Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Paths

In the past year I only wrote about eleven posts on this blog, granted some of the posts were very long. I archived/deleted all of them except (maybe) one.

I still stand by many of the things I wrote in those posts. However, it’s time to put some things behind me. Though my ego nags at me to keep those posts viewable to the public (as proof of points that I have made in the past), it’s hardly important…and it’s time to start afresh. Such is the luxury afforded by just another unknown blogger tapping out words on the outskirts of the Internet.

I’m not sure if I will write here again in the future. I’m giving it some room for now. If I do start writing about “animal rights” again one day, I hope to take a much different tack, both in form and tone.

For now, I will keep my one post on climate change simply because it is in line with my current focus, and I may one day take up where it left off (i.e., discussing the importance of migration corridors and other issues related to climate change in the Pacific Northwest). Knowing what I know now about the irreversible devastating effects of climate change has forever changed my view of…everything. So I’m not even sure that “Animal Rights Evolution” is still an apt title for whatever I would write about today. I think “animal rights” would fall under a vastly bigger umbrella.

I will probably continue to write on my other blog The Veganic Way, which focuses on veganic (vegan-organic) gardening. And I may even carry over some of the topics I’ve written about here, such as climate change and animal migration corridors. I no longer have any interest in debating the usual animal rights topics/rants making the online rounds these days, nor am I much into “vegangelicalism.” Rather than “vegan education” based on the criticism of others (which I never liked much to begin with), I’ve become somewhat keen on the notion of healing (humans, nonhumans, and Earth herself), in its many aspects (the application of which can be as varied as using herbs, replenishing the soil, helping an animal to safely cross a road, or sharing enlightening words). I realize that many animal rightists might not think that is enough (and would be happy to argue about it for several weeks), but in a world that is rapidly crumbling, I can’t see hostility and self righteousness saving the day. The problem is so much bigger and vastly more complex than any of us can barely comprehend; there is no single viable answer to this mess. The inertia of 7 billion people, most of whom seem not to care about the state of the planet, is unstoppable at this point. Attempting to arrest the hurtling momentum of the trillions of entangled issues that are each rolling chaotically out of control is Sisyphean at best. Every single day we speed toward a world with less animals…less life. The massive loss of biodiversity that Earth is experiencing won’t be reversed for centuries, much less in our lifetime. The way I see it, we are on a one-way track headed toward a colossal worldwide train wreck, and there will be no refunds for this nightmarish ride. The idea of healing rather than fighting (a losing battle) appeals to me as all life stands on the edge of a new era that will require survival and adjustment (we are far past the time of mitigation). For the honest person, current reality wipes out hope, even when a lack of hope is considered utterly taboo and subject to ridicule by the activist investing all of her time and energy toward mitigating a minute fraction of the problem. But each person will rightly choose their own path to help animals and nature in light of the suffering that is to come. I am only here to choose my own path. I have confronted what I believe to be the raw truth, and am trying to come to grips with it, as the death of the world as we know it is not an easy thing to grasp, much less accept (I am learning that there may be stages to collapse akin to stages of trauma). Instead of deluding myself with perpetual hope to justify my own martyrdom in the name of almighty “Change,” I have instead spent time humbly reflecting on who I really am (the person beneath the recently angry and argumentative protective veneer that was somewhat short lived comparatively speaking and strangely out of character for me)– who I have been all my life: a person who is peaceful and wants the best not only for humans and animals, but for the whole planet. What I ultimately want is for everything around me to heal.

I have spent many hours this past month happily sowing various types of seeds and tending to plants in the back of the house. Though over the years I've had an interest in identifying native plants, gardening is a new venture for me, and I previously knew little of its healing qualities. Even as a novice, the simple acts of replenishing the soil, growing new life, restoring plant health, promoting biodiversity and native growth, and just being out in nature so close to the Earth has had a calming and soothing effect on me. Learning about various herbs and applying them as natural cures to myself, my pets, and the rest of my family has also helped to enlighten me and change my perspective. I once volunteered for a wildlife rehab center, and perhaps this newborn interest is simply an extension of my previous desire to help and heal. But I am realizing that healing branches out into so many realms. Healing the mind. Healing the body. Healing the minds/bodies of others. Healing ecosystems. Healing nature herself. And when everything is connected as it is, healing can have a wonderful domino effect.

I suspect this is just another leg in my journey toward awareness, and I certainly do not own the whole story yet. I will hopefully continue to explore this new territory and humbly grow in my mind and my heart even further, even in a time when the future is bleak.