Wild Or Cultivated?

Do you prefer growing things to be wild and untended, or cultivated and ordered? Is one more useful, or more pleasing?

Share why if you wish.

Wild Or Cultivated?

Do Animals Have Rights?

The concept of inherent rights is well established for humans. Do any of those rights extend to animals?

Humans are born (at least in the United States) with certain “unalienable” rights, which include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Bill of Rights enumerate additional rights. Other countries may differ in exact language, but in most places it is assumed that humans have some rights from birth.

Other animals are not human, however, and human laws and ideas do not automatically extend to them. But what are the differences between humans and other animals, and do those differences really matter?

One difference, of course, is that other animals don’t have laws, or form governments. Why should human laws and rights apply to non-humans?

While it is true that no animal other than humans have written a constitution, it is not clear that a written document is needed. A colony of bees has a well-defined hierarchy, for instance. You could almost consider a hive to be the equivalent of a (human) country.

What about the argument that humans are sentient, and they are the only such animal? That argument relies on the definition of sentience, and there does not seem to be a way to know for certain if other animals are, in fact, sentient.

Human laws are often written for the benefit of those people who do not have any political power. They allow for people with little or no power to avoid being taken advantage of by those who do. That would certainly seem to describe animals, who quite literally have no voice.

And yet, there are some rights which cannot and should not apply to animals. No taxation without representation? That doesn’t make any sense at all — animals don’t pay taxes, and it would seem impossible to give (direct) representation to, say, a bear.

So what rights, if any, should (non-human) animals have?

Related questions: Does nature have rights? How are humans like other animals? How are they different? Personal rights or public safety? What are our responsibilities to others?

How Has This Summer’s Extreme Weather Impacted You?

Extreme weather events have been commonplace this summer, from brutal storms to crippling droughts. Have you been impacted?

As temperatures rise, the extra heat in the atmosphere translates to changing and unusual weather patterns.

For some, that means battering storms. These come with torrential rain that may lead to flooding, and some have seen tornadoes or hurricanes. Roads are being washed out, and homes or cars can be damaged or even ruined by rising waters.

For other areas, rather than receiving too much water, they don’t get enough. Above average temperatures and below average rainfall have led some previously fertile areas to experience droughts, ravaging crops and draining away rivers and lakes. Dry conditions lead to huge forest fires, and smoke from those fires can be carried by air currents for hundreds of miles.

Underlying all of this are record-high temperatures, which keep some people from venturing away from home at best, and leading to dehydration or heat exposure at worst.

This extreme weather impacts everyone, in ways both big and small. How have you been affected, and what may happen to you if temperatures continue to rise?

Related questions: How is climate change impacting you? What is keeping us from sustaining the planet? Climate change: How would you act if your house was on fire?

Dandelion: Flower Or Weed?

In your opinion, do you think of a dandelion as a cheery visitor, or as an unwanted guest? Is the dandelion a flower or a weed?

Share why if you wish.

Dandelion: Flower Or Weed?