The human being is strange. Most anything in nature will not take part in activities known to be bad for the system. Lions don’t smoke and beetles don’t drink.
Sometimes the natural world does, in fact, drink – sort of – and even get drunk. The animals of the Southern African regions, at a certain time of the year, partake in the eating of Marula fruit. After spending just the right time fermenting in the African sun, the fruit is devoured greedily by all in the region, including monkeys, elephants, and even giraffes. If you’ve never seen videos of drunken monkeys, elephants, and giraffes, you need to prioritize this now; it is an absolute treat. There is, however, a distinction which is they do not understand it is bad for their system. All they understand is it is the most entertaining part of the year and the heaviest hitting–the next morning.
The human ape, on the other hand, understands full well the activity of drinking alcohol is bad for us, yet, we continue the practice without reservation. The same applies to how much coffee we drink, the food we eat, smoking, speeding, or whatever activity you endanger yourself with. Octopuses do not go around swimming through sharks mouths for kicks, although, if some person had invented a means yet, without doubt, some other person would have tried even that by now.
More astounding than this, despite our knowledge of the perils, it is only when something “bad” happens that we stop and consider a change. Why? Why don’t we simply review our behavior and adjust where necessary before any kind of incident?
We don’t because we don’t want to. We don’t because we enjoy doing things which are bad for us, just the same as the African animals enjoy getting drunk as lords on the Marula fruit. I’d venture to say, even if they knew how they were poisoning their systems they would do it anyway because the risk is worth the reward. I can already hear the keyboard worriers on about addiction and all the rest, and to them, I have this to say: addiction is the aftermath of the action. Every addict had to choose to partake.
Another reason we don’t consider our actions as much as we should; we don’t consider death as often as we should. Most of us think of it as something which happens to others, sickness too. Interesting thought, if you preserve yourself wonderfully, all the way to ripe-old-age, the chances you end up a bumbling halfwit without memory of yourself, your past or present is high.
Despite the way we treat ourselves we also continue to improve or lengthen our lifespans. Trouble is who will it be for? The ancient old coot across the hall or the poor soul who wipes your ass every day? I suppose it’s all down to balance–again.