Human Supremacy: First, Humans Control. Then, Humans Hate.

My article that I wrote for Prairie Protection Colorado about the connection between rodenticides and mange was published this morning by the Deep Green Resistance News Service. While I’m up here trying to stop a lithium mine from destroying beautiful old-growth sagebrush habitat in Thacker Pass, NV, this article reminds me of how much of the world we have already lost and how much more we will lose if the dominant, industrial culture is not dismantled quickly.

It can be overwhelming to face the enormity of the problem. But, we must face the problem.

One way to begin to face the problem is to recognize ideologies at the root of the ecological crisis we are living through. The proposed destruction of Thacker Pass and the rampant use of rodenticides that are spreading through food chains around the world share a common root ideology: Human Supremacy.

Sometime, in the history of civilization, some humans developed a strange and horribly destructive belief that they were justified in controlling and killing other-than-humans and other-than-human communities to serve human interests. This belief grew to be so widely-accepted that most people think you’re crazy for questioning it. Now, rodents and those who eat rodents are murdered en masse because rodents damage agricultural crops and can transmit disease to humans. And, whole mountain passes are destroyed because humans want lithium so they can drive across the land in metal boxes at extremely fast speeds.

Many scholars argue that racism did not precede racially-based slavery. Racism, they argue, was in fact, created by racially-based slavery. Racism, then, followed slavery. One lesson from this is: First, humans control. Then, human hate.

I suspect that human supremacy did not precede the domestication of plants and animals or the development of cities. Human supremacy, most likely, followed agriculture and urbanization. Generations upon generations of humans were born into a world where forests, wetlands, and grasslands were cleared to plant food for humans. Animals were controlled to provide labor and more food for humans. And, natural communities were ripped up, rivers dammed, and traditional humans enslaved for the growth of cities. This domination of the natural world became “natural” for humans born into agricultural and urban cultures.

Then, the technologies created by human supremacists reinforced the separation and supremacy of humans. “We must be better than everyone else,” human supremacists say, “we can control the land to feed ourselves, we can control rivers to water ourselves, we can even manipulate atoms to create bombs to kill everyone!”

If we’re going to stop ongoing ecocide against rodents, those who eat them, and places like Thacker Pass, we must overcome human supremacy. If we’re going to overcome human supremacy, and human supremacy was created by agriculture, urbanization, and industrial technology, then we must make agriculture, urbanization, and industrial technologies impossible.