Yesterday was earth day. So is today and tomorrow. On earth day it seems each of us should feel gratitude for our blue and green planet, maybe even celebrate the fact that this planet of ours continues to be our one and only home, a beautiful place when it hasn't been destroyed by each one of us.
Each day I find myself grateful for this home. I also find myself in deep pain about what we are doing to make the earth less beautiful and less resilient. Without even thinking about it, we are committing the crime of the universe, supporting so many huge endeavors that are not sustainable, that are using more resources than the earth has to offer.
And it doesn't have to be this way. It's happening because we have gotten ourselves into a rut and are barely pondering ways to get out. Instead, our undisciplined inner voices are telling us to live like millionaires, like we rule the stars, like we are not a creative, imaginative species able to do anything about a planet spiraling out of control.
For instance, just our food habits alone are creating havoc everywhere. In less than thirty years, snack foods and all the palm oil required to make these kinds of foods have become responsible for replacing millions of acres of natural forests and habitat with palm oil trees. Rain forests and native woodlands have been - and continue to be - toppled to make way for herds of cattle to feed our meat habits. And large, ney huge, corporate interests are invested in keeping us on the path of plundering the planet in order to benefit their stockholders and to satisfy consumers that remain numb to the consequences. That would be me and you!
I will be numb and dumb no more! But what to do??? The evidence that I too am responsible is loud and clear. And although I recycle my garbage, have reduced my use of electricity, drive my car prudently, and wear second hand clothes (yes, I often shop at wonderful second hand stores!) there has to be something more I can do to help save this beautiful earth.
So here it is: I've given up meat and snack foods permanently. And I really like both. But I've learned that eating them is just a habit, one that is destroying natural habitat, creating huge quantities of waste, and costing lots of energy to produce and transport. Instead, I now only eat vegetables along with fruits, beans, mushrooms, onions, seeds and nuts. Very few grains. I'm also learning to read labels and ask for things locally grown (within a 500 mile radius.) And I never walk down the snack food isle of the Safeway. That's pure trouble!
Finally, I'm trying to spread the word. Eating plants is not only good for the planet, it is especially good for our health and our figures. Study after study is showing this. And you don't have to go cold turkey. Getting off the addiction little by little is a great sign of progress and a great way to demonstrate respect for Mother Earth.
So join me. Let's both turn the corner. After all it's earth day today and tomorrow all year long.
Here's a charming video by a local young women, Sarah Gulick, that says it better and more artfully than I can. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxPjZ607jNI