About 5 years ago, I had the delight of hiking The Otter Trail, 5 days through the remotest parts of South Africa’s coastal region. I chose to walk alone, as I needed the solitude, just communing with nature, and talking with God.
About day 3, I started to get a very strong message, that I have never forgotten – “Do not take your hegemony for granted”. Like The Lorax, I have wondered and puzzled about that ever since. I think what it means is that humans take their hegemony for granted, and believe that:
- Human life is worth more than any other kind of life (because we decided it so)
- Humans have the right to use as much land as they choose – if we run out, we’ll just keep expanding our cities as is deemed necessary by the planning authorities – ‘Nature’ has no rights, and therefore no rights to object. Whatever we dain to preserve is good enough.
There is nothing new in that, but the point of this missive is the sheer arrogance and sense of entitlement we have. Why is that so?