Recently I have been reading “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman, which is a great deep looking exercise into our human superiority complex. What touched me initially was the description off how Manhattan would change and be taken over by animals and plants if people one day were not around. It is clear how much time and energy we as humans invest in our buildings and infrastructures and maintaining them for nature not to take over. This morning a group of us were cleaning in the storage area of Solidity Hamlet and the strength of the coyote brush shooting out of of the ground is inspiring in this hot and dry environment. This helps me look into our planet with more open eyes, remembering that everything we have comes from nature, from where else? The other side of the coin though is that what we throw away doesn’t really go anywhere. If we are not able to reuse or recycle, mother earth have to hold and do her best to transform what we discard. But because we have become so good at cleaning up our own backyard, it seems that the trash has gone away. We have many childlike assumptions and views like this regarding ourselves and our relationship to the earth, and the other beings of this planet. It’s time to wake up!
Where did we get the idea that humans are number 1 and have the right to use and master animals and plants as we like? More importantly is to recognize it as ignorance and not let ourselves act according to this wrong view. Being in love with the Earth, is also being in love with ourselves. Today I am more of my own friend then I have ever been and it feels good. Loving myself for me means to love the air that I breathe, my parents, the food (vegan) that I am blessed with and so on. There can be no human being without plants and animals. I remember hearing a Professor of Business say that photosynthesis is at the base of the economy and that he tells all his students. This is easy to understand and I was very happy that he shares this with his students, but it does not seem that this insight is pervading the market place, at least not yet. When we start to look at our place in the circle of life here on Earth and our relationship with the animals and plants our heart can open and soften. Not because we are free from pain, aging, injury and accidents, but because we know who we are. When we feel connected with life, when we are awestruck with the beauty and intelligence of life, we naturally want to protect and care for it. We know we are nature, caring for nature is caring for ourselves. We know that through anger and violence we are not protecting and caring for anything. From understanding and compassion our thinking, speaking and acting can testify of the awesomeness and life giving quality of what we want to protect and care for.
A concrete way we can care for the animals and the planet is to adopt a vegan diet. We have to be able to bring our insights and inspirations into actions and we have to start with our own life. Are we able to let go of meat, fish, egg, dairy, alcohol?
In my process several conditions came together. The first was the exposure to the suffering of animals in modern food production. The second was learning about the amounts of water, grain and energy a meat based diet requires. The third was having access to nourishing and tasty vegetarian food. To touch the suffering humans afflict animals, watch Earthlings (be aware that it is real and heart wrenching). For information about resources used for food production there is a informational article on Vegetarian Times and an article on the encouragement from the UN to take on a vegan diet on the Guardian. In terms of having access to vegan food, it’s getting easier in many places, but don’t go for processed soy and gluten products that looks and feels like meat. We need to show the way for millions of people around the world who are having the funds to eat on a higher level in the food chain. To be the change in the world we want to see!
Next week the first Earth Protection Here & Now sharing will be posted as a podcast. It touches on the life giving inspiration to start this blog, our teachers instruction in terms of caring for the Earth, the teaching in the Diamond that Cuts through Illusion Sutra and more.
May we continue to learn and grow together! Brother Protection