Without a doubt, our species, Homo sapiens, has made some staggering achievements over the ages. No other animal has ever harnessed fire, split the atom, invented a religion or come up with a way to leave Earth’s atmosphere, travel through the void of space and land on the lifeless dust ball we call the moon.
Meanwhile, none of our bestial kin can be credited with singlehandedly changing the planet’s climate or causing a mass extinction.
And it can all be traced back to that fateful day when the first pre-human took to hunting, killing and eating other animals.
At that point in our distant past, early human ancestors, running around unclothed, with no more worldly possessions to their name aside from maybe a bone or sharp rock, wouldn’t have been considered by anyone to be anything except bipedal primate mammals. But modern hominids, (often sporting bling, ear-buds, tattoos and clean-shaven heads), are seen as vastly superior specimens in many ways to our ancient ancestor. And yet, as full-fledged human beings, we’re killing the planet. Worse still, we know it.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There was a time, long before humans devised clever hunting tactics like digging trapping pits for mammoths or driving herds of terrified horses off cliffs, when we shared the land with a branch of now-extinct hominids who lived a peaceful existence of plant eating, as the entire primate line always had. These gentle giants lived hand to mouth on seeds, nuts, fruit, roots, leaves, grasses and sedge, while the branch of hominids in our direct lineage began to acquire a taste for rotting flesh.
As the carnivorous line of hominid’s hunting skills “improved” they grew weary of carrion and began to prey on larger and larger “game,” eventually wiping out enough of our fellow animal species to set in motion a mass extinction spasm that could soon lead to their own undoing.
There are seven billion humans on the planet today, most of whom consume mass quantities of animal products. Meat production is the greatest contributor to global warming, while hunting and fishing continues to reduce the Earth’s biodiversity.
It’s not too late to step back and say whoa to the madness of meat-eating. Millions of people worldwide are living proof that modern humans can live healthier and more sustainable lives on a plant-based diet like our earliest of primate ancestors enjoyed. Perhaps by collectively going vegan, the human species might still stand a chance of averting their own extinction.