Back to the Roots

Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/AP

Wandering to the store to buy more water cleaner for the fish I have, I came across Back to the Roots.  They’re a neat company that sprung up across the bay, with two products thus far: an AquaFarm and Mushroom Kit. As a kid who grew up with access to a working farm, I intuitively grasped that separating ourselves from the natural world is impossible. As Henry David Thoreau said, “Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.”

It reminded me of this video:

These are just a few examples of a fact that everyone on this planet must come to accept: we are all connected, even if we are not aware of it. As a species, we have thrived by being able to manipulate the elements around us, and this has had profound ramifications on ecosystems without always paying attention until it was too late for other species. Extinction is fact for the Dodo Bird, and the Passenger Pigeon, just to mention two species who recently fell by the wayside in the name of progress.

Such was almost the fate of the California Condor. The species went extinct in the wild in 1987, but through conservation efforts, has been re-released back into the wild. A singular example of how human efforts are capable of saving another species when we’re aware that our meddling is what pushed it over the brink in the first place.

And then there’s the Pope’s Peace doves. He likely meant well, and it’s easy to snark about the failure of an institution to “get it right” in their symbolic attempt to urge others to reach peaceful solutions. It’s much harder to accept the realities of balancing faith as it is lived on a daily basis for many with the harsh economic disparities that still divide humanity along social lines. Those lines are just that, though, dividers that separate us from acknowledging the humanity in others who are different from us.

Their struggle is our struggle. Until we as a species accept that, we allow trivialities to prevent us from moving forward and addressing the perils our planet faces. We are no better than birds, attacking each other over our visually perceptible differences.

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