The Food Chain

For as long as I can remember studying biology, I have been taught that humans were at the top of the food chain. When I told my primary school teacher that I disagreed, she answered that I didn’t have to agree. I just had to remember it and write it on my test when I was asked.

Image: Matthew C. Perry of the USGS via Wikipedia

 I still believe that we are not at the top of the food chain. My main reasoning is simply: if you think there is nothing that can eat you, go up to a starving lion, without any weapons, and let’s see if you won’t be eaten. No lions in your area? Fine, go up to a starving bear then. Still no? How about a starving wolf?

We have put ourselves on such a pedestal that we believe that in a chain where everything is connected we are somehow the top link. We might have the intelligence to build houses and make guns to protect our place in the chain, but that skill doesn’t mean we aren’t in it. Even without all these protections, when we die, insects and bacteria feed off us.

Let’s look at the sea: It’s a world where we don’t live in but one that we destroy. We are all taught to be considerate of our peers, so why are we not as considerate of other species? Perhaps it is due to our illusory belief that we are superior and invincible. We are affecting other environments on our planet just as much as they are affecting us. The food chain is all about eating and being eaten. Along the way we managed to significantly lower our chances of being eaten, but that doesn’t give us a right to call ourselves the top of the food chain.

I believe in equality, not just between dark and light skin but also between all species. I believe that my purpose in this world isn’t more important than the purpose of a spider. I believe that police dogs might even accomplish more in their short lifetime than I ever will in mine.

If we lowered ourselves a bit and acted like those “inferior” to us, this peace in the world that we are desperately looking for, could be found. I understand that because we might be scared of other species and killing them might seem like the most appealing thing to do. If we killed those we feared in our own species, there would probably be no one left. So why do it to other species? That whale in the water didn’t do anything to me. In fact, by going on the sea, I am on its territory.

I believe in equality between all species. I believe that we are all at the top of the food chain.

Aude-Marie Ackebo


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