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3/18/2012

It's Evolution, Baby

Every pet owner knows the drill: you get yourself a new dog, cat, or any larger domestic animal, and not only do you delouse, deworm and vaccinate them, you also have them castrated. This prevents them from procreating their own illegitimate children and furthermore turns them into even more pleasant companions. For though troubles like certain red flags of fertility disappear, and welcome changes in behavior then occur, as soon as we have them fixed. Male cats have been proven to be less aggressive and exploratory, and also less generous in the matter of urine distribution.

Just think about what would happen to your average human male if some extreme feminists had their way...No more urinating on the toilet seat, but also: say goodbye to space travel!

Celebrity amongst endangered species: polar bear Knut († 2011)




















Anyways, the strange irony of castration is, that while for one, we choose our domestic companions for certain reasons, maybe because we notice possible aesthetic or behavioral advantages in some, that others in the litter lack, on the other hand, by castrating them, we exclude them from passing their agreeable DNA to a next generation of similarly adorable, docile felines or canines. We prohibit them from the laws of natural selection by superimposing a human selection.


It is quite natural that humans take over the reigns of selection for other species - it's what the dominant species always does. Breeding and factory farming are the variables for the survival of pigs, chickens and cows - certainly not for the individual but the species as a whole. But we finetune the conditions and make sure their survival benefits us most of all.


Even wanting to save certain endangered species from extinction while letting others die without further notice (because they are not as eye-pleasing as a panda bear or as majestic or popular as the white whale; thank you for that, Herman Melville) has a random edge to it and a perverted sense of morals. We caused their endangerment. Why do we pity only a few of those specimens? What about the Micro Frog Or the Mexican Walking Fish? They always seem to slip our minds when talking about endangered species. Are they not worth saving? Granted, they never were amongst the dominant species, or at any point a danger to us, but does that make a difference? Do we have to have respect for them to deem them worthy?

Highly endangered Mexican walking fish, a bizarre freak of nature


Whales used to be a dominant species, with about 50 million years of existence, and an estimated 30 millions of those years being the kings of the ocean, providing a long and unchallenged reign of terror, until we came along and made their living space accessible.

We relentlessly drove them towards extinction as we do with all other species, destroying their habitat as we breathe, eat, but most importantly live. That is all it takes, us, living. As long as we are here, there will be a fierce competition over territory. For now, we have the upper hand. It seems to ease our conscience immensely, to "save some whales" or put Knut in a picture frame above the fireplace. He was cute!

Critically endangered Micro Frog is driven out of his natural habitat

It's not anbody's fault, we didn't make the rules. Unfortunately in nature, there is no "happy co-existing".
It just doesn't work like that.









Unlocking new areas could possibly even up the playing field a little and give others a chance to catch up.
We may lose the fight though, in a different environment, to species more adapt to their surrounding or ones more technically advanced.

But are we mentally prepared for the consequences? The new king of kings may very well be some kind of mutated virus, erasing us from the face of the earth without remorse or at least saving two of every kind beforehand. Because sadly, that's just how it works.