Here I am on Earth - the Blue Planet. Well, what was once a blue planet is now an ailing planet, a dying planet. I cannot study Earth without being disrupted by its prime inhabitants - humans - strange creatures, indeed. Being from another galaxy, I am not used to the ways of "man" as they call themselves - strange in itself, for half the population are women. Either way, woman or man, there are too many of them! Millions, billions - and more and more every second - too many for an ill planet to hold and support. They have shaped poor Earth to their convenience and greed, caring little of the consequences. And, oh the consequences! They have stripped the forests clean and built up huge cities of gray and dismal towering buildings where they go early every morning in their automobiles - machines of transportation, a.k.a. cars. These machines emit harmful fumes into the Earth's atmosphere, cause acid rain and the air to thicken with a brown haze of pollutants. Why, their water's unfit for drinking and their air is unfit for breathing! They are even changing the Earth's climate. Chlorofluorocarbons, invisible gases used in NONnecessities such as air conditioners, aerosol sprays, styrofoam manufacture, and the electronics industry, break down the Earth's ozone protection against ultra-violet rays (which cause skin cancers, blindness, and immune suppression in people), turning it into oxygen gas. CFCs also create a barrier that prevents the escape of heat and infrared radiation - the globe is warming slowly but steadily! Humans remain addicted to fossil fuels - coal burning, wood burning, and nuclear energy sources despite their effects on the environment. To grow food they must drench the farmlands with chemical pesticides and fertilizers which result in soil erosion and chemical contamination of soils and groundwaters. And their waste, oh their waste! Each person generates 1 TON of garbage every year in the United States. There is too much waste and no room left to put it. Solid-waste disposal has reached its limits, sewage and toxic wastes threaten to contaminate land and groundwater. This is not all - the beautiful rain forest, the Earth's claim to fame, are being destroyed 1 acre per second to build houses for more people, or to provide land to feed cattle.
I haven't told you about the other creatures on Earth, have I? Oh, the poor creatures - the poor animals living under the foolish dominance of human beings. There are few wild, free animals left, for humans long ago had the idea if they "tamed" and caged the animals, they could make life even more convenient for themselves. Humans actually EAT the dead bodies of their fellow Earthlings, despite the grocery store down the street teaming with alternatives, or the thought of the creature that dies for their stomach, or even the health hazards! They raise the animals on "factory farms" - which I got to see, unlike most civilians - where the poor creatures stand in cramped cages or stalls in their own waste, waiting for slaughter. Humans WEAR animals - their leather and fur can be seen draped around the average person's body without a second thought to where it came from. As I said, eating dead corpses leads to degenerative and fatal diseases, and then humans kill more and more animals by testing "cures" for these diseases and others on them!! They even torture animals by making them perform for human entertainment and clubbing them when they don't understand.
I have been to other planets, but NEVER have I seen such creatures with such disrespect for their environment and the other creatures sharing it with them. All the killing of the animals and the wasting of the environment has led to hate among them - every minute people are killing each other, beating each other, attacking each other. And then they dare to use the word "humane" as meaning kind, tender, merciful and sympathetic.
It is sad what is happening to the Earth. I am anxious to return home to my own planet where overpopulation, excess waste and global warming are only alien problems. I fear this is my first and last visit to Earth for it is obvious it will not last long. Someday, I may go back and find only a glowing second sun or perhaps I will not find it at all. If only humans would act "humane" towards the environment, towards the animals, towards each other - the Earth really would be a better place.
I'm looking forward to seeing you when I get back.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.