The wisdom of Prof Carl Safina

These are found from some of his many books:

“People in Japan and the Faeroe Islands kill dolphins and pilot whales by running steel rods into their spinal columns while they squeal in pain and terror and thrash in agony. (In Japan, it’s illegal to kill cows and pigs as painfully and inhumanely as they kill dolphins.) The lack of compassion for dolphins and whales indicates that humans’ “theory of mind” is incomplete. We have an empathy shortfall, a compassion deficit. And human-on-human violence, abuse, and ethnic and religious genocide are all too pervasive in our world. No elephant will ever pilot a jetliner. And no elephant will ever pilot a jetliner into the World Trade Center. We have the capacity for wider compassion, but we don’t fully live up to ourselves. Why do human egos seem so threatened by the thought that other animals think and feel? Is it because acknowledging the mind of another makes it harder to abuse them? We seem so unfinished and so defensive. Maybe incompleteness is one of the things that “makes us human.”
― Carl Safina, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel

“People have been on earth in our present form for only about 100,000 years, and in so many ways we’re still ironing out our kinks. These turtles we’ve been traveling with, they outrank us in longevity, having earned three more zeros than we. They’ve got one hundred million years of success on their resume, and they’ve learned something about how to survive in the world. And this, I think, is part of it: they have settled upon peaceful career paths, with a stable rhythm. If humans could survive another one hundred million years, I expect we would no longer find ourselves riding bulls. It’s not so much that I think animals have rights; it’s more that I believe humans have hearts and minds- though I’ve yet to see consistent, convincing proof of either. Turtles may seem to lack sense, but they don’t do senseless things. They’re not terribly energetic, yet they do not waste energy… turtles cannot consider what might happen yet nothing turtles do threatens anyone’s future. Turtles don’t think about the next generation, but they risk and provide all they can to ensure that there will be one. Meanwhile, we profess to love our own offspring above all else, yet above all else it is they from whom we daily steal. We cannot learn to be more like turtles, but from turtles we could learn to be more human. That is the wisdom carried within one hundred million years of survival. What turtles could learn from us, I can’t quite imagine.”
― Carl Safina, Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the Earth’s Last Dinosaur

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