United States and is now used globally in some form or another, was cultivated from grass over millennia by the ancient Olmec and its descendants.

Humanity has enslaved countless species of plants and animals for our consumption and entertainment, as well as reshaped the Earth to make it more suitable for our uses, moving rivers and mountains alike. We are godlike — we dominate the world in endless ways — yet in our hubris, we are weak. Our continued existence relies on this lifeboat we call Earth, something some among us have chosen to sabotage for selfish, short-term reasons.

Modern American conservatives are right about global warming, though I disagree with their particular reasoning — global warming, or climate change as they tend to call it, is no big deal. They are right in that it is no big deal, not because it is uncontrollable — it is partly controllable — but because it is the Earth’s natural autoimmune response to our global stewardship.

Change will come. Change always comes. Global warming is only that change coming at us much faster than what we, and the earthlings we share our lifeboat with, can adapt to.

We are nothing. Our problems don’t matter. Nobody cares. Our Earth will kill us to survive, only to be later eaten by the Sun. Death is certain.

We do, however, have some say in how soon and by what method our death will be.