I wonder how much fuss this article will make between meat eaters and vegans…
So an article has been written saying cientist found out that plants feel and hear (themselves being chewed. Nothing new for some but a lot of fuss for many others, and the article is here: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/plants-can-hear-themselves-being-eaten
Plants feel everything consciously (as all other living beings on this planet). It’s a fact. And we have so much to learn from them. So respect them in all ways, care for them, nurture them, and show some reverence when you have to eat them! I guess that boycotting conventional poisoned monocultured farmed plants is a good start point to start showing some respect to plants. Choosing to eat those you grow organically yourself and with love might be a way of learning with them to respect them a bit more. Foraging wild plants and giving thanks in the act of picking them, as well as before eating them seems to be a good practise to do – just like indigenous people from everywhere have always done in order to respect the soul of the beings they’d eat when they needed food.
I remember some 10 years ago, me being a vegan and being in the middle of a discussion among other vegan people and one guy antropologist that had been with hunter-gatherers tribals in the amazon. He defended that eating meet hunted in the sacred way of the tribal people was the best thing one could do to respect a living being, and most vegans were against the antropologist, due to the fact that hunting for killing was violent and induced suffering. I agreed with the antropologist although I was vegan myself because I consider that all living beings are conscious, all can feel love or pain. But I consider that respecting them as equals is a key, and I’m sure that to the whole Earth ecosystem these tribal hunters do less damage than a vegan eating lots of packaged highly processed food in plastic vegan products (plastic pollution and water waste are everywhere and a result of modern food habits, and are some of the hardcore stuff we should be adressing as top priority on a ecological level, since it is major waste highway to death and ends up killing and causing suffering to a lot of living beings. This doesn’t mean I think its the same eating a cow or a plant as long as you give thanks for the meal when its in your plate, neither it means that we should all become hunters (not a good nor fair equation since we’ve dizimated most species already and are usually using fire guns to hunt).
Learning to live as an indigenous person from the rainforest – which has a very low pollution footprint on the planet – one that live in harmony with nature not taking more than it needs or gives back, and owns ancestral knowledge that supports its is not in the reach of every 6 billion humans on this planet. Most don’t even want to learn to live like an indiginous because they believe tribal people are some kind of low IQ dum people (I guess this is what people usually mean when they say primitive). Reality is their way of life is highly conscious and intelligent and is there as rooted deep knowledge for ages, if not milenia. the fact that they haven’t developed super complex tools and started devastating nature all around might be another sign of a highly inteligent concious culture and system of living, and that migth be the why and how they managed to thrive untill today (while today they are being destroyed by another culture, consumerist one that considers itself to be superior to them). But I’ll focus on something else now.
Plants are the main producers on this planet - this means they support the existing of all other life forms in many ways, as giving air, shelter, shadow, and food for others) and they are the living beings that use energy in the most efficient way. Humans are now the main top predators on the planet at the moment. This doesn’t mean that in a so called chain of life pyramid you’re the equivalent to a lion, or that everyone should become a hunter. This means that we as a species are predating all the other species living on this planet (in many ways, by destroying nature, creating plastic waste, polluting all land and water, causing massive extintion, and by the food choices we make as well… just to mention a few). Usually, in a balanced ecosystem, top predators are the lowest size population of a determined species in a ecosystem, while main producers (plants) should be the species existing with the most diverse and biggest population rate. Well, in the last century humans managed to destroy 95% of all the plant species existing on the planet.
Now what is happening is that humans are the main top predators, and are at the same time the species that exist in biggest quantity on the plant. Our population is so big, that in biological terms we are considered a “plague”. Getting to realize this is not very difficult but it might be hard for our ego-tripping superiority concept of ourselves as species.
Fact is that if we make some ecosystemic mathematics, we easily realize we are way too much people consuming (consuming means destroying by the way) too much. Analysing some of the possible food choices we have its easy to reach to the conclusion that for us to exist doing a bit less harm to the whole ecosystem (means a functioning shared home with a diverse community of living beings living together) we have to make conscious functional choices. And this means that if you are a native inhabitant living a eco-friendly natural tribal way hunting with your hands, or a low ecofootprint forager – basically, if you’re a person from a consumerist western system and you just buy food in the supermarket, then for common good of all other species its better that your food habits turn to depend basically on the main producers: plants. You will have a lesser impact in the lives of other living creatures with whom you share the planet. But its not that easy neither plain simple. A vegetarian choice helps a bit but doesnt solve much if you consume products that have been growned in a conventional farming system full that poisons the soil, the peasants that grow them an the water system. So, considering choosing organic food is a key factor. But only if your food is not constantly travelling half the world in an airplain to get to your mouth (this is totally energy inefficient due to waste in fossil fuel required for travelling and packaging). So if we care for some conscious life diversity we should be eating plant based foods that are organically grown locally (less that 100km from where you live). And to come to terms to the topic on this article below, the level of consciousness of plants is high and sensible and i really think they don’t like to grow in a monoculture (even if it is organic) neither being packaged in plastic and waiting in supermakets. I also believe that a eskimo guy living its (simple, tribal, highly spiritual and low carbonfoodprint style) life the way it has been done for ages, and ritually hunting and honoring its food, which can only be meat or fish since its all frozen in the poles, well, I guess this guy is acting locally, does consume crap neither tv or eletronic gadjets, and lives in a respectfull manner and respecting life in such a broad sense, in such i way that I confess to have trouble to believe that a lot of intentional-western-vegetarians. Anyway, if I’d be an eskimo in the snow I’d eat meat I’d hunt. I confess I don’t really like the idea of eating beings with eyes and I’ve stopped eating meat at 11 when one day I helped my family killing a pig with a nife while facing the pig in the eyes. Nothing to be proud of, it was like a nightmare to me at the time, and after that I spent one week throwing up still remembering the image of the squirk of the pigs blood to my face and its guts being open and falling to bucket I was holding. To me it was a turning point: I started asking many questions about life, death, killing, food habits, real needs, etc, and becoming conscious of my gut feelings and taking actions acording to what I would feel as right or wrong. I was a kid, but from there came a reasoning I still cheerish: that if you are to (or want to) eat animals then you better have the guts to hunt them, face them in the eyes for some moments and only then kill them to eat. I do think that living in this western consumerist energy wasting society, especially if in the city, one should have a diet based on locally seasonal growned plants to try to balance ones energy consumption/waste/carbon-footprint/pollution. I really thing that in the times we are are living we should make conscious choices all the time, in everything we do, always considering the best for an interdependent ecosystem and our broader community. Choices that should be based on deep observation of the context around us. That’s what indigenous people do or did, and thats what we’ve also done untill the medieval ages as well in Europe.
We all got to eat something, and if all beings are conscious on the same level we are, and we wanna respect them, we better find ways to grow your own plants from seed to plate, with love and care, and learn more about wild food plants (I suspect these are the happiest ones ;) And at the moment you pick your food or cook it, give it a big respectful thanks like that indigenous people from the amazon and many others still do – realize that what you are about to eat is a living being that has given its life to support the diversity and thrive of Life, also known as your need of energy (what real food is suppose to give you) to keep YOU alive. So you better honnor this sacrifice (sacred gift work is the ethimological root meaning of this word) and start doing something worthwhile on this planet with all the energy you are being given in every day you live!
Everything is connected.
Greenhouse Aquaponic Garden
Abundance, health and happiness come not from things, but relationships. Money can’t buy me love!
As designers, we look at connections in space and time. If we put things in the right place,do things in the right order and at the right time, we save work, money and energy.
“To every thing, there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”
We look at flows between things—flows of water, energy, nutrients, information. Every time we link things together, we create more abundance than when they are separated.
Nature Moves in Circles
Birth, growth, death and regeneration—everything in nature is part of a cycle.
Waste is food—one thing’s waste is another things’ resource. So—produce no waste, re-use, recycle, and look for places where we can close loops—find a use for a former waste product. Pollution is an unused resource.
To maintain the cycle, we must give back. If we use a resource, we must replenish it.
Energy is abundant but not unlimited
Every day the sun shines down on the earth, showering us with energy. The sun’s energy gives us our solar budget—that extra that creates growth and abundance. But we must use it wisely. So—catch and store energy. Cycle energy and resources multiple times. Use renewable energy.
Do more with less.
Dignity Verdant Gardens
Make a way out of no way. Kill two birds with one stone (sorry for that!). Every element serves more than one function—so choose and place it carefully. A climbing rose, in the right place, might produce a bouquet, filter the wind, and keep out intruders.
Use on-site and local resources whenever possible.
Let nature do the work—if you can use a biological resource, chances are it will be cheaper, easier and more effective than chemical or mechanical means.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Work smarter, not harder! Use your eyes and your brains more, and your money, your muscles and your fossil fuels less. Look before you leap. Observing, thinking, designing and planning can save you time, sweat and money.
Resilience is true security.
Dearborn Community Garden
Value diversity—for diversity creates resilience. This is true for ecosystems, gardens and humans! Give your plants theright companions in guilds, polycultures and crop rotations.
Edges and margins, where two things meet, are often more dynamic and creative than either one alone, so make use of them.
Have more than one way to fill a need—don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Have more than one source for food, energy, income, etc.
Make mistakes—carefully! Start slow and small so you can try new things and tweak what doesn’t work.
Weak links and constraints—design for the limiting factors. Design for catastrophe—the hundred year flood could come tomorrow!
Small-scale, intensive systems are more diverse, creative and resilient than giant megasystems.
Build from the ground up.
First things first. Prepare the soil before you plant the seeds. Respect the roots of culture, place, and people as well as plants.
In nature, there’s a succession of evolution—pioneer plants prepare the ground, grasses move in, then trees….work with those patterns to speed them up or hold them back.
Tashi at Hayes Valley Farm, San Francisco
Feed what you want to grow. Create the conditions that will favor the things or behaviors you want, rather than making war on what you don’t want. Trying to kill the pests simply breeds resistance.
You break it—you bought it. If you change something, you become responsible for the consequences.
Monitor and maintain what you create. Permaculture systems rarely work perfectly at first—they are living things that need adjustment.
Get some! Obtain a yield.
You’ve got to get back for what you put in. You have a right to a life of health, abundance, joy and beauty—and that’s why we’re doing this.
Grow what you want to eat. Decide what yield you want, and plan for it.
Get the biggest bang for the buck—observation, creativity and planning will let you use the least amount of time, money and energy to get the benefits you desire. Don’t use a chainsaw to cut your cheese.
Kyra fills a flower to make a drinking cup for Starhawk.
The gift multiplies. Nature is generous—when we give freely, we create more abundance for everyone.
Creativity is an unlimited resource.
Nurture creativity in nature and in people, and you will reap rich rewards.
Focus on solutions rather than just complaining about problems. The problem is the solution.
Look for ways to add creativity and you will add value.