How can one “OWN” any life or even entire species???
I would like to take this moment to ponder and reflect on a very dear issue to me, and perhaps the many others who have taken the time to similarly ponder this thought:
” So, exactly WHO has the right to claim ownership of the very essence of life, be it a gene, a trait, or – an entire species, by any definition? “
My own answer would be, the One who created all of this, from the very beginning of Time!
I have studied this issue and the “legal case-law aspect” surrounding it for a number of years. My main interest was in examining this issue from the point of view as a Naturalist, Spiritual-Pagan (not of the “new-age” philosophy, either), an amateur herbalist, and keen observer of Nature. I possess no degree nor any certifications of what I have learned. I have no “official title” or “recognition” for any past work I have done. I am just an ordinary “nobody”, a human being with a desire to live a life of truth, and be able to teach the life experiences I have gained to others who may follow after me.
It should be “commonsense” that Nature provided what was needed, in perfect balance and measure, for the creation and continuation of life in this world. Everything that came to us naturally, came as a sacred gift and as something to live on and live by. The Sun was given so that there would be “day” along with warmth and to know the year. The Moon was given so that we would know when in the year our seasons arrived.
The trees, herbs, fungi, and all other were given as food and medicine ( often both being the same – as stated by Hippocrates ), shelter and materials for our homes, materials for our tools, and for fuels for our heat and cooking. They were already created, perfectly-suited for our needs and wants, before the advent of modern genetic-sciences. Our kind learned to breed the best to the best ( husbandry ) as Nature gave us so many different traits and affects that we could use to improve what we wished to grow, without tampering inside the workings of these genes. Nature made them as most-perfectly suitable for the uses they were to be employed.
Those times, when we stayed in harmony with Nature and enjoyed her fruits and abundance, saw that we had plenty for all. There were no “shortages” to the extent that we see now. The traditional agriculture was developed, often by trial and error, over the course of many thousands of years – again, long before the modern genetic-sciences. We learned how to get the best from our crops by planting at the right times, watering them the right way and when they need it most, and feeding them ( and the soil ) that which Nature intended to be returned to the Earth anyway. We also learned to plant more than one kind of crop together. A garden, field, and anyplace expected to yield a bountiful harvest later in the season, needed to be planted as a “community” – so that each kind may be some help to each other. Just as a healthy forest is not all of only one kind of tree, a garden or a field should not be only of one kind of planting.
The rotating of crops and planting cycles, from year to year, served to “heal” the soil and let it rest, on occasions, so that it becomes once again viable and ready to help yield a bountiful harvest. This was a time-honored practice for thousands of years, and for countless generations of people. This was also done in many other areas of the world. So what happened to continuing a process that really worked?
We see starvation, worldwide, on a scale unheard of by anytime else in human history. We see far more sicknesses and illnesses, especially of those illnesses that were almost unheard of in the old days! The more “advanced” we supposedly get in our farming, medicines, and our other sciences, in general, the sicker we all seem to get. This should not be the case if all of these advances in knowledge, science, and general habits are supposed to “improve the quality of human life”! Somewhere, we must have gone wrong.
The biggest problem I see today:
We have allowed our society’s values to be based purely on “materialism”. We look around us and see that everything has its “price”. Okay. Who determines the price we should pay, especially if it is for a necessity or need. We all need fresh, clean water to drink. If we do not drink enough water, and allow ourselves to dehydrate for a mere two days ( for some, it may be considerably less time ), we will surely die. We all need to eat naturally-pure, nutritious food. If we do not eat, we starve and may survive a couple of weeks, at best. We all need fresh, clean air. Oxygen-depravation takes only a few short minutes to kill. So what happens when one or more of these needs are held captive to a “price” that many may not be able to pay? Are we saying that those who can least afford the “price” should be left to die?
As anyone “in business” should know quite well,
The main object of business is to “turn a profit”. Normally, more rational and sane people would see this being fine – if those profits were earned honestly and by doing a great benefit to the community in the process. A business would not stay “in business” if it were not profitable. However, what about those businesses who profit by selling a product of questionable benefits while also insisting to the public, Don’t worry about it. “WE certify it as safe!”? What if the businesses were exploiting other people by under-paying them for their labors, and forcing them to work in very poor work-conditions? What if these businesses were actively-lobbying the lawmakers to alter the laws to their favor, while taking from the people their right to expect accountability from these supplier-businesses? What if these businesses worked to completely control their respective markets, so that they could “name their prices”, way beyond any reasonable market price for those needs? What if these businesses, upon discovery that their products were in fact harmful and very dangerous towards the health of the users, chose to hide all of this knowledge from the people, – even to the point of harming and/or killing anyone within who may “spill the beans”? – Are these the beneficial practices, to our communities, that should be rewarded by outlandish “profits”? Even so, how did these businesses get the idea that they “own” the life that they supposedly “created”?
To tie-up to the conclusion of this writing:
I feel that many who have taken up the battle against genetically-engineered food, and its being virtually “forced down our throats”, may be missing the key, important part of this whole issue: “The privatization by corporatization of our natural world and all that comes with it.” We have seen many small-family farms and smaller agricultural businesses pushed out of existence by these bio-genetics companies. The “court system” has continued to rule in favor of the largest corporations on the basis of “intellectual property rights” and perceived violations thereof, by the mere possession of a plant or organism that just happened to have one or more of these “trademarked genes”. Regardless of whether this genetic pollution was deliberate on the part of the farmer, or a deliberate “poisoning” of the farmer’s properties by “agents” of the corporation, the courts have consistently levied huge fines and judgments on the smaller party. This is an unconscionable abuse of our legal system and of our patent system. It is also very destructive to the natural order of things as well as a great danger to the biological diversity that this world depends on.
With the “discovery” of the ability of some GMOs to proliferate into the wild, on their own,
This represents a very grave threat to our entire ecosystem, and what I call an “environmental disaster waiting to happen”! What comes next? Are the bio-genetics corporations going to say they own all of the trees in our forests, all of the fish in our rivers and streams, or all of the birds in our air? Will they attempt to say that because these other beings now contain or have eaten enough of their patented products, that they themselves belong to the corporation? Where does it all end? The very day that all life “belongs” to a handful of corporations, will be the day that humanity and all life on this world are doomed! All will be held captive to the “almighty corporation” so that it may “profit”, handsomely. We then are not much further from our right to live being conditioned to if we can pay their “asking” prices.
Just as the old natives once quipped: ” How can one own a tree, a mountain, or a river? “
That question is still valid today. Just how can anyone claim ownership of entire genome, all by the sake of a few cut-and-pasted genes? Would this not be considered the same as plagiarism of Nature’s ( or God’s ) handiwork? After all, modern genetic sciences have yet to prove they can create, from scratch, any kind of genetic material that will become an actual life. They merely are “cut-and-pasting” genes from one kind to another! This should not be considered patentable by any stretch of commonsense and right reasoning. Besides, virtually every time mankind has tried to “improve” upon Nature, he has only succeeded in ruining and destroying what Nature already gave us all that was in perfect condition to begin with. Our “modern medicine” already, is becoming more apparent an abject failure. Our “crop-sciences” is an abject failure. Our “new” social systems of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries are abject failures. Our “new” education system is fast approaching the obvious: An abject failure. Our religious systems like the Catholic Church, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Wicca, and most of the “new-age” systems are, themselves, abject failures.
Maybe it is time to go back to learning how our more-successful ancestors did things?
They had very few large-scale “wars”, if any. The people were most likely healthier and happier (especially those who lived far away from the cities). The people, then, had greater appreciation for all the things they had around them, to include their animals, crops, and everything Nature (or God) provided them – in abundance. There was no need for politicians, lawyers, attorneys, and all the policing we have in abundance now. The people also sought out their own meanings of what it is to “live”. Most of all, the people had respect and reverence for everything and everyone. All life was sacred to them. All things provided by Nature and by those who were skilled craftsmen in the workings of natural products were appreciated and respected. The ultimate craftsman was the One who gave the breath of life to all things we take for granted. If we went back to the principles that once worked well, without having to sacrifice the truly good advancements we have made in the modern age, we could return the world to a better place for all to live in.
GMO is NOT the way to go there! GMOs are the slavers’ tools to wield too great a power upon the people. Nature was an equalizer by many different magnitudes. Corporate-fascism disrupts the “playing field” by tilting the rules of the game to its favor, and to those it favors.
I speak to all of you as a Pagan minister and a Spiritual man.
The time has come to reassess what we think of in terms of our our natural world. The Health of It has direct bearing on our own personal health, to include that of our physical, our mental, our emotional, and our spiritual health. This is OUR WORLD, too! It belongs to all who inhabit it as a function of Nature and Nature’s God. To see the gradual and steady privatization of our natural world into a few wealthy hands, is to see the eventual destruction of everything we know and hold dear. Even humanists and self-proclaimed atheists must come to terms with the commonsense answers that must be revealed when taking a closer look into the “private commercialization” of everything. When it is the wealthy few who own everything, by whatever trickery and legalisms they may employ, it is WE, The People who end up the losers of everything!
– Rev. Dragon’s Eye
” Now, will the REAL Pagans, please stand up and be counted? “