Once you get your alien from Area 51 and bring it home with you, are you expecting it to stay? News flash, Earth is in quite a state right now. Meaning pretty much everything that could go wrong is going wrong. Although your alien will probably be quite grateful to you for rescuing it, there's probably a few things you should tell it first. So before you teach it how to use a microwave or make it a Spotify account, here are some things that you definitely need to educate your alien about before it commits to staying on Earth with you.
1. Explain that we joke about dying, but we don't really mean it. Mostly.
See numbers two through eight.
2. Earth's biodiversity is at tremendous risk - because of humans.
An estimated one million plant and animal species are at risk for extinction currently. According to the UN, this will lead to the first mass extinction since humans have walked the planet. This will impact our ability to survive as well, in tremendous, terrifying ways.
3. There are still countries that criminalize gender and sexuality outside of the binary.
Your alien's thoughts on gender and sexuality politics will probably be an interesting conversation to have. Maybe lighten the mood by telling them about Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju, two lawyers in India who have been fighting an anti-LGBTQ law - and also recently came out as a lesbian couple.
4. Three-quarters of the planet is water - and we're poisoning it.
If your alien had plans to go swimming in exotic places, kindly let them know that the Mediterranean Sea, North Pacific Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico are all off-limits - we've ruined them. Some of this is due to plastic waste, some to toxic materials, and some to animal agriculture practices.
5. All of the plastic ever created is still on Earth.
Takes a while to decompose. I'll just let you ruminate on this one.
6. Our "necessary" material things often rely on child labor and slavery.
If your alien wants a smart phone, explain that they would likely be contributing to child labor in developing countries. Advise them not buy anything from Forever 21 - fast fashion at its finest. Oh, and don't even get me started on coffee.
7. Speaking of children, America has been keeping immigrant children and families in detention centers in unprecedented numbers.
It's real, it's happening, and it's scary. The Center for American Progress most recently reported that many states are pulling away from ICE in light of numerous reports of inadequate medical care, sexual abuse, and deaths in detention centers across the country. Thousands of people are being treated as though their lives are worth less than anyone else's - maybe your alien can relate somehow.
8. Lastly, your alien should probably go vegan.
I know, I know. Way too drastic. But have you ever heard of ocean dead zones caused largely in part by unregulated animal agriculture? Animal agriculture is also responsible for 91% of the destruction to the Amazon Rainforest, and going without beef (cattle ranching has the highest rates of slave labor in Brazil) for one year saves 3,400 trees.
Also, see numbers two and four. Order them some Veggie Grill.