Why would you do that?
I was walking for the bus the other day and stumbled across something I struggled to comprehend.
A pile of dog shit, in a plastic bag, laying on the side of the road.
Here's how I imagine this playing out:
A man is out walking his dog and enjoying the fresh morning air when suddenly he feels the slack disappear from the leash.
He stops to look behind him and see what's up to find that his dog has already squatted down with that unmistakable vacant gaze on its face.
As our protagonist waits for his dog to finish up he pats himself down, looking for that small blue plastic bag he brought with him for exactly this situation.
It's in his right hand side coat pocket.
He whips it out just as the dog finishes, bends over and picks up the fresh and still warm pile of shit, briefly wondering as he does whether the dog takes any sort of pleasure in having a human pick up after it.
Then, for some reason, he tosses the bag, having already done the horrible part, on to the side of the road, thereby taking something that is natural and decomposable and wrapping it in plastic so that it cannot decompose.
I cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone would do this. Why wouldn't you just not pick up the shit? Or of you are going to pick it up why not find a bin for it? Why just turn decomposable shit into non-decomposable shit?
What does it all mean?
I find it interesting that as humans we often do things that other humans cannot even comprehend.
To the lazy person, the marathon runner's urge to go outside and run for hours on end is incomprehensible.
To a long time vegan, meat isn't even considered food, while an enthusiastic meat eater couldn't imagine life without it.
To the comfort seeker, a rock climber's urge to risk her life by climbing a sheer cliff face is madness.
Many Americans fight for the right to own small arsenals of weapons, while for most of the rest of the world this attitude to gun ownership is confusing and nonsensical.
What's more interesting is that there is a point, some invisible line we cross, where the doings of others becomes a problem.
There are people care about the proper disposal of dog shit and those that don't, but no one is fighting a war over that.
However, when it comes vegans vs meat eaters is a constant and aggressive back and forth. Same goes for gun regulation.
It's a social thing, where once a group of people get together around some central belief and grow large enough so that their beliefs then began to spill into the public consciousness, a counter group will form.
"Every action has an equal and opposite reaction"
The rise veganism in popular culture has contributed to a counter movement - the carnivore diet.
A rise in liberal values in the west has contributed to a resurgence in right wing politics.
Climate change has even become contentious, with groups of people opposing the scientific consensus and concluding it is a scam to control people and generate tax income.
It feels like this is an innate part for being a part of a global and connected human society.
I can't help but wonder whether a campaign for cleaning up dog shit would lead to a counter movement of people not cleaning up their shit, provided the shit-cleaner movement gathered enough steam.
I can see it now, "Humans are the masters, don't degrader yourself" posts on Twitter and "this is just a scam so that the government know exactly how much they can degrade you!" posts on Facebook.
Just because I can't even comprehend why you'd leave your dog's shit laying there in a plastic bag, clearly there are obviously people that can.
Having said all that, I do genuinely believe that people generally want to work towards a greater good... The problem is that we can't agree on what the greater good is.