Lacking the wisdom of indigenous Americans

Lacking the wisdom of indigenous Americans

Chief Seattle wrote a letter to the White House when the land of his ancestors was asked to be sold to the “white man” in 1854. This is how he explained what nature and animals meant for indigenous Americans: 

“There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring or the rustle of an insect’s wings….

“And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of a whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night? 

“So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we decide to accept, I will make one condition - the white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers.

“I am a savage and do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be made more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.

“What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit.”

The sins of the “white men” claiming to bring civilization to the world are countless. And we cannot say that they have drawn lessons from those sins as much as the people called “savages.” Maybe today we do not see people shooting from the train and killing buffaloes for fun. But we do witness atrocities matching it. 

We may wake up to streets filled with bodies of animals poisoned by municipalities. Almost every day, we come across street animals with tails torn, ears cut, maltreated… 

Some people live in concrete cemeteries, having lost all their connection to nature. They don’t even want to see animals around. We witness that they ask waiters at cafes to chase animals away.  

The Center for Monitoring Animals issued a report on the violations of animal rights in the past five months. According to this report, during the past five months, 8,315,234 animals have been killed, 1,444 animals have been tortured, 2,769 animals have been restricted of their freedom, 161 animals were attempted to be killed, 155 animals were abandoned and one animal was subject to sexual violence. 

The report has revealed that municipalities dropped off street dogs in different neighborhoods, in places where they had no chance of survival, in forests, stone pits and dump sites. At numerous times, teams from Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality have collected street animals inappropriately. The report said, “The forest line of Kurtköy-Pendik has been transferred into almost a street dog basin.” 

There was a story the other day: A professor in Kocaeli, near Istanbul, stabbed a street dog. I am wondering, how come the savagery in nature of the “white man” exceeds the savagery in nature of animals by so much?   
Besides, animals do not torture other living creatures. Torturing is only for people. In a country where more than 8 million animals are killed in five months and 1400 of them are tortured, tell me, are animals more savage than humans? 

We have highways, bridges and airports, yes we do, but we don’t have the trace of the wisdom of an indigenous American who said: “This we know - the Earth does not belong to man - man belongs to the Earth. This we know.”