From aging philosophers to the first day of school…
Since publishing my book in 2011, my tagline has been “promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.” The word harmony appears in the book’s first paragraph and in it’s last. There’s a reason for that.
Most of our problems as humans stem from the simple fact that we have not lived in harmony with the rest of the planet. Maybe my granddaughter Violet’s generation will get it right.
Among millions of species that have lived on this Earth, we are the only one that has not lived in harmony with Nature. But now, there are other species not living in harmony—those species that are used by humans for food, pets, work and entertainment.
After blogging for almost 600 consecutive days, I have now concluded that no matter what we do, the environment is going to be just fine. The question is whether or not that environment will be able to sustain the longterm sustainability of the human race. Like me, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Berry seem to have their doubts.
Edward Osborne Wilson (born June 10, 1929) From Wikipedia. “He is an American biologist, researcher (sociobiology, biodiversity), theorist (consilience, biophilia), naturalist (conservationist) and author. Wilson is known for his scientific career, his role as “the father of sociobiology”, his environmental advocacy, and his secular-humanist and deist ideas pertaining to religious and ethical matters. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.”
On the importance of humans. If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.
On our fellow Earthlings. When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all.
Appreciating biodiversity. We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity.
The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us.
Finally on the topic of rain forests; although they preceded humans, we now burn them in the Amazon region to grow soybeans that are then shipped to China to feed pigs. Here’s what Mr. Wilson had to say about that:
The historical circumstance of interest is that the tropical rain forests have persisted over broad parts of the continents since their origins as stronghold of the flowering plants 150 million years ago.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.
Wendell Berry (born August 5, 1934 Henry County, Kentucky) From Wikipedia, “He is an American man of letters, academic, cultural and economic critic, and farmer. He is a prolific author of novels, short stories, poems, and essays. He is also an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, a recipient of The National Humanities Medal, and the Jefferson Lecturer for 2012.”
Leading off with my favorite topic: Our collective failure as humans to live in harmony with the planet. Either we will return to living in harmony with Nature or we will eventually leave Mother Nature no other choice but to take care of business herself. And that will not be pretty. Mr. Berry agrees:
“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.”
“The promoters of the global economy…see nothing odd or difficult about unlimited economic growth or unlimited consumption in a limited world.”
“Eating with the fullest pleasure – pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance – is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living in a mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.”
“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
Finally, on the general topic of how we eat and how we handle health care in the western world, Mr. Berry has summed up the essence of our book in this brief statement:
“People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.”
- An earlier blog. Burning trees in the Amazon—to feed the pigs in China
- An earlier blog. Forget “saving the planet.” Think great grandchildren.
- An earlier blog. Drought, famine and the sustainability of the human race
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to email@example.com
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation