An ethical dilemma of our time is – is it ok to eat meat or should we go vegetarian or even vegan?
I am a vegetarian, bordering on vegan. The people that I argue with over this issue almost always take the line that it’s natural for us and part of our biological heritage to include meat in our diets. They then often go on to justify their position further by saying that if we didn’t eat animals then all those millions of cows, pigs, sheep and chickens wouldn’t exist at all and so surely it’s better that they live their lives, even if those lives are not great, and that we eat them. Continue reading “Should humanity go vegan?”
Here’s another chapter of my book. The point of this chapter is to show how we need to overcome our outdated psychological response to the environment.
Earlier on I discussed humanity’s attitude towards to environment. It’s now time to return to that.
As already set out, the environment has never really been too much of a problem for us. True, life has been hard here and there with a possible drying of the climate, forcing us down from the trees in the first place, or the difficulty of the coming and going of ice-ages forcing our migration. It could have been that such environmental changes are what forced us into a situation where the Next Level could initiate in the first place and start us out on our path of uniqueness.
Ecosystems are about balance with all the component species fitting together and working together to keep the system flowing and turning over. Before we set off down the route of the Next Level, humans would also have been in balance with the African ecosystem. As we started to become more sophisticated with the initiation of the Next Level with better tools, intellect and better survivability, we started to loose that balance.
When has the environment ever been a problem for any one species? Apart from the problems of being eaten, dying of a disease or being burnt to the ground in a forest fire if you happen to be a tree. Assuming that your species continues to exist, even if that might not necessarily include you, when has the environment ever been a problem? In terms of incoming nutrients, water, food and resources, when has the environment ever a problem? Generally, there’s always more coming from somewhere. The ecosystems are, generally, in balance. There might be patches of drought meaning less water and less food, but it usually gets better. Ecosystems do change over time otherwise new species wouldn’t evolve or others go extinct. But it’s usually a very slow process with little change between the generations.
To give you a taste of my book, here’s the section on conformity:
Conform to the norm
Conformity, as discussed earlier, is an important part of what keeps society together. Back with the caveman, it would have been vital. Way before we were human it would have been vital. Whilst it’s still good to be part of a society and feel like you belong, conforming to what is normal or what is expected is increasingly becoming a problem, creating confusion and anxiety, in a society that is becoming increasingly complex.
This review is from Richard Claxton from September 2017:
“If you want to take a journey through the history of human evolution, how our psychology evolved and then consider what might be the next evolutionary steps for humanity (if we can find a way of preserving the biosphere that sustains us), you would do well to give this book a go. As a (1) non-scientist by educational background and (2) an environmental campaigner and activist, I found this a fascinating and thought-provoking read.
Jeff Rice’s lucid and often-conversational style makes the book very accessible; it also asks some profound questions about where we are going as a species, speculating on the very diverse possible outcomes as we enter the ‘Next Level of Complexity in the Universe’. Rice argues that, “in terms of evolution, we are in a transitional phase” and that “something is happening” in relation to that ‘Next Level’. Hitherto, we have been the ape that got lucky and evolved to be the all-powerful, all-consuming top species. But that pre-eminence may not last. One of Rice’s key arguments is that our psychology struggles to keep up with rapid technological advance and change: we are in essence “a Stone Age human in a Space Age World.” He goes on to say, “Technology has surged forward. The intellectual aspects of our brains are fast catching up but the more primitive caveman part of us, our emotions and our social structure, are trailing.” This discrepancy, he argues, contributes to our current inability to tackle serious global problems effectively, for example, climate breakdown and habitat loss. However, plenty of hope is offered in an often optimistic concluding section – evidence of human psychology and consciousness emerging that can take us beyond our hard-wired caveman impulses. A very interesting book.”