Covid-19 reminds us that humanity has been a blight on this planet

John Wight
4 min readOct 12, 2020

Humanity has reached a demonstrable tipping point and now has an urgent decision to make. Said decision comes down to a choice between continuing down the path of ecological and planetary ruin, or rapidly changing course in the direction of a sustainable future not just for the human species but for every species that inhabits a planet upon which history confirms humanity has been a blight.

Don’t believe me? Think that I’m guilty of vacuous hyperbole? Well, in that case hark, the sentiments of Yuval Noah Harari, author of the internationally bestselling work Sapiens:

If we combine the mass extinctions in Australia and America, and add the smaller-scale extinctions that took place as Homo Sapiens spread over Afro-Asia — such as the extinction of all other human species — and the extinctions that occurred when ancient foragers settled remote islands such as Cuba, the inevitable conclusion is that the first wave of Sapiens colonisation was one of the biggest and swiftest ecological disasters to befall the animal kingdom.

This pandemic has arrived as a timely reminder that humanity has not been divinely chosen to own this planet or control it, despite exerting a tyrannical rule over it. And when I say ‘tyrannical’ I really do mean tyrannical, because the cruelty and barbarity of our treatment of other species deemed to exist entirely for our benefit and at our whim is beyond measure. On any given day tens of millions of animals are slaughtered in the most cruel fashion, while millions more are forced to live in horrific conditions of privation and misery, all for our dietary needs — though here may I suggest the correct word is wants rather than needs.

Ironic then that this deadly strain of coronavirus (Covid-19) originated in a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan, China, where both live and dead animals were sold and where live animals were butchered on site. The original host is thought to have been bats, which are a delicacy in this part of China…

John Wight

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