My buddy, Darryl, has recently shared The Temple of the Earth’s blog post, “David Myatt on Animal Cruelty”, thinking that it somehow proves his hypothesis that the ONA betrayed David Myatt’s heritage. Browsing this nexion of vegan nature lovers’ WordPress, the reader might get an impression that the ONA internet subculture, influenced by Myatt’s latest hippie writings, has turned into tree-hugging Wicca, having the sugar-coated vision of nature as something harmonious unless disturbed by humans. Turning its back on Satanism, the ONA virtual society has largely forsaken the more complex and realistic vision of nature, as depicted in the icon of Baphomet, the image of the nurturing and, at the same time, destructive Mother. But for now on, let’s focus on this particular blog, which mainly is a quotation from Myatt’s essay, “Honour, Empathy and the Question of Suffering.”
We should treat animals as we ourselves, as individual beings, would like to be treated. Would we wish to be subject to pain? To suffer? Would we wish to be captured, and held in captivity, and experimented on, and breed for food and for slaughter? No, of course not.
Now, who wasn’t moved, at least once, by all those tear-some Yahoo stories about faithful dogs and fluffy kittens abandoned and tortured, and murdered by all those cruel and heartless humans? Who didn’t shed a tear at the sight of Facebook campaigns to raise money to rescue a poor sick dog or adopt a lonely cat? Perhaps, we aren’t that bad since we feel for the poor suffering animals?
Now, what about bedbugs and cockroaches? Can we empathize with them? It’s not bedbugs’ fault that they bite our asses at night. Why are cockroaches to blame that they look so disgusting to our eyes? Why do we mercilessly fight with them? Why do we swap mosquitoes and flies? So what is the thing with our human empathy?
The nature lovers love the animals, sure, but only those which are… cute. Like the ones you see on Facebook photos. When it comes to the rest, which is less visually pleasant or is in some way bothersome, it’s the dog eat dog world.
Then Myatt goes on:
Thus, we need to feel and know – to accept – how we are but one small manifestation of Life, connected to all life in the Cosmos. What we do, or do not do, has consequences for ourselves and for other Life. To have empathy – to be empathic – is to be an evolved and evolving human being: it is to be and behave as an adult, a rational human being rather than as the children we have been for so many thousands of years with our tantrums, our squabbles, our pride, our need to fulfil our own desires regardless of the suffering we might or do cause to others, to animals, to Life.
Does anyone remember Michael Jackson’s famous “Earth Song”?
All the blood we’ve shed before
Did you ever stop to notice
This crying Earth, these weeping shores
Look what we’ve done
What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son
All right. I’d better stop at this lest I get sick. But seriously, what about all those animals killing their young or mates? What about predators and parasites? What about the merciless nature regularly waging the war with humans through natural disasters? The eco-sinister nature-lovers would surely repeat after the Green Religion gurus that the animals don’t have reason like humans and that floods and tornadoes are the result of the global warming. That we should invest more money in solar or wind energy, become vegans or, like Darryl writes, close down the zoos. It doesn’t matter that an animal has a higher chance of survival in captivity than in the wild and that the veterinary care and captive breeding helped to save many animals and occasionally entire species forsaken by oh so cute Mommy Nature. But hey, there is not such a thing as natural selection, let’s sweep that dirt under the rug.