Respect Topic: Discussion

Essay by KingleonardoHigh School, 12th gradeA, October 2004

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The world is in peril. What used to be a lush, peaceful planet unmarred by Man's cruel hands is now a filthy shadow of her former splendour. Carnage litters the land; smog thickens the already polluted atmosphere. Slowly, but surely, life on Earth is being snuffed out like a candle in a breeze.

I feel that the only way we can arrest this devastating trend is for Man to discard his image of superiority and treat all other creatures, be they winged, finned or otherwise, with utmost respect. Instead of harnessing our knowledge in technology to invent new weapons and machines, which only serve to destroy Mother Nature's precious gifts, we, as the new generation, should join hands to create a better world for all life.

Who are we to dictate which animals should die, and which should be allowed to live? What rights do we have to judge an animal as good or bad? How can we presume ourselves superior to animals, to meddle with their genes, to don God's mantle? Indeed, what rights have we to assume our superiority over all other creatures? We are but animals as well, albeit more intelligent ones, but that is not equivalent to superior standing.

The assumption that we are superior is itself a sacrilege. We are all created equal so we should respect all life. From the tiny inchworms to the towering redwood trees, we are all part of Earth's vibrant ecosystem.

Racial strife and war seem to infiltrate every society in this world, where mere children murder their compatriots. The unfortunate minority who happen to be born a 'wrong' colour, or speak a different tongue, can only face a lifetime of persecution and torment. If Man cannot even respect his own brothers, how can he be expected to love and...