Survival of the Fittest or Beyond

A personal view by Joanna Blad

No matter what topic I discuss, I always try to take a new, improved, inspired way to look, think and feel about it and relay this to others.  So here I go again.  Who has been led to believe that survival of the fittest is the only way to live in this world?  It is my contention that most people who would say they agree with this idea only support it in some scenarios.  Today I will try to show you how to eliminate this false belief of survival of the fittest and replace it with survival of all to coexist.

Image by Lip Kee (Wikimedia Commons)

What does survival of the fittest mean?  We have been taught from birth that the biggest, meanest and strongest dominate the right to life of the smallest, meekest and weakest.  But what if all beings  on this planet could live in a mutually happy coexistence paradigm of camaraderie?  Wouldn’t this be a first-time event in the history of life on this planet?  I firmly believe this can be achieved, but of course it requires the consent of all others on this planet as well. Such is the vision and the goal of the Humane Party.

Let me use an example of where survival of the fittest doesn’t work and where the model of coexistence does.

As I was thinking about how brutal life can be due to all the inequality in our society while driving home a couple of weeks ago, I eventually came to a red light.   Suddenly, I thought about how everyone stopped and allowed the opposing traffic to make their way across the roadway.   Seeing how most people obey the rules of the road and rely on the cooperation of other drivers to obey them too, I oddly felt a sense of happiness in how kind everyone was in this 4-way intersection.   Cooperation and coexistence worked to everyone’s advantage.

On the road there are many kinds and sizes of vehicles from tiny to huge and many in-between.   If the roads operated strictly by the rules of survival of the fittest, all of the largest, fastest, strongest vehicles would be running atop all the lesser vehicles.   Instead of order and efficiency, we would transform the transit system to a battlefield.  So-called “lesser” vehicles would be littering the blacktop in a massive sea of totaled-out wreckage, and the fittest would become trapped in their own self-induced mess now threatening their own mobility and survival.

To the rescue come cooperation and coexistence to keep the destruction wrought by the fittest to a minimum with the use of stoplights, traffic signs and speed limits.   Now all vehicles, no matter their size or speed, are protected by a system of equality on the roadway.   Almost everyone will arrive at their final destinations alive and well.   It’s a win-win for all driving on the road.

It’s odd that our government, while evaluating and resolving the benefits of coexistence on roadways, leaves out this model of coexistence in almost every other aspect of our everyday lives.   In today’s society, survival of the fittest seems to be the norm.

In our world now, what is needed most of all is for humans to coexist with all forms of life, especially human animals and non-human animals.  Working together instead of against each other would allow the planet to rebuild and become healthier than it has been in years.

Thinking about civilized traffic reminds me why I am a vegan animal rights activist.  I do not want humanity to be the survivor of the fittest and the non-human animals to be treated as the lesser, weaker and insignificant ones.  In my mind, veganism and animal rights are the sanity of the stoplights, traffic signs and speed limits.  The wreckage strewn everywhere from humans cruelly dominating animals results in our ill health, our polluted planet and our violence and aggression towards all living beings, not just the animals.  Modern society’s self-centered survival methods devoid of compassion for the animals has made us spiritually bankrupt, and we are now in the process of destroying the Earth, our only home.  If we don’t evolve, the pattern of destruction is certain to continue.

As always, my message is to extend the practice of harmlessness to all beings on this planet.  I speak of it often because of its major importance in not offing ourselves from this planet.  What could be more beautiful than having harmlessness transform this whole planet?  Let’s leave the mentality of survival of the fittest out of our consciousness and forge ahead to a new paradigm of coexistence.  Let’s extend an olive branch to all the animals, especially the ones we dominate, torture and murder the most: the farm animals we eat.  With the help of the Humane Party’s proposed Abolition Amendment, let’s take all animals off the menu.

Animals deserve to live in happiness and comfort just as much as we humans do.  Anyone who disagrees is still stuck in their survival of the fittest mentality.

The best news of all this coexistence is that when we humans end the war we are waging against animals, we may also notice the end of the war humans are waging against other humans.

If humans were raised not to harm any animals, they would never harm humans either.  Coexistence, not survival of the fittest, is the strategy that can bring an end to all the major problems we face in the world.  All great minds and now great hearts will be working from a paradigm shift of separate interests to shared interests.  We can then sing at the top of our united voices, “Free at last, free at last. Peace at last, peace at last.”