“People Need Nature. Nature Does Not Need People.” What has this to do with cats? Everything, actually. It is a phrase that is becoming more and more relevant as international nature conservation becomes ever more pressing.
The idea behind the statement in the title is that we rely on the planet to survive but the planet would survive far more easily without us. The phrase was used by Harrison Ford, the actor, this morning, on BBC Four Radio.
Humankind sees itself as above nature. We believe we can improve nature. This leads us to use and abuse nature, which in turn, leads to jeopardizing our survival.
If our actions jeopardize our survival, we cannot consider ourselves to be superior to nature. We need to take stock, reconnect with nature, become part of it and then we will be able to integrate with nature. We’ll become part of what the planet is. That is the way it must be.
At the moment we believe that we are the most intelligent animal on the planet but we are clearly not intelligent enough to manage that intelligence to good effect or in a sensible way or recognise the intelligence of our fellow creatures.
How does this relate to cats? It relates to cats in every way possible. The wild cats are part of nature. They live in habitats created by nature. We are destroying these places for commercial gain. Domestic cats are 99% wild cats. They need nature to feel normal and they need us.
Commerce and economic growth is not the panacea for all our ills. It can take us so far. At present it does not work. It feeds our greed and ultimately greed destroys nature. It doesn’t even work if you take nature out of the equation.
We must learn to respect nature and the cats, wild and domestic. We need to think differently to the politician’s mantra that we need economic growth. This is shortsighted and myopic. It is built on competition, which should be converted to harmonious, world wealth creation; working together rather than against each other.
We need a completely different way of living. It will happen. The change will be painful. Our cats will feel the pain with us because their world is our world.