Hating nature seems like a blossoming weed of a trend. Plant puns intended. Out of mere curiosity, I began wading through internet articles where bunches of people gathered around digital campfires (not a real ones because they hate that kind of stuff) to swap their top reasons for hating the not-so-great outdoors such as this thread. I decided to sum it all up to three main reasons which have been repeated over and over not just online but also by some people closest to me.
Full disclosure, I don’t harbor any sentiment of hating nature. I grew up in the thicket of Texas Hill Country. Fresh creeks for swimming, the sound of crickets at night, and the whole galaxy HD on clear nights. Where my mom would leave a machete on the back porch, for brush clearing. As a kid, I would sneak off with it into the Ashe juniper forests to wage imaginary wars against endless clumps of invading Prickly Pear Cactus. Poor cacti.
1. Creepy crawlies
Mosquitoes and ticks are potential vectors for disease. Not to mention, painful ant bites and the horrifying realization that there are crawlies out there that can cause strange and even deadly reactions if bitten. I mean, there’s this spider in South America, Phoneutria nigriventer Which can cause painful erections with its venom. C’mon mamma nature! Why? Why do these exist???
The fear of insects and slithering animals has been proposed to be deeply ingrained in our evolution and for good reason. Even some entomologists (scientists who study bugs) are afraid of spiders. Something about their erratic leg movements and the underlying threat (albeit irrational) these creatures cast simply sends shivers down our spines.
2. Lack of comforts
Imagine this hellish experience: sitting sticky from heat in a small tent pitched on the bare ground. The buzz of a mosquito in the air while you argue with your camping companion about whether cucumbers are fruits or vegetables. You automatically reach for your phone, google will know. .. google always knows. NO SERVICE. Literally . The. Worst. Seven more hours with no immediate gratification, Netflix, air conditioning, showers or back support. Gross.
Did you know a study found that people hate being alone with their own thoughts and some would rather give themselves a painful electric shock, than be bored? Our phones and social media apps are addictive for a reason. When you think about it, they allow for a never ending escape route from sitting alone with ourselves.When you unplug to be out in the wild with no distractions and practical silence, it can feel like a dull toothache that you can’t immediately shake off with your iphone. Understandably, this mildly uncomfortable experience is one many can not handle especially, if you are not accustomed to it.
So, what’s my opinion on all this? I agree with those people, nature is a mess. What in life isn’t? Everything has a trade-off. I challenge you to find anything that is one hundred percent cherry pie all the time. Cities with their polluted soupy air, stress, and high crime rates are arguably more dangerous than forests. The number one death to humans in the world is Coronary heart disease not spider boner bites, snake attacks, bear mauls or West Nile. It’s friggin Heart disease. Another on the top ten list, is hypertensive heart disease, heart problems caused by hypertension in other words stress. In fact, studies support the evidence that city dwellers overall are more stressed than people who live in rural spaces. That just fifteen minutes out in a natural space can reduce cortisol levels and blood pressure.
Perhaps people dislike nature for the same reasons I dislike mega-cities. It’s a culmination of the unknown, potential threats, solitude, and the gross factor. However, in all fairness, don’t call camping gross because you can’t shower everyday when I have almost stepped in literal human feces in the germ cesspool of metro stations. Cities are infested with rats, roaches, air pollution, and potentially dangerous humans. They are concrete jungles with their own respective threats. So why do some people choose to point out all the negatives of nature but also ignore all the obvious negatives of city life? It’s up to the individual to decide to be blind to the perceived bad in favor of what they deem is a perceived good. Can I blame people for choosing the urban jungle over the wild jungle? No way to each their own. I’m not trying to convince people to flock out to take a bunch of selfies in wild spaces because in all honesty some places really need to be safe havens from hoards of human traffic. Wild places are for wild people. Those who embrace the untamed savage of life and nature.
I believe cities and nature can and will symbiotically coexist in the future. There are already cities successfully integrating nature in their infrastructure. Humans and other species will be stronger because of it. At the end of the day it’s not about city slickers versus country bumpkins or hippies versus corporations whatever. It’s about a unified “we”. All species on Earth learning to live together in order to survive and progress. What I do propose is a shift in the way everyone sees and recognizes ”nature”.
Wild places are for wild people.
Those who embrace the untamed savage of life and nature.
Nature is not just a bunch of trees and acorns. Nature is a complex interconnected system (not created by humans) that humans need in order to survive. What’s to hate about that? Smart cities are increasingly recognizing the dire need for innovating more and more “green spaces” such as public parks, community gardens, and rooftop gardens. Not just for human health but for the security of natural resources which everyone relies on such as: clean water, clean air, and food. I believe, people only protect what they love. We need more people to start recognizing our reliance on nature and to fall in love with all its different forms…but hey …just maybe not the mosquitoes.
Comment Below what you hate or love about nature.