Our greatest fault as humans is believing we’re indestructible and are at the top of the food chain…
We’ve forgotten important facts: we control over what happens to our planet and each of us makes a difference each day, be it positive or negative.
2 recent conversations highlighted our disconnection and spun me into a frenzy. Had it been one or the other, perhaps I would have looked away and moved on. But combination left me unable to remain silent.
8billiontrees Instagram Post
Here’s a post about a sloth who despite losing her family and forest home, was lucky and rescued. Many plant-based comments said “go vegan,” which brings out the trolls. (Sometimes, I agree with the troll, depending on the Compassion of the original commenter.)
But 2 responses enraged me: “typical… a post about tearing down plants and vegans use it for their own rhetoric,” and “they’re not clearing the forest for cows, it’s being cleared for [your] soybeans.”
This is the ignorance that keeps me away from social media 99% of the time; it certainly had a negative impact on my brain chemistry.
First, yes, we use posts like this for our rhetoric… it’s how we share our message and the reasons behind our plight. I’ve been plant-based for 25 years and often discuss the destruction of our planet; my mission is to educate and relieve the suffering of others.
To be technical, trees and plants are quite different. Insinuating the irony of a post discussing deforestation and how eating plants contributes to the death of trees is not only misleading, but obtuse.
You cannot intelligently compare harvesting and eating plants to the removal of trees for cattle-grazing. I’ve read far too many conversations on Quora claiming vegetable farms, organic crops, and a plant-based lifestyle create more devastation to the planet than animal Ag ever will… plant food does not take up more space than animal “farms.”
Second, you cannot blame soybean crops on our diet… most soybean crops aren’t used for human consumption as they should be. They’re a food source for guess what? Cattle. Beef. “It’s what’s for dinner.”
It’s not “our fault” they clear rainforests for soy. The fault lies with an industry that subsidizes animal products. Our government subsidizes meat so continue to eat copious amounts of this unhealthy food source. At no point in human history have humans had access to flesh 3x per week, let alone 3x PER DAY.
Not until government subsidy in the U.S., that is.
A Conversation in Hannaford
The second conversation happened between 2 friends in the grocery store, who hadn’t seen each other in a while. “Alone? How’d you get that lucky?” “Family’s away, and we killed the dog this morning.” An obvious uncomfortable pause… “Killed her?”
I listened, stomach churning, waiting for the punch line that never came.
“Yeah, she was 14, sick, old… she’s as old as me! So, we put her to sleep this morning.”
No remorse. Not an ounce of emotion on his face. No recognition that what he had said may seem harsh. This guy was serious and had ZERO emotion about their lost companion.
I glanced at him, knowing we can take words out of context without facial expression. He was a nicely dressed, well-groomed businessman, showing no grief that after 14 years of unconditional love, a family member was gone.
What a contrast to a conversation at work just an hour earlier.
Cleaning lupines, I found 2 earthworms and put them back in the ground. In an earlier post, I mentioned a coworker said I was compassionate because I swept staples off the greenhouse floor so the squirrels wouldn’t hurt their feet… he said I was “very Compassionate to the little buggers.” The same guy, and same conversation repeated when he discovered what I was doing… “boy, you are a Compassionate lady.”
Sure, that’s one of the 3 words I use to describe myself, but there’s a greater reason for my Compassion. I’m aware of the balance in Nature. I find no creature useless or expendable, even if I hate them. Summer bugs suck, especially when you live in the Pine State. But as I watch swarms of dragonflies feasting on them nightly, I gain a new respect for those annoying little creatures. Everything has a purpose, if you take a moment to find it.
Removing ANY part of the food chain disrupts the balance of nature. Thinking we’re at the top of the food chain is not only ignorant, but harmful to our species.
“An economy based on endless growth is unsustainable… A species set on endless growth is unsustainable.” –Unsustainable, by The Muse
We vote for deforestation and animal cruelty with every meal that contains animal products.
Even one meatless meal per week makes a huge difference.
My coworkers playfully tease me for feeding our resident crow… they ask if I understand what he’s saying and if he follows me home. At first, I said no, afraid of guaranteed heckling. Now? I’m proud to say I understand the basics of his calls. He knows our breaks and shows up on time, despite having no watch. He calls to us for food… when we give him something, he waits, grabs it, heads to a tree, and caws again.
He thanks us each time.
My coworkers now feed him or bring in food for me to give him. Compassion is contagious. But no, he doesn’t follow me home… crows are territorial.
We understand our pets, their actions and calls. Why would wild animals be any different? If you study them and their patterns, you understand the gist of what they’re saying, even if you don’t know their language. You don’t need to know words to understand the message being conveyed.
We understand the basics of a conversation with someone speaking a foreign language. We rely on body language, facial expressions, inflections of words. Animal language is no different.
Animals have emotions. It’s nonsense to think otherwise. As I sat writing this, a murder of crows made a ruckus so loud, it forced me out of my chair to find the source of the disturbance. Our 4 crows are never this loud.
When I went to the front window, I saw them in the treetops, flying from tree to tree, and walking all over our yard. The source of their commotion? Pain.
Never doubt the impact you have on future generations; your actions today determine what’s left for others. Every action has a reaction.
Please consider the importance of all creatures on this planet. Everything is significant, even if you’re unable to find it. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant or insignificant.
Global warming is real… instead of complaining about erratic weather patterns and unseasonable warmth, ACT. You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to make a difference; start with just one day of meatless meals.
YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Remember, Compassion is contagious…