Friday, January 18, 2013

Core beliefs

I believe that non-human animals are sentient, emotional, inherently worthwhile, and just plain fascinating.  As an extension, I also believe in veganism, compassionate animal husbandry (in other words, keeping pets as part of the family), and protection of wildlife and wild places.

I believe that a greater regard for the environment—a humanity-wide re-prioritization of planetary health over economic growth—is the key for the future of human life on earth. There's a great quote going around the internet these days, excerpted from David Suzuki's 2009 Right Livelihood Award acceptance speech, to this effect:

"There are some things in the world we can`t change - gravity, entropy, the speed of light, the first and second Laws of Thermodynamics, and our biological nature that requires clean air, clean water, clean soil, clean energy and biodiversity for our health and well being. Protecting the biosphere should be our highest priority or else we sicken and die.

Other things, like capitalism, free enterprise, the economy, currency, the market, are not forces of nature, we invented them. They are not immutable and we can change them. It makes no sense to elevate economics above the biosphere."

I believe that I, as a citizen of a developed nation, use more than my share, throw away more than my share, eat more than my share, and pollute more than my share. Shrinking my consumption patterns to a state-wide, county-wide, or community-wide network may be the way to lessen this problem, and I believe that local economies of progressive, interconnected citizens are the way forward. We need to become a nation dotted with thriving 21st century villages, complete with village craftsmen. I don't think that genetically modified seed and western cash crops are going to fix famine. I do think that slowing climate change, preserving heritage farming, reducing topsoil loss, taxing dirty industries, and empowering people on an individual scale (think micro-loans) is going to help.

I believe that children are precious, innocent, and worthwhile, and that they should be nurtured from day one. I would love to see what a generation of home-birthed, co-slept, breastfed, curious, bright young people could accomplish!

I don't think I have the solution to all that ails the world, and I don't think that nature or man will ever achieve perfect peace and harmony, but I do think that I am personally empowered to live better every day. 

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