I enjoy wildlife, and I can’t imagine what life would be like without it.
But I value human life as being infinitely more precious. Without human life, there would be no one appreciating wildlife and taking steps to protect it. A circular argument, perhaps, but do you think there is a fox that wonders whether the rabbit it is about to pounce upon is the last of its species? Of course not. A polar bear would devour the last life in existence without a thought.
“The dawn wind in the High Sierra is not just a passage of cool air through forest conifers, but within the labyrinth of human consciousness becomes a stirring of some world-magic of most delicate persuasion.”
– Ansel Adams (The Meaning of the National Parks, 1950)
It is human consciousness that endows all life with the “stirring of some world-magic of most delicate persuasion.” Without our God-given consciousness, this world-magic would be meaningless. In the absence of human life, who cares? No one.
So I have difficulty relating to those who bemoan “an era when human population and cities are burgeoning” and wish there were fewer people. Which people do they mean?
If you ask which humans they would see done away with, it’s probably not them, their immediate company, or any specific person that they find objectionable, it’s just a hand-waved “them.” Those countless, meaningless others that reproduce — just too many for the earth to bear. It’s fine for them to welcome their new child into the world, or celebrate a grandchild; it’s just all those other people that are the problem.
This is relativist at best and nihilist at worst. The next step is eugenics, to get rid of those unneeded or unwanted humans who clutter up the world. Their unspoken thought is that the world would be better off without all “those people,” as long as they and their loved ones aren’t included.
So should you ever wind up in this sort of line, with that sort of person, and wonder who is next, it’s an unsettling thought to think that you would probably hear:
“Oh, him? Well, I really don’t know him that well…”