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To what extent have we become undesirable to the planet that even orcas attack us?

The similar increasing number of attacks on ships by killer whales in the Strait of Gibraltar area has been explained (at least preliminarily) as the reaction of adult killer whales having negative encounters with ships. Since the attacks are concentrated on the helm of the ships (and not on humans), the message is clear: "Take your technology elsewhere."

Furthermore, those interactions between killer whales and ships seem to have a specific purpose for killer whales: training. In all cases, an adult orca (usually the matriarch of the group) "attacks" the boat along with several young orcas who are "taught" how to immobilize the rudder. It is, then, an intergenerational educational act for the survival of orcas.

But why do orcas have to defend themselves from boats? Because the orcas are there (in the area of the Strait of Gibraltar) to eat (mainly tuna) and the boats prevent them from doing so. Then, once the ship is immobilized, the killer whales can corner again. And that is exactly what they do.

The killer whales (close relatives of the dolphins and as intelligent as they are) reveal with their actions to what extent the human presence disrupts and deforms nature. But while many other animals simply watch their habitat disappear without a chance to complain, intelligent killer whales have found a (partial) way to fight back.

What does this have to do with us humans? Absolutely everything. Let's be honest: we've become so accustomed to accepting technology uncritically that it bothers us that even animals reject it. We believe so much (wrongly) in the indisputable benefits of technology that we assume that it is something as natural as nature itself.

And so, in this confrontation between technology and nature (animals included) we always and immediately lean in favor of technology, distorting an increasingly technological planet more and more every day. And that means an increasingly dehumanized humanity.

What does a dehumanized humanity mean? It is a humanity that in a few decades went from being helped by technology to being oriented by technology to being controlled by technology. Everything (or practically everything) we watch, what we buy, what we read and what we entertain ourselves with is controlled by some algorithm. And more and more important decisions are being delegated to technology, from dating to getting into college.

Perhaps it is time to listen more to orcas and other animals, that is, to pay attention to the consequences of our actions on the lives and deaths of those animals. And at the same time, we should listen to ourselves and take responsibility for the lives and deaths of other human beings. After all, our very survival is at stake.

Unfortunately, we are so alienated from ourselves, from nature, from others and from divinity that there is little hope that we will ever become an adult and responsible humanity.


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