Luis Cuende


Ashamed to be a human

Today, while driving, I saw something that looked like a hedgehog in the road.

Naturally, I pulled over. It was a small road, so it wasn’t dangerous to pull over. If it was a hedgehog, I wanted to help him/her move off the road.

As I came close to it, I noticed it was indeed a big and beautiful hedgehog… but it was dead.

I moved it to the grass and waited for a bit, in case it was just shocked. But no, it was dead.

That little creature, with its own feelings and probably its own family, died because a combination of reckless design decisions (roads as we know them today) and reckless attitude (drivers not seeing where they drive/not caring to run over animals).

And sure, hedgehogs probably don’t have feelings as complex as human feelings. But they have feelings nevertheless. They have families. They are mammals. We are so similar to them. They have two eyes, a nose, a mouth, four paws, and mostly similar organs to the ones we have. They are such a close species for humans to relate.

And yet, we don’t give a fuck. We just don’t. In everything we do as an species, we don’t keep in mind our role in safeguarding nature. If we are so privileged, if we are so smart, if we are so humane — a word used to describe deep morality and emotions like compassion or empathy — then why do we kill beings like this without even caring?

If we praise that our moral superiority and capacity to have more complex feelings is what sets us apart from other animals… but then show zero care, compassion or empathy towards them, how hypocrite are we? How of a miserable bunch of hypocrites are we?

If we are so smart, cannot we build roads and infrastructure that doesn’t pose a life threat for animals? Is it really that difficult? For sure it’s an added investment, but I imagine it to be orders of magnitude cheaper than the military expenditure or corruption that governments undergo constantly.

What we are doing as a society by destroying nature is disarming the whole argument about humans being superior because of our morality and intelligence. We either care, or if we don’t, then we aren’t better than any other animal species. In fact, we might be worse off than then from a moral standpoint. After all, that poor hedgehog didn’t kill thousands of other species, burn entire forests or start genocides. We did.