A Troublesome Species*

Image of hunter with dead elephant, humans, a troublesome species

* Hint: it’s not the African elephant

Reading an article by Jason Epstein about the kerfuffle going on in the publishing industry I stumbled over this phrase:

“… for we are a troublesome species with a long history of self-destruction.”

Now there’s a good point to keep in mind no matter what you’re working on, raising children, publishing a book or encouraging conservation.

When a GoDaddy Executive shot a destructive elephant recently many people abandoned the company in protest of his blood-lust. But the issue is much deeper.

The elephants can indeed be quite destructive, not just to crops as Bob Parsons claimed in his defense. Delinquent elephants have been known to kill other animals on a whim, notably rhinos. This behavior has been studied for at least a decade and the answer is – as it always is – the problem was caused by human intervention.

Culling and relocation of herds has created a generation of orphaned young male elephants who grew up without a dominant male to guide them.

No matter who you’re up against – Tiger Mothers, Elephant hunter CEOs, Deficit Hawks or Capitalist Pigs, remember that they are, and we all are, troublesome humans.

We always go after the quickest/easiest/most lucrative way to our goal though it usually results in shooting ourselves in the foot one way or another.

3 comments

  1. Drat. Us again, being shortsighted.

    I had seen lots of venom being spewed in Bob Pearson’s direction for what seemed like a selfish and destructive act. Thank you for sharing the deeper story.

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