A farmer I met recently believed that farmers are dying of oral cancers because of nilgai! We city-slickers may dismiss it as rural superstition, but what he was speaking was pure science.
Nilgai is vermin number one for farmers. Large herds of this massive antelope raid farms at night and cause huge crop damage. So, in the areas where nilgais have prospered, farmers have no option but to stay up through the night to protect their crop.
Unfortunately, the evil companion chosen by farmers for these nightly vigils is tobacco. While tobacco does help in keeping them alert enough to ward off nilgais, its constant consumption may have resulted in increasing chances of farmers dying of oral cancer.
As above theory is not statistically validated, I will leave it here and move to a more serious issue buried inside this nilgai story.
Even though nilgai can be hunted by getting permission locally, because it is armed with a “gai” in its name and is aided by urban nature-lovers up in arms to fight for everything other than poor people, it is rarely hunted.
Sans predators, it is just going on increasing and becoming a bigger problem each year.
Simple laws of nature tell us that when an animal has lost natural predators, its population is bound to explode. As we have a practical need to manage nature, it either needs reintroduction of predators or culling. As reintroduction of predators, a slow process, is not viable, culling becomes a logical option, provided professional decision-making is possible.
I don’t need to state the obvious that culling is opposed strongly by nature lovers. As farmers continue to die from this love oozing out of living-room armchairs of nature lovers, I see a need to point out what I consider to be the greatest hindrance to our survival on this planet, i.e. love.
When we discovered that conservation was an issue that needed attention and thus awareness, the tool chosen to connect public with nature was love. Today it has successfully produced a generation of nature lovers, but when we decided to ride love, we made a serious mistake.
We failed to recognize that love is an antidote for rationality. It is a strategy that I find to have badly backfired now.
Today nature management has little to do with conservation. It is reduced to emotional management of these lovers. And worse is that they have found a powerful ally. Human courts that function on human sense of justice (that is completely alien to laws of nature) pondering over pleas of nature lovers are proving to be a real natural disaster across the globe.
As natural justice is a phrase uttered every five seconds in courts, it has produced a completely false notion about applicability of human law to nature. The real truth is, natural justice is exactly opposite to our idea of justice.
So, when courts intervene in saving stray dogs by applying human empathy or declare a river a human being to grant it human rights, it is absolute and complete travesty of real natural justice. As Fabre, the famous French entomologist observed, nature has no calms evolving a wasp that will lay eggs inside a living spider so its babies can eat the spider from within. So, subjecting it to human and humane notions is nothing but a delusion caused by love.
Love is a great tool, but for the humanity. Nature needs nothing from us. It is we who need to understand her. We need to replace love with scientific curiosity as a connecting link between nature and humans if we want to survive nature.