Friday, December 27, 2013

We're Sick

As a society, we stopped producing food decades ago.  Most of our families left their farms to go join the urban masses sometime in the last century.  That's when our disease took hold.  While we still learn as kids that that the food we eat comes from farms, that's about as far as our understanding goes.  We've lost the knowledge and understanding of what makes a farm -- or anything in the natural world -- really work.  We don't care about something we don't understand.

When we see on the evening news that the US is wracked with (climate change induced) drought, we might think "that's too bad for those poor farmers".  We might even suffer a moment's consternation as we realize that food prices will be going up.  We have no fear of starvation though.  Food will still come from somewhere (from the store of course!).  We "know" but we no longer understand how important the natural world is, because we think we've left it behind.   We've got more important issues to occupy our thoughts, like Miley Cyrus' butt.

The fact is that we are a part of the natural world, in the same way that your big toe is part of you.  We cannot separate ourselves from it any more than your toe can cut himself free from a life in your stinky shoes to embark on a new life of leisure at some sandy tropical beach.  We think of nature as a separate entity;  something we may enjoy on weekends when we venture out from our man-made environs.  We don't need it anymore, so we're cutting ourselves loose, heading out into our brave new world.

If we truly understood ourselves to be a part of nature, we wouldn't just shrug our shoulders at the news that our oil addiction just killed the Gulf of Mexico, shortly before we go to visit the gas station yet again.  We wouldn't brush off news that endocrine-disrupting chemicals are now making their way out of fracked groundwater and into our drinking water, right before we fire up the furnace to keep our home warm and toasty with "clean burning" natural gas.

If we truly understood that nature's health is our health, anyone suggesting something as absurd as this or this would be treated like a knife wielding intruder smashing his way into our children's bedroom.  Why?   Because both of them will ultimately accomplish the same thing.

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