I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.
-Agent Smith from The Matrix
If we look at mankind (and planet earth) from a 3rd person perspective, I’d have to agree with our parasitic relationship with Earth. The insight here is that mammals can be parasitic too.
I think the important parts to focus on are:
- You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area.
- There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus.
This is true. Historically, man has always moved to greener pastures when resources were limited. There was very little focus on the impact of resource extinction and replenishment of said resources.
Also, until recent advancement in medicine, the only way to ensure human survival was to reproduce more children. So we multiplied unrestricted. We also ended up using a lot more resources of the host organism (Earth).
Parasites do the same thing. They feast on the host organism until there’s nothing left. The reproduce quickly and feast more and more. That is the definition of parasitism.
Arguably, other mammals on our planet do the same. What they don’t do, however, is multiply as fast as us. They have a more symbiotic relationship with their environment.
We are also different from other parasites. We also use more (and varied) resources than any other species.
Let’s say some alien species decide to observe our planet from a distance. There is no doubt that we would look like gigantic parasites who consume X amount of resources faster than any other species on this planet. It’s not just the rate but also the rate per unit volume per resource.
What is really strange about humans is that we arguably understand our relationship with our host (planet Earth) more than other mammals or parasites. We don’t rely just on our instinct. We observe, analyze, aggregate, share, store and react to circumstances with great speed. No other mammal or parasite does this (on such a large scale).
So, we are more parasitic than other mammals. But we are also different from other parasites. Can I lay claim to the term “Superparasites”?
All is not bad and spooky, however. We are trying to conserve the planet. Let’s keep up the effort and be symbiotic parasites.