Yesterday’s post (To Serve A Glorious Master: The Conservation of Human Arrogance) included a thought exercise subtitled An Interview with A Renewable Natural Resource.
Since the animals currently regarded as “renewable natural resources” are, in fact, individuals, it seems reasonable to conclude that not every individual would have exactly the same point of view, or wish to express that point of view in the same way as other individuals. With that in mind, here is another expression of opinion from the other side of the wall that has been built (and heavily fortified) between us and the non-humans we treat as our property. The tone of this individual is quite different, and he even watches his mouth….
Oh, glorious master! What a great gift you have given me!
I will be, for all eternity, where I have always longed to be, and where I always thought I deserved to be: under your feet. There can be no more fitting destiny for a creature such as myself. For although I possessed many abilities that far exceeded yours – vastly greater strength, immensely superior smell, extraordinary healing abilities, spectacular spatial reasoning and memory, miraculous hibernation ability, wilderness survival skills par excellence, an innate social reciprocity that seems to have eluded your race – I am but a bear, a big raccoon, a stomach on legs. Compared to you, o magnificent one, I am a mere lump of protein. Had I not been useful to you, I would have been a waste of the planet’s oxygen.
Your taking of my life proves your superiority to me. I would never have been clever enough to lure my prey with Krispy Kreme donuts. I could never have devised the methods of production and distribution that brought these sweet confections into the world, and I would never have thought to use them as bait. Nor could I have manufactured the lethal tools with which you ended my life. Of course, even though I required a far greater caloric intake than you, I rarely killed other animals for food – I ate mostly plants and insects, and in so doing I had a positive effect on the land. But that is no excuse. I am a pathetic hunter compared to you, and it is right that you should wipe the floor with me. You are an apex predator, standing at the summit of the earth, and I want you to enjoy your time at the top before the industrial systems you have perfected destroy the biosphere over which you preside.
Allow the fibers of my coat to caress you in a way that I could never do in life. Since your pleasure is the ultimate aim of the universe, an opportunity to enhance it – even if only by the smallest unit of measure – grants me, in death, a joy that cancels out all the agony I experienced when you took my life. As the blood flowed from my wounds, and I felt myself slipping over a cliff from which there would be no return, I hoped – I yearned – to be of service to you. What else would I think, what else would I feel? In such a moment, there can be no thoughts of self – of family, of friends, of sweet places, of futures unlived. No, master, I thought only of you.
Now that some of the atoms that formed my tissues have been incorporated into your wondrous body, I have ascended to the roof of the world, a place I could never have reached on my own. Here, I will share in your adventures and achievements. But I hope I do not contaminate you in any way, with the energy my cells brought from the forest. I hope that my old ways – honed by my race over countless thousands of years on this continent – do nothing to dim the brilliance of your recent innovations. If some faint voice inside you tells you to restrain your fellow men from cutting down the trees that once housed my kind, please forgive this intrusion. You have ignored such impulses before, thereby reaping great benefits for your kind, and surely this pleases the Creator who made my race long before he made yours. We were not good enough, so He made you.
And please know, o master, that the only feelings my fellow animals had about me were fears that I would not be able to fulfill my destiny to make you happy. When they heard my screams, they knew that I would finally be able to please you, and this, in turn, made them happy – in the primitive, limited way of which they are capable. I know they are hoping you will return one day, possibly to grant them the same extraordinary privilege you have granted me. What other purpose – what other reason to live – could they possible have?
Thank you, master, for allowing me to serve. Thank you, thank you, thank you!