Rewilding Is A Necessity


Rewilding the planet Is A Necessity… for many reasons. The most important of these reasons cannot be seen by those indulging too much in our “normal life”… and that’s why said life, which is not really a life in full, as creation understood it, is abnormal, thus weak, impotent, and potentially destitute, as our state of mediocrity has revealed humanity incapable of dealing with the tsunami of messes it is creating for itself and the entire biosphere.

Part of the planet are been rewilded. US President Nixon signed in 1972 the Marine Mammal Protection Act… The result has been the reappearance of seals around US coasts. Around Ano Nuevo, a constant white shark patrol forces Northern Elephant seals to run the gauntlet. The waters are totally unswimmable… With hundreds of sharp, triangular teeth, and the ability to swim at 35 mph (56 km/h), great whites are frightening hunters. They can grow up more than 20 feet long (6 meters) and weigh more than 4,000 pounds. And those two tons of black and white muscle can become completely airborne, chasing a seal. Off the San Francisco Bay Area, in the Monterey-Farallon-Bodega “red triangle”, 300 giant sharks roam

So yes, there is a problem swimming off Cape Cod… Half a million seals are bringing more and more white sharks… People are getting killed, millions are terrorized… Read the New York Times very long piece, blaring in red capital letters:

FEAR ON CAPE COD AS SHARKS HUNT AGAIN

I would of course hate to be eaten by a shark, and I have seen sharks in the water, while I was swimming in said water, a few meters away… I was not scared out of my wits, because that was in Africa, and I was fully… armed (mechanical harpoon and sea combat knife; the reason for that impressive armament which some would declare unbecoming a philosopher is that I was spear fishing in a sea crammed with predators; those who claim one should be like Buddha, contemplating one’s navel, not hurting a seal are like Buddha himself, a privileged prince with servants, who never had to swim shark infested waters; and what these unwise people do not know, is that Buddha did not know the natural state of the planet… Full of sharks, crocodiles, lions, and snakes…)

Once I was bouldering in Africa, on volcanic rock, above the Atlantic Ocean. The largest shark I have ever seen, even among the sharks I have seen on video passed below. Weirdly it was beige. Otherwise it looked pretty much the shape of a white shark (which usually look black from above). Yes, does not seem to make much sense, but I was a child, it was long ago, and, without being terrified out of my wits, all my wits were very concentrated on not falling in the water. The shark looked like 6 meters long, a bit more than a meter wide. Around that general period of my life, I saw lions from all too close, in the wild… But I remember those episodes as not as terrifying as the shark from above. You see, a lion, like a bear, is a thinker. One can, in a sense, negotiate, express respect… but also confidence. Not so with a Moray Eel, or a shark…

However the time I sort of nearly died as a child was from a Portuguese Man Of War, the famous (Physalia physalis)…. which “has been known to occasionally kill humans“… The tropical Atlantic version is gigantic, its rainbow sail (and floater) is a full foot long, its tentacles can be thirty meter longs… The sting of nature beckons. I was nearly killed by wasps in California… and was actually reattacked by a number recently… Half of my legs swelled…. Even two weeks later the two stings I experienced hurt… It was still another species… California has many species of wasps…

So many misadventures… And I want them for everybody? Well, then everybody would acquire a more measured sense of reality… Reality as it is

***

So what to do with the increasing White Sharks populations? White Sharks around Cape Town, a place with plenty of seals, prevented people to swim. A White Shark tourist industry blossomed… Then the shark population collapsed. No more sharks. What happened? Two giant male Orcas had appeared, and playfully started to kill sharks, eating only their livers… Male Killer Whales can weigh up to ten tons…

Four Orcas creating a bow wave in the hope of washing off the ice floe a delicious Crab Seal. Killer Whales are that intelligent@ They could obviously be trained to do something about shark… In exchange for various human services such as health care, etc…

This gives an idea of what to do. Killer Whales (who could, but don’t kill humans), could be taught to help with the sharks… More generally:

We need to reintroduce the apex predators, teach ourselves nature. I have encountered lions, bears, black or brown, pumas, wolves… All respect humanity, they’ve that sort of culture. It’s taught by the parents. Results are not guaranteed, though: once a bear charged me in Yosemite (I was carrying chicken; he had attacked and raided 15 backpackers earlier… they had less interesting cargo…) A scuffle happened… Let me put it this way: bears don’t like stones (they know stones, and respect masters of stones)… That bear was dangerous: he disfigured a grandmother three weeks later. The park service killed it.

What to do? Create  a new profession: megafauna handler synchronizing humans and megafauna. The alpha animals should be tagged, tracked, warned and instructed… Say by firing at them stunt grenades or salt, and the like when they come too close to humans (the national park service has started to do this in Yellowstone). Besides tracking sharks, and giving alerts, drones could be used to drop stunt grenades on them if they come too close to people…

Besides racism, there is no reason to restrict dangerous predators to some places in the Arctic, Africa and Asia. Old megafauna should be genetically reengineered (there are such projects with Mammoths and Aurochs) and reintroduced throughout the West, where people would get reacquainted with nature, savage beauty and transcendental wisdom… 

Human minds evolved in the wild, over millions of years. 

Some say, we have to forget that, it’s not appropriate.

But we should say the opposite. 

Our minds cannot explore all their own dimensions, created by evolution, when they are not confronted with all that nature can bring. 

So it is a metaphysical problem. In our usual physics, of constrained bourgeois, our minds are deployed only partially. To spread their wings fully, our minds need to think as nature does. Very rigorously, but with joie de vivre.

Patrice Ayme

This is the last photo of the Barbary Lion in the wild. It was a larger species than the present African lions. Lions were found throughout Africa, Asia and America. They were eliminated by human predation. Modern technology could institute a reasonable coexistence of humans and lions in giant parks…. By training the lions and tracking them. {The added psychedelics is a personal touch…]

P/S: I wrote a similar essay in 2013: REWILDING US… Out there in nature, to survive a human cannot be like a sheep. Rewilding us is then a rampart against dictatorship, and the plutocratic mindset…. The end of that essay alludes to the capitulation of Athens to the Macedonian tyrant Antipater, Aristotle’s closest mind…

Lions don’t accept to live on their knees. When abominable forces from the giant Persian theocratic plutocracy put the tiny Athenian democracy in desperate military situations, Athenians fought like lions. And democracy won.

Yet, 150 years later, when fascist, plutocratic, but apparently not as abominable, Macedonian forces put Athens in a difficult situation, Athenians surrendered. They did not fight like lions. Democracy would not come back to Athens for 23 centuries (and only thanks to the European Union).

We will not defeat plutocracy if we do not rewild ourselves. First. Let there be lions.

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