"Man is the only animal that blushes or needs to, for we have much to be ashamed of when we examine our dealings with the remainder of God's creatures who roam our earth and the sacred ground upon which nature is rooted.
When I think about the degree of cruelty that mankind has inflicted upon the animals of this world over the centuries, it does not surprise me in the least how many sensitive beings will turn vegetarian or even adopt a vegan's lifestyle. When mankind went on the march of progress, we despoiled the earth and all its goodness in our search for natural resources to satisfy our growing appetites and ugly vanity.
When it comes to animal welfare, we humans are the greatest of the earth's parasites and most often the cruellest of all its creatures. We may consider ourselves the most intelligent, but that doesn't make us the smartest. Because of our love of ivory artefacts, we are reducing the earth's elephants to the point of extinction to gain their tusks. Our fashion vanity and love of furs is endangering the most exotic and exquisite animals on the planet. We are emptying our medicine cabinets when we destroy our rain forests, we pollute the air by our deforestation of the land and poison our soil by growing genetically modified crops in it. Even the creatures we domesticate for mankind's comfort and pleasure, we often abuse and mistreat. As the years advance, civilisation regresses with a vengeance that would make Satan smile.
When considering the human race, the writer Mark Twain wasn't far from the mark when he said it was a pity that Noah didn't miss the boat. I often think it strange that as children, we can see the truth and consequences of certain actions about mankind's dealings with humans, animals and nature with a clarity and certainty that we seem to abandon in adulthood. This seems to be the price all adults pay when we stop searching for meaning and consequence in our actions.The more we embrace consumerism, the less compassion we seem capable of exercising. As Voltaire observed, 'As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.'
If the world is to survive into a more circumspect age where both Nature and Nurture are preserved and protected with all the dignity they deserve, it is time for humankind to take the next evolutionary step and move from human to kind.
During the 1990s, the children of all Kirklees Schools worked with me on a project entitled 'Our World.' This project involved children of Kirklees bringing to the attention of their parents and other adults, how adults are ruining our world. Helping us to spearhead the project was the environmentalist, the late Anita Roddick and Robert Swann, the antarctic explorer and first person ever to walk to both Poles. The Prime Minister and his wife John and Norma Major also supported the project and wrote a letter of appreciation to the Children of Kirklees Schools for bringing the matter to the attention of adults. Myself and Anita Roddick assembled 1,000 disabled children at the Huddersfield Railway Station and after the police stopped the traffic for half an hour, we all marched to the Huddersfield Town Hall where we read from a book entitled, 'Our World' that contained environmental stories which had been written by myself and the winning schools of Kirklees. Hundreds of children, led by a professional singer friend of mine was the choir of 'Our World', the only song I have ever written and jointly composed with the late John Foyle. The song 'Our World' was then recorded in a studio, sung by Kevin Carville and backed by the children of Emily First School in Huddersfield. The recorded production was paid for by National Lottery money and became one of six original songs in my musical play, 'Douglas the Dragon' which is freely available for downloading from my website by any school or operatic/drama group globally. The song can be accessed by:
The next time you happen to come across any survey which rates mankind as being the highest animal, treat its findings with a large dose of healthy scepticism, as man was probably the only animal who filled in the form and returned the questionnaire!" William Forde: April 22nd, 2016.