Music, Weaver Birds & Spider Silk

Been getting back into music again. I had a long time of only producing mediocre stuff I wasn’t happy with. Think that happens to everyone, is maybe part of the learning process. You seem to reach a point & get stuck there for what feels like a long time, like trudging through inner mud, & for a time you can’t feel much at all, & it all feels tedious & dull.

Then suddenly from out of nowhere you can feel the music again & it is like a dam breaking free & there’s a woosh where everything feels new like fresh air. It brings with it a feeling of euphoria.

***

I watched a David Attenborough program I found on YouTube. It was about weaver birds & spiders.

Weaver birds are amazing. They can properly sew, they weave their nests out of natural materials, using their beaks like sewing needles & spider silk from old webs as thread.

The skill they put into building their homes is pure craftsmanship. Some can even tie knots, which is pretty impressive when you realise they are doing it without hands. This complicated knowledge is apparently passed down through DNA. How is that possible?

And it can be resourceful & adaptable if it needs to be. It will use whatever materials are available, if there’s no spider silk or leaves it will use something else instead & do just as good a job.

***

Then the programme talked about spiders & how they produce silk. Which was amazing until it took a turn into the dark side. And talked about how humans invented machines to farm spiders for their silk. It was hard to watch, it made me feel sad. Yeah some of the stuff weaved from spider’s silk looked beautiful, but it wasn’t much fun for the spider, who didn’t get any choice on whether it was OK to take all it’s silk & then leave it weak & without the very thing it needs for it’s survival.

Some scientists have gotten so obsessed with spider’s silk they genetically engineered a goat which produces silk in it’s milk.

This felt disturbing & deeply wrong, it troubled me. I don’t agree with genetic engineering or farming animals.

What some humans do to animals is despicable. They are like Nazis.

I don’t know what to make of science to be honest. Yeah it’s helped expand our knowledge of the universe, it is interesting & useful, but with that knowledge bad things also seem to get invented, like weapons of mass destruction & animals get tortured in labs, as we test our drugs & cosmetic products on them to see if they are safe to use.

Is science a good or a bad thing?

I don’t know, it could be a good thing, but is all this arrogant cruelty & lack of compassion for other creatures necessary for our progress?

Is it really progress if the knowledge we discover has the potential to cause our extinction?

Should we be dabbling in it when part of the motivation & sponsorship of it is business & war?

I think science should go slowly, take time to carefully weigh out the consequences of it’s discoveries. There should be some discipline involved in it’s study & application, & a deep love & respect for the sanctity of all life, no animal should be tortured or inhumanely manipulated to gain knowledge, it is wrong.

Animals suffer like we do. They are aware, they are conscious, they don’t have our technology or complicated verbosity, but they feel pain, & they feel afraid.

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