Word of the Day – Anthropocentrism – #30DBC Day 17

Man Made Fire and Sunset

I learned a new word today. Anthropocentrism. I read it in this document, which talks about two groups of people. The nonconsumptive recreationists and the consumptive recreationists in the South Island of New Zealand. The difference between the two groups pivots on their view of how we should use the environment. For example, a nonconsumptive recreationist is one that does not take anything from nature, while the consumptive recreationist does. As with anything, I think there is a happy medium in between.

Anthropocentrism is the idea that we --as humans-- are the supreme beings over everything else in this planet, basically that all things should be made to, or arranged to, developed or whatever you want for our own benefit. I don't adhere to this 100%, I think we need to respect the other living organisms on this planet because they're part of the entire ecosystem.

I love fishing, and so you might classify me into the consumptive group, but I also like other activities that would be classified as nonconsumptive, like kayaking, hiking, snorkeling and stuff. I think that the different activities that make you fall into either one of the groups aren't mutually exclusive, for example, I could go out on a kayak and enjoy some whale watching, or even snorkeling, but what if at the same time, while I'm out there I decide to cast a line and fish a little. Is it wrong to eat the fish I catch? Of course not, but I think it would be not wrong, but actually despicable to fish or hunt just for thrill of it. If you're not going to use it then leave it alone.

An extreme Anthropocentric person usually believes that we have the right to exert our dominance over every other species regardless of the repercussions. Like slaughtering buffaloes for their skin, rhinos for their horns, or butchering live sharks for their fins, that simply isn't right. Anyway, hopefully now you know a new word. Peace out.