Imagine that you are driving your dream car down a dark and misty road. You could be driving anything from a Prius, to a Hummer. All of a sudden, from the left a fluffy bunny rabbit jumps into the road, and from the right a snake slithers into the road. What do you do?
If you swerve to avoid the rabbit, you’ll kill the snake! If you swerve to avoid the snake, you’ll kill the rabbit! If you do nothing at all, you’ll kill both of them!
The snake and the rabbit analogy illustrates the journey of your life and the decisions that you make everyday. Your dream car is the technology that you use, and how you drive it relates to how you consume, and how our decisions are driven by our values and beliefs. If you imagined yourself driving a Hummer, your ecological footprint is greater because of the petrol guzzling engine, its large and lumbering size, all the fancy shiny trim and the wide tyres. If you imagined yourself driving a Prius, your ecological footprint will be lower because of its hybrid engine, smaller size and narrow tyres. Both vehicles will get you to and from a destination and both vehicles have an impact.
It helps us understand how we are driven by our values and beliefs, the impact that we have upon the world and the consequences of our every day choices. To most people, the snake is a vile and evil creature to be feared and killed. When compared to a fluffy bunny rabbit, the snake will usually come second.
In the snake and the rabbit analogy, sometimes we kill the snake, sometimes we kill the rabbit, and other times we just run everything over. However, there is another choice that we all need to be aware of. We should rather drive the car paying close attention to every obstacle that comes our way, taking corrective action or stopping to let the rabbit and the snake both cross the road.
We have to be aware that our everyday actions have the power to change the world in a positive or in a negative way. We also have to realise that killing the snake or the rabbit, or both, is a choice. A choice that we each have to make.
We don’t have to buy plastic grocery bags. We don’t have to water our garden with drinking water. We don’t have to leave the lights on in unoccupied rooms. These are all choices that we make, and all of these choices have consequences.
As the dominant animal species on Earth, we have the moral obligation to future generations to look after the world we live in and to conserve all aspects of the environment. However, in accordance with our own set of values and beliefs, we conserve some aspects more diligently than others.