Our Present Dystopia

In Our Ancestors’ Dystopia Now: Indigenous Conservation and the Anthropocene by Kyle Whyte, the Anthropocene is defined as the time era in which humans have greatly influenced the world. It is argued that this period began in 1610 with global trade and colonialism. There are many different moral philosophies in regards to extinctions and conservations and how we as a generation move forward in the world as it was given to us. Similarly, some argue that we need fiction to preview what our future world may look like, and others believe resorting to ancient methods will help to solve the issues we face. A major idea in the paper is that we already live in what our predecessors would define as a dystopian future, which brings the question, would we feel the same about the future after we leave this world? I found the author’s perception of “campaign” very interesting because I believe a campaign is present in our country and the world today — although not necessarily related to the environment. The similarities I saw were belligerence, but the next steps, such as containment practices and dependency, are occurring now and soon. The steps of these campaigns is how those in power take control over a nation. I think about indigenous nations a lot and the crimes done against them, and another tragic fact of the situation is that we really cannot make up for what happened –  because the world is so different now, it’s not like the land that was taken from them can be returned as it was. We cannot undo what our ancestors did. What does that mean for us and our successors? 

Another idea in these sources was about choosing which animals to save from extinction and which not to save, which I’ve drawn a lot of connections with my ethics in animal agriculture class. So far in that class, we’ve learned about the many different philosophies in regards to how we should treat animals as productions animals, as well as companion animals. Some philosophers believed in the past animals have no feelings of pain or emotion, while others believe that we as people have a moral obligation to treat animals of equal or higher status. In terms of production, the scales of the welfare of some animals vs greater benefit of the population is weighed and many aspects are taken into consideration, similarly to the themes in this paper. 

[1] Whyte, Kyle. Our Ancestors’ Dystopia Now: Indigenous Conservation and the Anthropocene. Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities. <https://kylewhyte.marcom.cal.msu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2018/07/Our_Ancestors_Dystopia_Now_Indigenous_Co3.pdf>

[2] Croakey, director. Talking #JustClimate and Decolonising Climate Science with Professor Kyle Whyte. YouTube, YouTube, 24 Feb. 2017 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbAqnbJTW3Y.>

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