A terms that organizes all living things into two categories: first there is “us” and then there is “all other living things.” The term claims, implicitly, that human beings and the world’s habits are divisible and independent from each other, an illusion fostered for hundreds of years.
Also implicit in the term is the notion that all other living things are subordinate to human will, interests and concerns. Out of it comes the belief that “human beings have primacy over the earth” and that the planet is “under our rule.”
This ideology is widely-accepted and is complicit in the ecological degradation of the earth as this ideology is used as a rationale and justification for most habitat destruction.
Terms which more accurately reflect our dependence on the planet’s living networks are ecosystem, habitat and biosphere.