Region: Forest


The Cicada Celebration of Ruinenlust

The Cypher Nine wrote:You donít care what happens to rocks right?

What kind of schist is this?!
That's not a very gneiss thing to say. :-D

Your views on rocks should metamorph into something better, otherwise things might get a little igneous.
*that one was not quite the five star word play as seen further up, sorry*

But you're right, on a basic level. When I garden, the soil and rocks are moved and worked without too much thought, the weeds are pulled up, but the chosen plants are carefully grown, tended to, fertilized, watered, etc. And when the bees and butterflies come, it's awesome. But when I see squirrels, they're sort of "higher up" (in the branches), and when I talk to them, they look at me and their eyes say, "don't you have a peanut or something?" But they are again not as sharp as the crows, which I wish were not afraid of me, and are very intelligent. And then a pet cat or dog would be like a human baby in all but biology. And people, of course, are the most aware and have the highest capacity for rational, nuanced suffering. Like, I can go to pieces because I didn't go to such-and-such a college, or pursue such-and-such a career, or because some self-perception is not what I would want, etc. etc.

Maybe the best way to say it something like this: when the deer in the woods see the deep snow for weeks, they suffer, because they are gradually getting weaker from lack of food, and would die en masse, were we to have a particularly cold and snowy winter. So that's one level. In another way, when I walk in the woods and see the snow, it makes me emotional, because I wonder when and if there will be another snowy winter, because we are ruining the planet, and the winters have lost a lot of their punch already. But the deer don't know that, or realize it, or anything. So while the suffering is real, they could also see me crying over the snow in a way that they don't and will never understand, even as they try to make it to spring by nibbling bits of bark off trees.

And if the poor bees didn't have my flowers in the late fall that I bring inside and take outside every day, they would also suffer from lack of nectar, but they don't grow uneasy or suffer from a kind of existential dread that there are still flowers in November, which is ridiculously late in the season. They're just like, "yay, a nasturtium!" Whereas I'm like, "what the hell is going on?"

So I would say that suffering (and the positive feelings of joy, pleasure, etc.) is experienced by the individual organism in question in the manner and style of their own capacity and understanding for such things. This is not to discount the sufferings of a wild animal, or the struggles of plants, but there are differences. And from their perspective, they might say that we were worked up over silly things or inscrutable nuances, if we could talk to them. And like a small child doesn't know why a parent cries when they catch it happening, neither could the deer understand the larger misery of a snowless winter or the bees of ever-later growing seasons.