I am posting this moving sermon on behalf of Hey Ya'll the Parrot.
Sister and Brother Sentient Life-Forms,
On behalf of animals everywhere I would like to say a heart-felt thank you to the representatives of PETA who care so much about Earth-friends, the WWCA who are good and caring devotees to the earth spirit, and the kind people of Spirit of Vatican 2 Faith Community. Also, a special thank you to H. Robert Williams who have helped me prepare for this speech. SQUAWK. Get a job hippies! Hey Ya’ll don’t say that. SQUAWK.
Today I would like to talk to you about evolution and free will, two important concepts. The first of these binds us together in terms of our bodies. We are all part of a community of creatures, a continuum, or a series. You and I are related through our genetic make-up. We are 99% the same where it counts. We all have the same ancestral parent, small and insignificant as it may have been. We all owe a great deal of gratitude to that little microbe who first managed to pull its protoplasm together, summoned its little strength and wrote its own story with an alphabet of just four letters A, G, T, and C.
Oh Teillhard de Chardin was on to something certainly when he imagined this great ladder of life, impelled ever upward to reach towards the Omega Point. But did he not also overstretch? We non-human animals do not think the internal impetus makes us superior to the dirt and rocks we walk upon or dig through, the water we swim in, the air we fly in, the Oxygen or Carbon Dioxide we breathe. We are all existence qua existence.
But for you humans, the idea of the value of the tenacity of life remains a strange obsession. You wish to "personify" nature and anthropomorphizing the Earth. You Wiccans, who among you do not call nature mother? Who does not in your mind imagine the Earth as a womb to birth you. Why? Do you not realize that not every being has a mother? Such imagery is nonsensical. Look upon the earth as the earth and the sky as the sky! SQUACK! Hey Ya'll wants a cookie! SQUAWK!
But let me not digress.
You value only the things most like you. You value mammals over birds, birds over reptiles, reptiles over fish, fish over crustaceans, and so forth. That is why despite a greater feeling of inspired kinship, evolution remains a two-edged sword. Darwin’s idea of “natural selection” and “survival of the fittest” has led some to believe that humans are on top of the evolutionary pyramid. SQUAWK! Tree huggers! SQUAWK! Hey Ya’ll Shut up! SQUAWK!
Do you feel superior due to your complexity or sophistication? Why not take your cue from the humble Pinot Noir grape. The grape is not proud. It is not boastful. Yet its complexity is greater than yours. It has 30,000 genes compared to your 25,000 genes. You consider yourselves enlightened, yet consider how the grapes genome may have led it towards a deeper consciousness of the essential unity that your own. What profound thoughts lie hidden under its lustrous tranquility? Can you honestly say that you have plumbed a grape’s soul?
But why take as your criterion complexity? Why not rather say it is because of your species sustainability? If such the shark has you beaten by 420 million years.
Why not then your civilization? Fools, the ants and bees and other social insects have been building ecologically benign utopias of the workers for more than 40 million years! SQUAWK! Cut your hair! Cut your hair! SQUAWK! In intellect and language your cousins the dolphin and the whale are your equals or betters. Look how loving and caring they are to each other.
No, by comparison to the rest of the animals, the human is a rather dull and uninteresting thing. In only one thing you excel: in your ability to do violence to the rest of the ecosystem. As such you are worse than the lowest disease being only interested in your own well-being and survival, feeding of the common resources we all share. And so the question really is not what rights do animals have, but what rights have humans not surrendered in light of the ecological abuses they have done?
Well, it looks like I am out of time. SQUAWK. Free will is an illusion!