Some would argue that man and animal alike have the same impact on the earth; that man has caused no more destruction to the earth than animal.
How many lions do you know kill to put an animal as a trophy on their wall, how many monkeys do you know will strip out entire forests for their desire to use paper; how many elephants take so much more than they need from the earth that they have to start digging landfills and throwing out all of their unused and wasted products, how many ants do you know pour poisons into the air, how many giraffes have created atomic weapons?
I think the difference that most species do what they can do to survive; there is a balance there, they take what they need from the earth, they give back to the earth (take for example the bird that eats the grape and the flies over and defecates the grape seed on some other portion of the ground), or the lion that kills when it is hungry, and the jackals and vultures that clean up the scraps.
Humans strip and mine and rape the earth of all its natural beauties; I am a human, I am guilty. It’s a harsh view of some of the impacts of our existence, I don’t think it was always intended to be this way, I don’t think it will always be this way, but I think it’s the present reality.
I just read Ernest Hemmingway’s The Old Man and the Sea yesterday. Like the other Hemmingway books I’ve read, I loved his ability to disclose topics that are so close to the center of human existence. His main character has such a strong symbiotic relationship to the sea, to the wildlife, the nature, he kills because he has to, to survive, he does it reluctantly, he does it humbly.
I think there are some people that still live in the harmony of existence, like Santiago, like indigenous tribes that haven’t been ‘civilized’; but I think as a whole, humanity is destroying the natural balance of the earth.