I just re-read The Land Ethic by Aldo Leopold to prepare for the test, and couldn’t help but begin to feel ashamed for my lack of ecological ethics. Like many others in today’s society, I take the food I eat, the clothes I wear, and the water I use for granted. My disconnect from nature is far greater than it should be, and this article reminded me that everything comes from something else. I rely on the environment to stay healthy and provide me with what I expect, yet I don’t really do much to help ensure that environment health.
As Leopold explains, we are apart of the environment. We are included in the food chain, rather than in control of it. We have a responsibility to show respect to the other parts of that chain by keeping them healthy. It’s essential for our own survival.
My question, though, is that if we are apart of this massive biological/environmental system, why is it our (the human’s) sole responsibility to keep it healthy and functioning? Do other creatures within the system not have the same responsibilities?
I realize that humans are stomping the largest carbon footprint of any other part of the chain, but I wonder if birds that migrate too far south one year can be just as environmentally-altering as a human that plants a foreign fruit.