It gets pointed out a lot that we humans are the only beings on the planet who don’t live in tune with nature. Instead, we exploit, destroy, and otherwise undermine nature’s systems for our own short-term gain.
Now, we are definitely doing this. However, this is not what makes us different from other life on this planet. Every living thing on Earth tries to survive and procreate, and it does so by exploiting its environment as efficiently as it can, without regard for anything else.
The only reason why this is not usually an issue is simply that the behavior of every member of an ecosystem prompts a response by its other members, which keeps things in equilibrium.
Because of this, the behavior of us humans is exactly the same as that of all other life on earth. We have just been disproportionally successful at exploiting the resources of our environment, compared to the other members of the earth’s ecosystem. In other words, us exploiting the environment in the way we are doing is the most in-tune-with-nature thing there is.
As a result, what makes us stand out is not the fact that we exploit our environment. It is that we are able to stop and think about what we are doing. It is that we can stop acting according to our default, “natural” setting, to see a bigger picture instead – and change our behavior.