When he done all His creating and that..
Perhaps the most glaring example of God’s reverence for all creatures was where a mass flood resulted in poor old Noah having to round up two of every single species on the planet and whisk them to safety from an impending flood. I do question the validity of this as I can’t help but labour over the point that surely God must have presided over the formation and presence of this flood in the first place, so to then scamper around for emergency contingency plans seems, to my irrelevant brain, to be a little out of order.
That aside, it would be easy to be blasé about this incident but upon more penetrating research, this really is not only an astonishing feat by Noah, but also an unbelievably unreasonable request from God to bestow upon just one man. I’ve always envisaged Noah to be an amiable and resourceful chap, much in the mould of Ray Mears but perhaps with a bit more social presence and charm, ala Brian Blessed. As a skilled carpenter (Gods most popularly focused trade), whose previous job may have been to erect a primitive bureau of some sort, Noah is suddenly required not only to craft a goliath ship large enough to house a duo of every single creature in the world, but also to also take charge of all operations in this cross species philanthropic crusade. (Duties include shepherding, geology, interior design, navigation, boat operation, animal handling – map reading/orienteering and nautical experience are desirable but not mandatory. The ideal candidate will be committed, motivated, and good under pressure – the rugged strike-a-match-on-his-face-type superhero with an unfathomable heart of gold).
Had Noah have seen this job advertised in his local smutty rag, I would imagine all the trinkets in Bethlehem would still not have enticed him to take on such a thankless task. However, being personally asked by our lord and creator of all the universe, Noah must acquiesce. I’d imagine Noah’s poor wife was subjected to tirade of work bemoaning abuse reminiscent of Michael Palin as the tortured football fan in ‘Ripping Yarns’. Although undoubtedly spurious, there are approximately 60,000 vertebrate and 1.2m invertebrate land-dwelling creatures that would be at risk of such a flood. I must include all sub species of every kind, the religious renunciation of evolution would indicate that each single creed of every species group was a niche design and, thus, required on the ark.
An important point which cannot be ignored at this juncture is that there are an endless list of creatures which are indigenous to specific continents, regions and even islands. In order to be complicit with God’s orders, Noah must have travelled to every corner of the globe (including the Antarctic) before the flood struck. No easy feat. Perhaps the most startling aspect of this is that in order to achieve the specifications, Noah’s knowledge of animals must have been colossal to correctly identify (and not forget) all creatures great and small. Even the legendary David Attenborough is not aware of every species of creature, particularly with new variations found all the time. Even if Noah was a keen animal enthusiast prior to this project, God himself as creator of all must have either provided personal tutelage befitting of a Hollywood montage, or published a comprehensive and illustrated almanac of all.
The reason for my heavy focus upon this one tiny modicum of Religious scripture is because it is a pivotal example of how all of God’s creatures were duly created and, thus, equal. This caused me great concern. One of the central premises behind most mainstream religions is the ethos of ‘believe or die’ as Bill Hicks once observed. Each individual must abide by a strict list of specifications and offer full partisan reciprocation of God’s unrequited love in order to gain entry to eternal equilibrium, but perhaps more importantly, to avoid burning in Hell for the rest of time, being perpetually jabbed in the temples with a hot trident. I can only assume from God’s equality policies and species diplomacy that this must also be the case for all of our animal brethren.
This led me to wonder-how on earth is, say, a wasp (nature’s abominable super-bastards) able to sculpt its daily conduct in accordance with these expectations without being privy to all of the information? I have personally made what I believe to be an informed choice to be atheist and if, as a consequence, I perish in Satan’s seedy basement for all of eternity, then I will have to shoulder the blame for this myself. Obviously there are mitigating factors such as upbringing, both of my parents are atheist and I have therefore developed in much the same mould. Although, I would say that, in accordance with the prophecy, being indoctrinated into His family through the guise of a Christening is a pre-requisite for entry to God’s ‘life after party’. The fact that I have not been Christened infers that even if I were to abide implicitly with all Biblical expectations, the very best I could hope for is to be a floating soul-nomad in the abyss of purgatory like an unwanted step child forced to live in the garden.
I have made my own heathen bed and I must lie in it, however, I am hugely perturbed that animals are not being given a level playing field to save their souls. I mentioned earlier that we have the most gilded attribute in the form of critical thinking and we therefore have the opportunity to have the Bible – the exact word of God translated via human conduit according to evangelists – and therefore have the sources and capabilities to understand and adjust ourselves. I therefore believe that we are solely responsible to educate every single creature on this earth, from the lowly plankton right up to the gargantuan blue whale. From what I can ascertain, God has offered unfair favouritism to our side and I even suggest that this may be part of a larger scale test of our loving nature.
Time has come, ladies and gentlemen, to step up to the plate and ensure that all of earth’s living creatures are at least given the opportunity to make an informed decision on their beliefs and, consequently, their path after death. We, as a species, have brutally sequestered the whole globe through brain-powered tyranny leaving a limitless trail of animal carcasses and botched ecosystems in our wake. The very least we owe is to offer to lead them to a potentially blissful afterlife as scant recompense for our barbarous conduct pre (and probably during) death.
My opinions are probably as welcome as a severed tramps toe in your hangover breakfast, but may I be so bold as to make some suggestions for who should assume ownership and spearhead this onerous yet honourable mandate. After toiling for some time, Attenborough Himself (pro’s: animal/world knowledge, voice like a cloud whispering into a sleeping ear to calm the beasts, empathetic. Con’s: Age. Schmoozing is no use if Dave pops a quintuple hernia trying to erect sub-aquatic housing for a pair of Terrapins). PJ and Duncan? (Pro’s: Loveable cheeky scamps, popular, there are two of them, they are self-styled go-getters who are Ready to Rumble should circumstance dictate to coin verbatim claim. Con’s: Silly. Have a blighted history of feeding live animals to blithering fame-whores for the televised amusement of the asinine masses. Is PJ still blind? I’m a supporter of equal opportunities but that’s just not going to work). Finally I settled upon Louis Theroux. Love or be annoyed by his wet blanket approach (I like him), I believe Louis would be the man for the job. His wily inquisitive manner, softened by his non-threatening and almost childlike demeanour, I believe that I have seen enough of his work to be assured that the mandrills and komodo dragons of this world would have their souls in safe, reliable and Fairy Liquid-motherly soft hands. Perhaps with David Attenborough holding a consultative ‘Technical Director’ position, Louis as ARSE. (Attaché for Repentant Soul Emancipation)
Ok, so I now have assembled my crack team, there is still a veritable Everest ahead but thankfully, like God before me, I have set the ball rolling so may now step back and edge away from the cloud of responsibility. However, assuming Dave and Louis complete the unthinkable with consummate finesse – which I know they will – there would have to be a number of considerations to the process and impact of this project.
Firstly, there may be an initial backlash from the animal world that we have been keeping this information from them up to this point. Consider that if we found out all of a sudden that, for example, hedgehogs had been withholding key illuminati -style information from us all of this time, such as the meaning of life or the existence of higher powers that we have no comprehension of. I would imagine that if this were ever to come to light, humans would demand answers and perhaps even pursue unthinkable retribution upon the spiny little traitors. I don’t want to speculate and babble unchartered hyperbole, but I fear that animals may demand explanation as to why we haven’t advised them of this before. A wolf who had just lost its mother the day before it was briefed on this, may feel a little aggrieved as its mother would never have been given the opportunity to gain entry to God’s celestial Shangri La, and Louis may be subjected to a deep feeling of ignominy during such a conversation.
I must, at this stage, cover the set up of Heaven and the make- up of how this would work. Would all animals and humans live together in Heaven or Hell? Personally, I would find it soothing to imagine that we could all live in harmony with one another in Heaven and cast aside all of the silly bother which had occurred on earth. Imagine the glee of being reunited with the family dog Pierre which you were so devastated to lose at a damagingly young age? Or even to inveigle your sister’s hamster which you sat on whilst drunk and then covered this heinous act by placing the furry cadaver on the living room floor with an apparent ‘fallen’ ornament on top of it as a shameful alibi. This idea brings me upon a potential capricious bananaskin which God may be presented with;
The 10 commandments. If we are all to attend the same Heaven, then the 10 commandments must be applicable across all species in order to be in line with its own teachings. Cross species murder? It would be harsh to apply such a rule to any carnivorous species which much kill in order to survive. It would be a bizarre world if suddenly the lions all had to resort to herbivorous diets to purge their murderous souls and ended up looking like gaunt alley cat zombies trying to get by eating plums and rocket leaves.
This would also have cataclysmic effects upon life within the oceans, whereby food chain hierarchy is pivotal to the continuation of all life. If Louis Theroux has popped on his Kevlar wetsuit and NASA submarine breathing/megaphone technology to educate all of our slippery chums, Sharks or even the unfortunately-faced Marlin do not have the resources to be able to shun killing their respective smaller prey and opt for a hummus and couscous salad, unless Louis takes it with him, but this is unfeasible to expect this of him.
Manslaughter. Where would this fit in to the schedule? I have always had a relatively Buddhist approach to all creatures and would prefer to embark upon an epic 2-day battle with a fly trying to get it in a glass and safely out of the window, rather than smash its wings through its face with a slipper or gas it to death with an insect spray. I have been mocked by this a lot in the past and there is no spiritual element to this other than a severe dislike of gratuitous killing. However even I will have killed countless creatures. i.e. Driving in a car at 80mph recklessly smashing an array of poor little flying berks to a soft paste with my big genocidal autothug, or that woeful ‘follow-through’ style body freeze when you realise you have just stood on a snail. Make no mistake though, that if a creature makes the first unwarranted aggressive move and I was, say, bitten by a spider (my personal nemesis and natures MEGA bastards), I would not think twice than to kick it right in the spiracles.
Inadvertently, this mantra would have given me access to the cross species heaven had only I been christened, oh, and I hadn’t done all of the other sinful things which blight my grubby little existence. In any case, I wonder how harshly God could judge a rhinoceros trundling along, perhaps even to kindly deliver an apple to a zebra, but crushing a succession of insects and other runts with its unsuspecting lumbering hooves. This also hinges upon the assumption that God would use our human-created judicial term of ‘manslaughter’ itself, he may not consider accidental killing being an offence under his rulings so I am again working on conjecture.
I seem to have digressed somewhat from all original points. I think that in retrospect the cross-species heaven concept is a non starter due to the reasons cited above. I think that the only answer is that there must be an individual afterlife for each creature, or perchance, every utterance or notion of any form of God and/or afterlife is archaic hogwash?
However, there are only 2 things I can be sure of from all this, which are as follows –
– Louis Theroux and David Attenborough are the only 2 people on earth with the capabilities to save the collective bloodthirsty souls of our fledgling existence.
– Wasps and spiders can fuck off. Really, just fuck off. In some ways I wish there is a Hell, because I could then be content in the knowledge that every single one of the heinous bastards will scorch for eternity in spike-laden dungeons hanging precariously from the fourth ring of Hell.