“When we’ve created a life which is so incredibly self-serving that we are actually killing other species just by living comfortably, it might be time to take a good hard look any how selfish our comforts have become.”
I am going to be honest. Living consciously can be inconvenient and awkward.
And I am here to tell you why you should embrace it.
Our convenient lifestyles are the cause of numerous global problems. But is it really our fault? Since we were born we have been taught not to question the system. We have been taught to live a simple life, to avoid causing a hassle and to take the easiest route. You could even claim this way of living is engrained in us through evolution, as often taking the well trodden path is safer, so we can’t be blamed for our actions.
Or can we?
Once you open your eyes to what is happening to our planet and the species we share it with, you soon come to realise that we, humanity, are causing a lot of issues. And it’s not just our existence that its contributing to this, it is the convenience of our existence; our comfortable lifestyles.
Everything is so easy now. You can pop to the shop and buy almost anything. Meat, fish, exotic fruit from the other side of the world. We don’t have to hunt animals or grow crops, its all done for us. Food is packaged up in layers of plastic and you can buy disposable versions of almost anything. We can throw away food we don’t want or items we are tired of, without thinking about where they end up. Everything is cheap and easy, but we want it even cheaper and even easier.
The problem is that we don’t question these lifestyle choices or their implications.
In reality, they’re having a huge negative impact on our planet. Our over consumption of plastic, animal products and fossil fuels and our extensive use of herbicides and pesticides are causing problems. Big ones. We are destroying ecosystems, wiping out whole species, filling the ocean with plastic and drastically warming the planet – to name just a few.
Our exploitation of our planet, the resources it provides and the animals who live here is much more extreme than you might expect. We are approaching a mass extinction. We have completely wiped out numerous species and many more have lost over 90% of their population in the last 40 years alone. We have created over 400 coastal dead-zones where no underwater life can survive, totalling to an area larger than the size of New Zealand. We killed off 1/3 of the Great Barrier Reef, the largest living organism in the world, in the year 2015 alone.
Really sit back and think about that.
These species and organisms which have taken billions of years to evolve, we are destroying them in a matter of decades.
Personally I don’t want to be somebody who simple takes from the planet, consuming and destroying, without ever giving back. As humans I feel we have a responsibility to be conscious of our actions and their implications on our home. Earth gives us an opportunity to live, surely we should pay some rent for such a privilege?
If none of the above has pulled on your heart strings yet, maybe this will. You might not care about animals and wildlife, but I bet you care about humanity. You probably want to have kids and would like them to enjoy the wonders of Earth. If we don’t do something now, something huge, our children will be the generation who suffer for our actions. By the time our grand children are born it is expected than the oceans will be completely dead, the rainforests completely destroyed, and millions more wildlife species will be extinct. Global temperatures will be soaring, the ice caps will have melted and extreme weather conditions will be common. Life will not be pleasant.
So what can we do?
Firstly we need to open our eyes to what is going on around us (please use the resources list at the end of this article!). Then we need to start making small changes to our lifestyles to support the planet, support the animals and support humanity. These don’t need to be huge, but they need to happen. If every single person on earth made a small change, it would make a huge difference.
Living consciously isn’t cool, yet, but I challenge you to give it a go. Be a trail blazer. Lead the way. Inspire others with your actions. Be a good human and leave a legacy for future generations. You will experience fulfilment like never before.
In short, we need to take responsibility for our actions. We need to embrace inconvenience.