Consider for a moment how we as humans, in nearly every aspect of our daily lives, are an extremely needy species. We constantly take from our environment by domesticating wild animals, cutting up to 6 million trees, and discarding about 27 million tons of fish every year- we are obviously quite wasteful. Enter biocentrism; an ancient but ever-relevant ethical point of view that respects the cyclical nature of our ecosystem, and acknowledges value in all living things.
Though biocentrism has been cited as a way of life in many ancient indigenous civilizations, such as the Aleut people of the Bering Sea, it was the modern philosophers and writers, Schweitzer, Singer and Taylor that introduced biocentrism into present-day ideology.
A separate and opposite ethical viewpoint, anthropocentrism, extends the belief that humans are superior beings and that our world revolves around our existence. Considering how much we take from the environment, and how we struggle to give back to it (or treat it right to begin with), I think it is safe to say the majority of us live our lives through an anthropocentric lens.
We talk a lot about how we need to start changing our ways and taking care of the environment and our planet, and that’s all good and well- but perhaps the problem is less about fixing the problems and more about thinking about those problems in a different way.
If we start looking at ourselves as part of the planet, rather than the rulers of the planet, maybe we’ll start being a little more conscious and a little less destructive.
Respond with your thoughts!
If you want to know more about the Aleut Tribe and they’re way of life follow this link: http://www.nativeperspectives.net/Transcripts/Larry_Merculieff_interview.pdf