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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Microstory 902: Animals and Wildlife

The other day, I overheard people on the street talking about the weather, which is something I’ve grown accustomed to neurotypicals doing, like how it no longer freaks you out when your dog licks itself. They expressed denial to climate change, but were in the same breath questioning why the weather is so different now than it once was. I don’t know whether to be outraged by their audacity, or discouraged by their stupidity. It’s like they’re completely blind to reality, it’s baffling. The climate, the weather, the environment; it’s all connected. The real circle of life has more to do with water and air than it does zebras and baby lions. If you’re caught up on my Sunday series, The Advancement of Leona Matic, or even if you’re a year behind, you may have noticed I describe the future of Earth a little differently than other stories set in the future. A lot of science fiction tries to extrapolate population growth, if only abstractly, determining that we will one day live in gargantuan cities, and barely have enough room to sit down. They’re not entirely wrong per se, but they are going the wrong direction. The correct answer is up. Improvements in materials science will allow us to construct extraordinarily tall megastructures. This will allow us to pack millions of people into a tiny sliver of land. We’ll build these all over the world as a way to prevent ourselves from putting all our eggs in one basket, which is the same reason we’ll start living on Luna, Mars, and nearby exoplanets. We won’t be living in megacities, like one might find in a Judge Dredd comic book, because that would be a waste of space. But what does it matter, you ask. If we have the room, why would we not use it? Well, because we don’t have the room. Humans have only been settling for the last few thousand years. Before this, we were nomadic, and before that, we didn’t even exist. Sorry, Christians, the story of Adam and Eve is just a straight up fabrication. What does this all mean? It means that this world belongs to the plants and animals. So in the future, when technology progresses enough, we need to give it back. But don’t wait until the 22nd century; not even if you think you won’t be alive then—which you may be, believe it or not (but we’ll get to that later). Wildlife needs your help now. Recycle, invest in clean energy as possible, and try a more vegetarian diet. I still eat some meat, because I can’t afford alternative sources of protein, but I recently realized just because I’m not a herbivore, doesn’t mean I have to be a carnivore. In a hundred years, when food synthesis has long been possible, people will look back and note how absurd it is that we once killed animals for food. But we’ll get to that later too. Either way, why not start now? Yes, I’m aware of how preachy I’m being, and no, you working towards vegetarianism is not presently as important to me as, say, voting Russia out of this country. I’m just saying that this world doesn’t really belong to us, and it never did.

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