We Owe It to the Earth

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The cat’s been under the weather for the past few days—sleeping a lot, acting a bit lethargic, not wanting to go out as much as usual. It wouldn’t have seemed like such a panic situation, but this was the same cat who was poisoned a few months ago by ingesting second hand d-Con. The country vet noted that Caine had a fever, but was encouraged that his body was fighting off whatever kitty-virus he’d picked up.

An analogy can be made here with human beings, of course in the role of the virus and the Earth as the hearty body with a strong urge to survive trying to fight us off. As tempting as it is to chalk this epoch off as one big human screw-up—sit back and watch the fireworks, so to speak—we owe it to the Earth to give way and allow her every advantage in her effort to shake off the disease that’s got her down.

While it might be hard to swallow that humans will eventually do the right thing, it would be hasty to underestimate the self-healing powers of our planet herself. All we’d need to do is quit adding to the problem by bringing more humans mouths into the fray and change our hedonistic, carnivistic ways. Otherwise, the Earth will inevitably rear up and scream, “Enough!” Life on Earth has survived more adversity than we can dish out. The question is, do humans want to still be a part of the living planet once the Earth is through with her healing?

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Forget the Calendar

According to the calendar, today’s my 52nd birthday. It’s hard to believe; I don’t feel any older than I was on the day I stopped eating meat and dairy 15 years ago. Though my choice to go vegan was for the sake of the animals—whose misery and death I was no longer willing to be a part of—the karmic reward (so to speak) has been the arrest of some of the detrimental conditions common among people in my alleged age group and a slowing down of the aging process all living things are subject to.

Unlike vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and legumes, which can be kept as fresh as the day they were picked, meat begins to decompose the minute an animal is killed and their blood stops flowing. Any hunter or backyard butcher knows it’s a race against time to preserve dead meat before it spoils or is taken over by parasites (the microscopic kind as opposed to the human ones).Meanwhile, if not performed with great care, the morbid act of “gutting” an animal can spread E. coli and other intestinal nasties onto the “food.”

No matter how freshly killed the host animal was, their flesh is a product of death. It stands to reason that eating dead flesh cells, which contain no fiber and literally rot in the colon, will adversely affect whosoever consumes them. That’s why most herbivores live twice as long as the carnivorous species. And it’s why people who eschew meat and dairy* can potentially prolong their lives and find themselves feeling much more youthful and vital than most of their meat and dairy-eating counterparts.

*(For its part, dairy is rife with mucus forming pus—creating a favorable environment for respiratory contagions—as well as animal fat and acidic animal protein that leaches calcium from adult bones, while eggs are notoriously high in cholesterol.)

There’s a lot of truth in the saying, “You’re as young as you feel.” Forget the calendar, I don’t feel any older than 37. I can walk just as far, ski just as hard and chop as much wood as I did back then. I have just as much strength and stamina and am every bit as active in all ways—perhaps even more so, since I’ve had a decade and a half to recover from the ill effects of eating animal products.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

That Thing Called God

As I’ve stated in earlier posts, and on the “About” page, I don’t normally approve comments from hunters trying to defend their blood sport. But I do sometimes save them as fodder for future posts. This is one of those comments, from someone going by the name “Sparky,” which warranted some examination on its way to the round file:

“Fine I’m a Psychopath. I enjoy feeding my family wild game meat instead of highly processed burger king. It’s healthier, period. Also animals ARE things. God created them for us to EAT!”

Okay, first of all, this may be one of those rare cases where the hunter in question is not actually a psychopath, simply because he says he is. A true psychopath would not have the insight to see it, nor the honesty to admit it.

On the subject of healthier eating, no one here is promoting or defending Burger King; but the fact is, a “processed” patty is probably not much worse for you than freshly killed venison—they’re both red meat, riddled with cholesterol. At least the hamburger might have a few vegetables and grains to provide some fiber to move things through that would otherwise sit in the colon and rot. Meat contains 0% fiber. And really, where did Sparky get the idea that there are only two food choices in the world: wild game or Burger King? Millions of good people are living proof that you can get by quite comfortably (and much more healthfully) on a completely plant-based diet.

Now, on to the last point sparky raised, “Also animals ARE things. God created them for us to EAT!”…instinct and better judgment would have me avoid any argument involving religion, but this is too outrageous to ignore. If all of the animals are merely “things” created by a god for people to stuff their faces with, then everything that was ever written by the world’s top scientists is wrong. Forget evolutionary biology, geology or physical anthropology: all we need to know was spelled out over 2,000 years ago on papyrus by people who knew nothing of science and had an agenda to champion the sandal-clad 2-leggers they deemed God’s favorite species—superior to all other animals in mind, body and spirit. Heck, to hear some folks’ interpretation, we humans are practically gods ourselves. But where does that leave all the other precious and amazing life forms who evolved along with us? According to the prevailing religion, they’re just “things” whose only purpose is to provide (colon-clogging) meat for the palette of the once-plant-eating-now-carnivorous-primates-gone-berserk.

Perhaps some hunters weren’t born psychopaths; for some, grandiosity, a lack of empathy and the objectification of our fellow beings are traits acquired by attending one too many sermons preaching that humans are the only ones that matter. It’s a pretty convenient mindset for those lucky enough to be born human, but I’m afraid it mirrors the kind of biblical misinterpretations that have been used to elevate one group of people and subjugate another. There is no chosen species any more than there is a master race. I don’t know what sort of thing God is supposed to be, but I can’t cotton to any being, supreme or otherwise, who plays favorites and gives special treatment to one creature while forsaking all others.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2012. All Rights Reserved