Monday, August 10, 2009

Walk Gently On The Earth

Consider this… each time you step out of your house, something dies.

Each time you take a stroll in your yard or a walk in the park, something is killed or crippled. With each step you take, some small creature’s day goes bad. One second he’s just bopping along minding his own business, and the next… Wham-O! King Kong wipes him out.

Multiply this millions of times over and you should get a pretty good idea of the impact mankind is having on this planet. Our home.

Now this post is not about beating you up over your wasteful ways. I am certain all of my readers are earth conscious and are aware of the situation and are doing what you can. But I do want to dwell a bit on being ever mindful of the consequences of our actions, vis a vis, the earth.

I have come to understand that at least one law of phisics is absolute truth: For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.

I believe this law applies to every single thing we do, and even think. It applies to every system or industry we create. But because the reaction to our action is most often invisible to us, we have no idea that it even happened, much less what the effect is and its impact on anyone or anything, near and far.

For example, if you poke your finger into a balloon, it expands in all directions, but you can’t see it. The economy is no different. A New York trader negotiates a good price on bananas and the result is, some peasant farmer doesn’t make enough money to send his kids to school and, as a result, the children only learn how to pick bananas which produces more product than demand, driving down the price even further.

This same principle applies to our everyday lives. To some degree or another, everything we do effects someone, or something else whether we are aware of it or not.

Most primitive cultures knew this well. They knew what the earth gives up for us and thus, the earth became the basis of their spirituality. They paused before slaughtering a calf to thank the earth for providing it. They paused before eating to thank the earth for its bounty.

Thanking some sky god for giving us our daily bread is not the same as getting the blood of the pig you raised on your hands. We, as a culture, have become too far removed from the earth and it is the basis of our carelessness towards the planet.

I believe every school child should be made to visit a slaughterhouse. They should learn that animals are not just food items on a shelf. I believe the respect it would generate for the earth and all of its creatures will, in the long run, save us as a species.


  1. Oh yeah! Right! let's teach every mother's son how to kill something. Yeah! Join the NRA.
    KiLl a classmate,
    pop a cap in an ExX.
    Drop one for the Gipper.
    Take one for the TEam.
    what the fuck are you suggesting. What about you and the fucking Lion. Maybe he should have you on that day. Or the Rattlesnakes. or the Republicans and the Black something or others in the what ever.
    Yeah spatter blood over the young. That's the ticket.

    And I went up there, I said, "Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I
    wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
    guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,
    KILL, KILL." And I started jumpin up and down yelling, "KILL, KILL," and
    he started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down
    yelling, "KILL, KILL." And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me,
    sent me down the hall, said, "You're our boy."

    with no excuses for Arlo
    nor apologies to the abuse handed out by the draftboard.

  2. I expected as much from the buttercup assassin.

  3. Right church wrong pew. i doubt that traumatizing a kid by having them watch animals being slaughtered would evoke much more than nightmares.

    Having every CEO of every mass production company spend a few days at the top of the acid rain producing stacks breathing the shit in and drinking the water from the water tables their production has contaminated fro a year or two would turn things faster than some kid having nightmares.

    Mr. C as much as we'd like too we can never go back but we can go forward.

  4. Once, when I was about 5, my Dad took my siblings and I to watch a cow get slaughtered bc one of made a comment that hamburger looked gross. Ummm, nice tactic el Jeffe. My mom hit the (*&@^!) roof when she found out. I was 5. And it was gruesome. I know he was trying to teach us the concept of appreciating where are food came from but I can tell you it made NO impact on me long term. Now Walking Man's idea, I like. And while we employ that program, lets make CEOs who bilk money, and cheat, and lie go spend a month in a hovel with a family to feed and no electricity. Perhaps it would humble the hardest of hearts.

  5. I had in mind teenagers, not elementary tykes, however point well taken all.
    I grew up in a country family and watched my grandmother wring chicken's necks and uncles slaughter and dress hogs and deer. I think it gave me a life-long appreciation for the other creatures we share this earth with, but maybe not. Maybe it's something innate. Like an appreciation of art and poetry.

  6. I was with you up to the slaughter house idea. You have explained in the comments, what age group you actually had in mind, so that sort of takes care of my thought that little ones would get nothing but nightmares from that, and I suspect too much of it would have the opposite of insensitivity to other living creatures. That's one by product of war...massive doses of killing, which inures one to death and suffering.

    Ok, that last statement is not exactly related to this post, but in a way it is.

    I am in agreement that most of us are not in tune with the planet. Hell, all one has to do, is count the number of SUVs on the road on any given day vs the number of "green" cars...OR, watch ones neighbors dumping chemicals on their lawn for the purpose of greener grass...and no dandelions. I am the talk of the neighborhood on this score. I refuse to kill fact, I think they're nice to look at in the Spring after so much grayness. I go out of my way to pick them when they're sporing, and blowing in all directions. And here is what really frosts me about dandelions...THEY ARE A FOOD the damned things if you don't want them in your yard...unless of course you've been nuking them.

    Sorry C, got a bit off track, and I do think you presented a good think piece. Unfortunately, the wrong people aren't going to read it.

  7. I believe in living a life where you make as small an imprint as possible. I do what I can to recycle and reuse. I'm aware of my choices. I don't always make the best ones but I'm more enlightened about my effect on the balance of the world than ever before.

  8. All... A slaughterhouse isn't a good idea, granted. Got carried away. I got to thinking that my daughters are both environmentally sensitive, and animal sensitive, and I never took them to a slaughterhouse. They have seen deer killed and dressed however (Not by me, I do not kill animals) so I imagine it had an impact.
    But somehow, some way, children need to know about them (slaughterhouses) and the entire horrible animal industrial complex.

    JJ... I feel exactly the same way about dandelions. I love them. Their pretty yellow faces popping out first thing in spring. And they're smart. If you mow them, they grow shorter and keep on blooming. Loving things like dandelions is the reason I give Punch so much grief over his buttercups. I mean, a buttercup. What could be sweeter?

    Peach.. I know you're a tree hugger from osmosis. No one could have your sensitivities and not be.

  9. Mr Charleston, no you are wrong the slaughterhouse is a great idea, but perhaps for late teenage. More over this is a great text, one of the best I have read in a long time. Mankind's rape on mother earth will be the end of us. My only comfort is that the natural life on this planet will continue long after we are gone. Earth will rise again form the ashes left by the ignorant man. Nature will remake itself, in million years from now, life will be given a second change, after the ravings of mankind. We had our change, we blew it.


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