"Every one of us can do something to protect and care for our planet. We have to live in such a way that a future will be possible for our children and our grandchildren. Our own life has to be the message."~~ Thich Nhat Hanh"A few years ago, while researchimg my book "the World Without Us," I visited a tribe in Ecuador whose remaining shred of once bountiful Amazon forest was so depleted that they'd resorted to hunting spider monkeys. This was especially grim because they believed themselves to be descended from those very primates. In essence, they'd been reduced to eating their ancestors."~~ Alan Weisman"In very seperate ways, both he [Thich Nhat Hanh] and I have concluded that as humans lose the links to the past from which we spring, we threaten to kill our future."~~ Alan Weisman"Just as no person lives forever, no species escapes eventual extinction, and ours is no exception. Yet to be alive, as Thich Nhat Hamh so eloquently reminds us, is both a blessing and an honor to uphold. To realize that we are part of a grand, changing, living pagent - one that, no matter how deep a wound it sustains, will always be renewed - brings great peace. But this grand perspective doesn't relieve us of the responsibility of living and acting at the highest possible level of awareness while we are here now."~~ Alan Weisman"The bells of mindfulness are sounding. All over the Earth, we are experiencing floods, droughts, and massive wildfires. Sea ice is melting in the Artic and hurricanes and heat waves are killing thousands. The forests are fast disappearing, he deserts are growing, species are becoming extinct every day, and yet we continue to consume, ignoring the ringing bells."~~ Thich Nhat Hanh"We need a collective awakening. There are among us men and women who are awakened, but it's not enough; most people are still sleeping. We have constructed a system we cannot control. It imposes itself on us, and we become its slaves and victims. For most of us who want to have a house, a car, a refrigerator, a television, and so on, we must sacrifice our time and our lives in exchange."~~ Thich Nhat Hanh"In twenty-five years the population of China will be 1.5 billion people, and if each of them wants to drive their own private car, China will need 99 million barrels of oil every day, But the world production is only 84 million barrels per day. So the American dream is not possible for the pople of China, India, or Viernam. The American dream is no longer even possible for the Americans. We can't continue to live like this. It's not a sustainable economy."~~ Thich Nhat Hanh
In the meantime, 25% of greenhouse gases are caused by the beef we raise in the United States to eat. Fully 80% of the corn grown in the United States is consumed by livestock. In the United States alone the grain that is fed to the animals we eat would support the total calorie need of a planet of 8 billion people. We must change the way we live, the way we think, the way we eat.
(Originally posted to Multiply September 27, 2008)