Common Themes, East & West:
EARTH DAY: 22 APRIL
The Web of Life: if you injure one strand, all the others are harmed as well.
[Map from a now-defunct link by Carol Brouillet -- her updated essay (without this map)
is now at: Reweaving the Web of Life]
*******...And all things are woven together and all things are undone again, and all things are mingled with one another, and all things are composed, and all things are permeated with one another, and all things are decomposed again. And everything will be moistened and become desicated again, and everything puts forth blossoms and everything withers again in the bowl of the altar.... -- From the Visions of Zosimos, cited in Carl Jung's essay,
"Transformation Symbolism in the Mass"
*******At some point in life the world's beauty becomes enough. You don't need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don't need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens -- that letting go -- you let go because you can. The world will always be there -- while you sleep it will be there -- when you wake it will be there as well. So you can sleep and there is reason to wake.
Nobody is truly sane
until he feels gratitude to the whole universe.
-- Oscar Ichazo
Civilization no longer needs to open up wilderness;
it needs wilderness to help open up
the still largely unexplored human mind.
-- David Rains Wallace
-- From Toni Morrison's Tar Baby
Out in space, Christ weeping over our planet
7-8April 2002, 3:15am,
Spring Equinox, Passover, Easter, and Earth Day all fall within a brief 30-35 day period each year. These spring celebrations involve themes of renewal, trust in the deeper currents of life, and unexpected help in the darkest of times. Each of these celebrations respect natural processes aligned with the mysterious divine. The rich ritual legacy that Christ left Christendom, for example, centers around simple bread from earth's fields of grain -- and wine from earth's sunripened grapes. What Christ left his believers -- what was important to him -- were not his sufferings but, rather, bread and wine transformed within the great web-of-life and shared in communion with human beings who were themselves intimately woven into that same web-of-life. These are natural processes shimmering within the Sacred. We should not forget this.
Politicians and multi-national businesses do forget this, however, and will oppose natural processes and ecological interests with cunning laws and crafty, hypocritical rhetoric. Their loyalties clearly belong to the business of business, and not to the business of Mother Earth. The rest of us will need to work with renewed hope, a stalwart sense of humor, and a clear determination to protect the environment for all species without resorting to the warped logic and corrupt strategies used by the powerful opposition.
As violence escalates this spring in the Middle East, the web-of-life is also forgotten. What kind of idolatry is it to obsess over a piece of "holy land" so brutally that human lives are counted as nothing? Such intractability on both sides forfeits any claim on, or connection to, the divine.
In this springtide season, may we pray, create rituals, sprinkle water blessed by our hands on the earth, light peace-fires, write letters to politicians and CEOs, send them e-mails (e.g., see the Sierra Club and other activism sites that make sending appropriate e-mails easy), march in local protests, carry banners, and start new websites. May we not collapse into emotions that'll only drain us. May we stay calm and watchful, show compassion towards our own bodies (which are also of earth) -- and do whatever our own healthy, creative imaginations prompt us to do for Earth Day this year. It will all help.
Religion Dispatches: Debate Over Mother Earth's Rights
[Added 4/22/11, c. 5-6am EDT]: From Religion Dispatches comes a thoughtful and timely 20 April 2011 essay, "Debate Over Mother Earth’s ‘Rights’ Stirs Fears of Pagan Socialism," by Bron Taylor. Taylor focuses on fascinating recent moves in South America, in which the rights of "Mother Earth" are protected by law. These moves have even influenced the UN. Excerpts:http://www.aldoleopold.org/greenfire/quotes.shtmlReligious and political conservatives have long feared the global march of paganism and socialism. In their view, it was bad enough when Earth Day emerged in 1972, promoting a socialist agenda. But now, under the auspices of the United Nations, the notion has evolved into the overtly pagan, and thus doubly dangerous, International Mother Earth Day....The article provides a link to the “Study on the need to recognize and respect the rights of Mother Earth,” produced under the auspices of the United Nations by its Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. It also offers a quick “Summary of a Declaration on the rights of Mother Earth,” borrowing the words of Evo Morales on the occasion of the first International Day for Mother Earth on April 22, 2009. It's well worth reading.
...[A] recent Fox News article....explained that in 2009 the UN General Assembly passed, with all 192 member states in agreement, a UN Resolution proclaiming International Mother Earth Day; that the socialist Bolivian President Evo Morales, who regularly blames capitalism for the planetary decline of ecosystem health, advanced the 2009 proposal; and that the idea for the proposal to confer rights to mother nature had been “influenced by the spiritual indigenous Andean world outlook that revolves around the earth deity Pachamama, roughly translated to Mother Earth....”
The remarkable language in the Ecuadorian constitution and in Boliva’s new Mother Earth law did not, however, result from indigenous Andean spirituality alone. They were also influenced by a generation of thinking and debate around the world about human responsibilities toward nature.... I contend that the recent developments in Ecuador, Bolivia, and within the United Nations are as American as apple pie: they are to some extent in the spirit of a diverse range of American voices that led to the pioneering Endangered Species Act of 1973 signed into law by Richard Nixon.
Yet today, those who call themselves conservative are generally hostile to environmentalists, often considering them to be politically or spiritually dangerous socialists or pagans....
[Added 4/22/11]: This is a great site on the famous naturalist, Aldo Leopold, with many interwoven pages, even including a 72 minute feature film, Green Fire (which unfortunately my computer can't access). From the site's Biographical Page on Leopold:http://www.witherspoonsociety.org/earth_day.htmConsidered by many as the father of wildlife management and of the United States’ wilderness system, Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast.The first link (above) includes quotes from Leopold that are included in the film. This wise, but heartbreaking quote is my favorite:
Born in 1887 and raised in Burlington, Iowa, Aldo Leopold developed an interest in the natural world at an early age, spending hours observing, journaling, and sketching his surroundings....
Following a transfer to Madison, Wisconsin in 1924, Leopold continued his investigations into ecology and the philosophy of conservation....
A prolific writer, authoring articles for professional journals and popular magazines, Leopold conceived of a book geared for general audiences examining humanity’s relationship to the natural world. Unfortunately, just one week after receiving word that his manuscript would be published, Leopold experienced a heart attack and died on April 21, 1948 while fighting a neighbor’s grass fire that escaped and threatened the Leopold farm and surrounding properties. A little more than a year after his death Leopold’s collection of essays A Sand County Almanac was published. With over two million copies sold, it is one of the most respected books about the environment ever published, and Leopold has come to be regarded by many as the most influential conservation thinker of the twentieth century....“We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then and have known ever since that there was something new to me in those eyes, something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.” [From: Thinking Like a Mountain]
(Note: if you too are moved, you might want to explore my Wolf page.)
[Added 4/22/04]: This is a "progressive" Presbyterian site with terrific resources for all ages for Earth Day. Dates refer to 2002 but most of the information is valid for any time. The page opens with shocking clarity:http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/041908G.shtml
A sad illustration for an Earth Day sermon
... and some steps to take [4-18-02]
The Rev. Bruce Gillette has sent this sad but helpful thought for those who will celebrate Earth Day on Sunday, April 21, 2002.
Pollution from power companies is killing twice as many people annually as died on September 11th. (See the New York Times report on April 18, 2002, headlined "Study Sees 6,000 Deaths From Power Plants"). We are spending billions in response in our war against terrorism - now our nation needs to respond to these ongoing deaths....
[20 April 2008:] "Green" claims can be a confusing, "grey" area. This site offers several links to help clear away the confusion and hype.http://www.earthday.org/[Link updated from .net to .org 4/16/11].
This is Earthday Network -- a thoughtful, serious site for Earth Day and environmental issues in general. Among the offerings are "Events & Groups" (various Earth Day celebrations around the United States); "How To ---"; and "Grist Magazine," which is the area I found most interesting because it features well written essays by experts on environmental issues -- here, for example, is a direct link to a Dartmouth professor, the late Donella Meadows, discussing ABC's John Stossel's attack on organic farming: http://www.grist.org/article/thought[link updated 4/16/11].http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20040227044613/http://surfaquarium.com/newsletter/earth_day.htm: [now on Web Archive: 4/16/11]
There's another feature called "Teachers Corner" with excellent information on Earth Day for classroom use: http://www.earthday.org/education[link updated 4/16/11].
And there's "Breaking News" with updates on environmental news at:
http://www.earthday.org/newsroom[link updated 4/16/11].
This is an impressive site with solid information and goals.
[Added 4/22/04]: This is Innovative Teaching's fabulous resource site for children's Earth Day activities:http://holidays.kaboose.com/earth-day/index.html: [updated 4/20/08]...Here is an offering of what's out there to help your kids make the connections between their studies and one of the true remnants of unabashed activism still thriving today - the environmental movement....My favorite from a long list of projects is this one:Celebrate Earth Day with the Lorax - http://www.randomhouse.com/seussville/titles/lorax/
Dr. Seuss's lovable character invites you to play the Save the Trees game and participate in reforestation by becoming a Lorax helper - great for elementary students familiar with the original story.
Again for children, this is Kid's Domain's "Celebrate Earth Day - Every Day." There are stories, coloring pages, Earth Day cards, games, songs, crafts, foods, amimated rainforest animals (you can download a demo of these), and much more.http://www.envirolink.org/newsearch.html?searchfor=EarthDay+2004&x=21&y=15:[URL updated 4/20/04]
This site, updated annually, offers a listing of Earth Day/Week/Month events around the United States (and a way to add your own to the others), tips for organizers of such events, terrific earth-friendly products, and -- best of all -- the international coverage of the EnviroLink News Service -- Daily Environmental News. Here, for example, is one news item from 2000 (from EnviroLink):http://earthday.envirolink.org/history.htmlLONDON, April 5, 2000 (Reuters) - The Church of England should not allow new tenants to carry out genetically modified crop trials on its land, the church's Ethical Advisory Group said on Wednesday.... [Go to their "News Archives" if you want more particulars.]
From the above site comes a fascinating history of Earth Day since its beginning on 22 April 1970. [Note 4/11/01: another good history alternate is at Earth Day Network:http://www.earthday.org/earth-day-history-movement[link updated 4/20/08 and again on 4/21/11].http://www.thegreenlife.org/: [URL updated 4/20/04]
"EarthDay Resources for Living Green: the Consumer Clearinghouse for the Environmental Decade" is a sober, careful site that, among other things, watchdogs false advertising claims by companies like Coca Cola, Chevron, Mobil, and Pacific Gas & Electric (whose misuse of a chemical called chromium VI has now been made famous by the movie, "Erin Brockovich," starring Julia Roberts). Each year this non-profit organization puts out its "Don't Be Fooled" Awards:http://www.environmentaldefense.org...American consumers are increasingly looking for products from companies that are environmentally responsible, but find it difficult to sort through the numerous claims corporations make in their advertisements and product labels. Earth Day 2000 releases this report annually to call attention to the past year’s worst greenwashers, corporations that have made misleading or false claims about the environmental benefits of their products and industries. "Don’t Be Fooled" describes companies’ greenwashing attempts as well as the truth behind the misleading claims....Under "Links" are city-links to many different American municipalities with Earth Day celebrations as well as links to a wide array of environmental organizations. Under "Events" are Earth Day listings for more cities without websites.
From NASA: Earth at Night
This page comes from the non-profit organization, Environmental Defense, and like other sites on my page, offers news updates on serious environmental issues. It also offers an impressive collection of new ways to protect the environment by "pointing & clicking" (go to "Action Center" in the small-lettered menu across the top of the page). Here's a review from PRNewswire: [dead link 4/20/04 & not on Web Archive]http://www.enn.com/PRESS RELEASE
Publication date: 2000-04-05
NEW YORK, April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Taking Earth Day activism beyond a concert in the park, Environmental Defense (www.environmentaldefense.org), today highlighted a variety of direct- action tools online to let concerned consumers help improve the environment in their own backyards and around the globe.
Environmental Defense, a leading national nonprofit organization based in New York, represents more than 300,000 members. Since 1967, the organization has linked science, economics, and law to create innovative, equitable, and cost-effective solutions to the most urgent environmental problems.
"To mark the 30th anniversary of Earth Day, we are using the power of the Internet to take environmental activism to the next level," said Environmental Defense executive director, Fred Krupp. "People are now just a point and click away from making a big difference this Earth Day."
From Scorecard, a state of the art resource allowing people to easily track and lobby polluters in their own communities, to the Clean Car Pledge, Environmental Defense's online features deliver tools for action directly to the desktops of consumers....
...Dedicated to finding the ways that work, Environmental Defense is a national advocacy organization with nearly 200 scientists, economists, attorneys, and other professionals in its eight regional offices. The organization was founded in 1967 and has helped bring about some of the twentieth century's most significant environmental milestones. From the phase-out of neurotoxic leaded gasoline to the ban of DDT (a measure that brought the Bald Eagle back from the brink of extinction) to persuading McDonald's to phase out foam clamshells, Environmental Defense has been on the cutting edge of environmental gains for more than 30 years. The organization has worked closely with the Bush and Clinton Administrations to create environmentally sound and economically viable strategies for reducing acid rain and controlling global warming, and continues to pursue new solutions by working directly with business, government, and grassroots groups on approaches that make sense for all.
[Added 4/7-8/02]: This is the excellent Environmental News Network, or ENN:http://www.sdearthtimes.com/Since 1993, the Environmental News Network has been working to educate the world about environmental issues facing our Earth....Today we not only offer timely environmental news, but live chats, interactive quizzes, daily feature stories, forums for debate, audio, video and more. These components are all aimed at educating our users about the major issues, while at the same time giving them the tools to make a difference in their own community. We are not an activist publication, but instead try to present information from all sides so our users can make their own decisions....The site is a very rich resource.
This is the San Diego Earth Times On-Line -- it offers high calibre monthly articles on the environment:http://geology.about.com/education/geology/library/weekly/aa040900a.htm: 4/20/04: [Dead link but I'm keeping the annotation.]Each month, San Diego Earth Times On-Line presents articles covering a wide variety of local, national and international environmental topics. The SDET archive contains every article published since our first issue in Dec '93 -- more than 1,000 articles.For April, they have several special features on Earth Day (updated annually).
We also offer a searchable Calendar of Earth-Friendly Events, an Archive Search Engine, Web links and more....
From Andrew Alden, the geology guide at about.com, comes an essay (with clickable links) on Earth Day, past and present. He argues for creating a larger role for the earth sciences on this day, a role that would lift the day's often too tepid, feel-good quality to one of genuine significance....The political side of Earth Day has faded from its remarkable origin in 1970, during the Nixon administration. Back then, ideas about conservation and environmentalism were vigorously debated, part of a sea change in American consciousness....
Copyright © by the artist, Joanna Powell Colbert,
and used with her kind permission [URL updated 4/7-8/02 & again on 4/21/11].
[Note: on her site, Joanna includes data on this Goddess of the Wilds,
who so fiercely protected Her forests and the young of all species]
[Added 4/12/01]: This is a lengthy scholarly paper, "The Soul of Nature: The Meaning of Ecological Spirituality," by Lynna Landstreet. It's an excellent, highly worthwhile, serious essay. The author has divided it into 16 subsections, each with a separate page (the full text is available on one page if you wish to print it out). To give you an idea of her range, here are the subsections: 1. Introduction; 2. Enviromentalism and the sacred; 3. The sacred defined; 4. Spiritual experience as transformative; 5."Despairwork" -- spirituality and activist burnout; 6. Immanence and animism in the West; 7. Monotheism and scientific atheism; 8. Three axes of change; 9. Magic and the problem of belief; 10.The cultural and historical specificity of disbelief; 11. The resurgence of spirituality in the West; 12. The birth of neopaganism; 13. Spiritual deep ecology; 14. Spirituality, culture and identity; 15. Tensions and commonalities between neo-paganism and deep ecology; and 16. Conclusions and endnotes.http://www.deenametzger.com/
I went browsing and what first caught my eye was a beautifully nuanced piece from section 9 on magic and belief -- here's a portion from the beginning:...A society's view of magic may in fact say a great deal about where that society perceives itself in relation to the world, in terms of the locus of power and control. A world where magic can happen is a world where we don't have all the answers, a world where nature still holds the power to surprise us, to confound our expectations and evade our attempts at categorization, prediction and control.
In my view, the acceptance of the possibility of magic is rooted in humility -- it is a tacit admission that we don't know everything. Conversely, the denial of magic is rooted in control fetishism -- in the blind faith that nothing we don't understand can exist. Even the term "supernatural" in itself implies a faith in the possibility of some sort of absolute knowledge of what is "natural."
I find that this faith in the ability, and perhaps more importantly, the right, of human beings to define the bounds of reality, to dictate what nature should and should not be allowed to do, is disturbingly widespread, even among many who are otherwise quite critical of anthropocentric biases....
[Added 4/7/02]: This site from well known author and teacher, Deena Metzger, isn't specifically focused on Earth Day, yet Deena's writings on such themes as animals, the Council of Elders, and peacemaking resonate deeply with the sacred dimensions of this day. This is a wise, eloquent, and thought-provoking site. [Also see my Myth*ing Links page on Deena Metzger's Call for Deliberation. Update 4/21/11: also see my Karmic Noah's Ark portal page with links to more on Deena Metzger's work.]
http://www.epa.gov/adopt/earthday/index.html: [Updated 4/20/08]
Detail of "Water Dance"
Painting © by Mo Montserrat
[From The Sacred Feminine: URL is now dead, 4/20/04]
[Revised 4/21/11: now 10, not 15 things, but still a strong site]: This is a great page from the EPA with 10 things you can do to help your local watershed for Earth Day -- or any day.Water: Sacrality & Lore (Wells, Springs, Pools, Lakes)
[Added 4/12/01]: Continuing the theme of water is my new Myth*ing Links page. Especially relevant to Earth Day are the first 4 links showing how crystallization-patterns in water are profoundly affected by positive emotions and certain kinds of music; on the flip side, these links show how the patterns break down into murky chaos when the water is polluted, or subjected to heavy metal music or emotional negativity; the implications, underscored by great photos on each of those 4 sites, are awesome.http://www.pta.org/events/ew/00/index.htm: 4/20/04: [Dead link -- unfortunately, the PTA has discontinued their coverage of this day. I'm keeping the annotation as a reminder of what they once valued.]
For children, this is the National PTA's (Parent Teacher Association) website for Earth Week 2000 (16-22 April). The focus is on clean water, clean air, and lead-poisoning prevention. [4/11/01: not updated but the data remains relevant for *any* year.]
http://www.ciwf.org.uk/: [Updated 4/20/08]
Courtesy of Tradestone International
[Added 4/7-8/02]: From England comes "Compassion in World Farming":http://www.factoryfarming.com/: [Added 4/20/04]Compassion in World Farming was started in 1967 by dairy farmer Peter Roberts. Peter and his wife Anna were becoming increasingly concerned with the animal welfare issues connected to the new systems of intensive farming that were becoming popular during the 1960's....The site offers solid data on a wide rage of topics. They also have a page with links, photos, and other really useful resources at: http://www.ciwf.org.uk/resources/default.aspx: [Updated 4/21/11]
...Originally run from the Roberts family house, Compassion in World Farming has grown into an organisation with branches in Ireland, France and Holland and contacts throughout Europe and around the world.
Compassion in World Farming campaigns through peaceful protest and lobbying and by raising awareness of the issue of farm animal welfare. We also produce fully referenced scientific reports. Our undercover team provide vital evidence of the suffering of farm animals. We have a wonderful network of supporters who help us in so many ways and celebrities who lend their time and support to our campaigns....
This site presents a series of lucid and fairly brief pages on the pernicious practice of "factory farming." There are special sections on the various types -- e.g., dairy, poultry, beef, etc.http://www.farmsanctuary.org
This is the Farm Sanctuary's website. One of my friends, Jane Brown, sent me this link after visiting the Sanctuary's northern California farm in early 2000. Jane was so moved by what she saw, and so agonized by the fate of so many other unrescued animals, that she spent the weekend in tears and has been haunted by the experience ever since. She is now a strict vegan.
This site isn't specifically focused on Earth Day, but it belongs here because these animals are Earth's own, and thus urgently deserve our help and protection -- for their sake as well as our own. Here's a portion of the page's introduction:Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has established America's premier farm animal shelters and waged effective campaigns to stop farm animal cruelty. In addition to its No Downers [note: "downers" are animals too weak to stand], Boycott Veal and Farm Animal Defense campaigns, Farm Sanctuary promotes a vegan lifestyle.The site is deeply disturbing, but it is also filled with hope, beauty, and love. I hope you'll risk visiting this one. (FYI: so that you know my own position, I have been, essentially, a vegetarian for many years, although as a proper Capricorn, which is the sign of the archetypal goat, I do use milk, yoghurt and cheese from goats. If ever I have land of my own, I plan to raise a small herd of goats so that I'll be 100% sure that they're loved and well cared for.)
Every year, thousands of people visit Farm Sanctuary in upstate New York and northern California. Here, people have the opportunity to be touched by rescued farm animals. Farm Sanctuary also hosts various conferences and events, and operates Bed & Breakfast cabins at its New York farm.
Farm Sanctuary has videos, photos, and other resources to help educate people about farm animal abuse, and it has reached millions through the media. The organization also publishes a quarterly newsletter to keep its members informed....
Courtesy of Russian Sunbirds
From D. Byrne Reese comes "A Global Responsibility," a well written page with sobering statistics on meat production versus vegetarianism. The style is very accessible -- for example:Animal Deaths in Europe: Of Cows & Madness...In all honesty, I resent scare tactics, and similar methods designed to shock people into change. Such methods have always made me feel like I was being manipulated - and as a result, I resisted. However, the facts involved here are exactly that: facts. I will talk about them below because they are some of the reasons that persuaded me to become a vegetarian. Whenever possible, I will indicate the source from which these facts can be verified....Again, the page isn't specifically connected to Earth Day but, in a larger sense, it's an intricate piece of the overall picture. My own suspicion -- and I'm speaking here purely as a mythologist with a depth psychological perspective, not a scientific one, so please understand my bias and take it for what it's worth to you -- but my own suspicion is that to take into one's body a life-form killed painfully, disrespectfully, untimely, and cruelly is to invite one's own cells to run amuck in confusion and revulsion -- the result could be diseases such as cancer. Humans are just one among many life-forms -- we're all interconnected -- how can our cells not feel the pain of all the others?
If we were just digesting chemicals compounded in someone's lab, that would be one thing. Or if we were digesting the flesh of animals and birds whose cellular structures still held memories of sun and rain, wind and fragrance, then even if their lives were terminated abruptly, but with the respect a hunter feels for a brave prey, we could probably find true nourishment there, for the earlier, soaring, life-drenched memories would still overbalance the pain at the end. But to take into ourselves the flesh of creatures reared in dismal, dreary, claustrophobic boredom on huge farms with thousands of other miserable creatures, never tasting rain or wind, never running free, and herded at the end into brutal pens of mass death, how could our own bodies ever digest and find decent nourishment in such gray, cramped, inert flesh? I don't know. For myself, I prefer not to risk it.
[Added 4/11/01]: This is a page I created for Mything Links on Spring Equinox 2001: it looks at Foot (Hoof) and Mouth Disease from the perspective of a cultural mythologist. I suggest in my essay that our tragically meat-engorged Western urban economy dates back to the ill-omened founding of an ancient Greek city (Thebes, birthplace of infamous Oedipus) on the corpse of a harried cow. We are still living with the twisted repercussions of that shift in consciousness. I hope you'll take a look.
[Added 4/11/01]: From the excellent monthly e-zine, Headline Muse, comes another cultural mythologist's look at Foot and Mouth Disease. Don't miss this subtle, compassionate essay by Adrian Strong, a meat-eater himself (and a former student of mine at Pacifica Graduate Institute) on our soulless attitudes towards the animals we eat. Here's an excerpt:http://www.witchvox.com/earth/everydayearthday.html...Do we still have any reverence or even respect left for that which gives up its own life so we may continue our own? The image of mountains of carcasses piled up in a field, being machined by bulldozers and front-end loaders, is a powerful one. Auschwitz this is not, we can smugly say to ourselves - for the victims are not human - and yet the attitude of machine-mind which haunts the shadowy background of such images is not so dissimilar. Indeed is it not this same attitude which treats animals as mere units of production and gives rise to such “stock” diseases as Foot-and-Mouth and Mad-Cow? For what passes for food and treatment of these animals can in no way be imagined as adequate to a soulful life....Strong then frames this larger issue within the context of an earlier incarnation in which the future Buddha sacrificed his own life to save a starving female tiger. I highly recommend this one.
The way we treat our daily food – as stock – not as a living sacrament which keeps us alive is an indication of just how removed we are from Life, and consequently from Death. Yet the powerful images we see on television speak for the slaughtered saying: “Yes, Look! This is the way we really are to you. Look at us! We are mere carcasses to you – not even Livestock, but Deadstock!”....
[Added 4/22/04]: Finally, from Witches' Voice, a highly respected pagan e-zine, comes "Every Day is Earth Day" by Peg Aloi. It is hard-hitting, passionate, and deserves to be read. She begins with her warm memories of Earth Day dating back to when it first began -- the high hopes, the immense promise, the eager activism. But, she continues, none of that worked, for things are getting increasingly worse. Here are some excerpts:http://www.nrdc.org/thisgreenlife/...We eat chicken and beef that has been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, so much so that girls in this country now start their menstrual periods an average of five years earlier than they did twenty years ago.... American factory farming practices have so polluted our water table with potent pesticides that hardly any so-called "pure" spring water source can be guaranteed untainted. These same factory farming practices (which stress production over conservation of the land) have so eroded topsoil that vital minerals and nutrients once present on our vegetables (read that "dirt in our diets") have all but disappeared, leading to an alarming rise in asthma among children. The use of bovine growth hormone in milk products...has been shown to lead in some cases to severe endometriosis and increased rates of breast cancer in women....She concludes on a note of mixed hope -- here is part of it:...LIVE as if there's a point to it all, as if a healthy lifestyle is actually making a difference not just to yourself, but to your loved ones, and to all humanity. HOPE that our frenzied consumer culture will evolve and start to see the problems with going too fast, buying too much, and not cleaning up after ourselves. But this takes WORK. Study alternatives to the status quo. Walk or bike to school or your job. Find a farm in your state that raises natural poultry and see if your local stores will stock their products. Turn off your cellphone. Turn off the computer. Take a walk. Smile up at the sky. Hug a tree. Love your Mother....
[Added 4/21/11]: Finally, a great link suggested by Michaela, my Links-Elf, who finds broken links on my many seasonal pages and then diligently researches them until she locates updates, which she somehow manages to do about 95% of the time! Along the way, she also finds new treasures, like this webpage from the National Resources Defense Council ------ "This Green Life" is a monthly e-newsletter by New Yorker, Sheryl Eisenberg, that is both educational and practical, including for city living. This month, April 2011, the focus is on composting. I compost but am a total amateur -- I learned a LOT from this page!
Related Pages from Myth*ing Links:
To Common Themes: Water: Sacrality & Lore (Wells, Springs, Pools, Lakes)
To Common Themes: Land: Sacrality & Lore
To Common Themes: Earth Goddesses & Gods
To Common Themes: Green Men
To Common Themes: Tree & Plant Lore
To Common Themes: Animal Deaths in Europe: Of Cows & Madness
To Current Springtide Greetings, Lore, & Customs
To Eastern & Western Europe: Earth-Based Ways (Wicca)
To the Wheel of the Year
To the Archived Earth Day 2001 Page
To the Archived Earth Day 2000 Page
Menu of Common Themes, East & West
[Note: for the most current list, please go to my home page -- see link below]:
Animal Deaths in Europe: Of Cows & Madness
Artists & Muses: The Creative Impulse
Creation Myths I
Creation Myths II
Crones & Sages
Dragons & Serpents
Food: Sacrality & Lore
THE FOUR ELEMENTS
Land: Sacrality & Lore (mountains, caves, labyrinths, spiral mounds, crop & stone circles, FengShui)
Earth Day & Environmental Issues
Earth Goddesses & Gods
Air: Sacrality & Lore (air, wind, sky, storms, clouds, weather lore)
Sky Goddesses & Gods
Fire: Sacrality & Lore (fire, northern lights, green-flashes, Elmo's Fire)
Fire Goddesses & Gods
Water: Sacrality & Lore (water, wells, springs, pools, lakes)
Floods & Rainbows: Mythologies & Science
Water Goddesses & Gods
Nature Spirits of the World
Rituals of Birthing [forthcoming]
Rituals of Marrying [forthcoming]
Rituals of Death & Dying
Rituals of Puberty
Rituals of Devic Weather-Working: An experimental, on-going ritual in cyberspace
Sacred Theatre & Dance
Star Lore & Astrology
Symbols, Signs, & Runes
Time(Calendars, Clocks, Natural Temporal Cycles, Attitudes toward Time, & Millennium Issues)
Trees & Plant Lore
Tricksters, Clowns, Magicians, Jesters & Fools
Wars, Weapns & Lies: The Dehumanizing Impulse
Weaving Arts & Lore (Cosmic Webs, Spinning, Spindles, Clothing)
© 2000-2011 by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
Page originally created 4 April 2000 & published 5-6 April 2000.
2000: 19 April 2000.
2001: 11-12 April
2001: archived last year's page;
wrote new introduction for this year; checked all links; added a few new ones: 14 April 2001;
14 May 2001 (added new menu); 11 July 2001 (Ned3.0 + added a link).
2002: 7 April 2002:
link check; minor text revisions; reorganized some sections;
shifted 3 Foot & Mouth links to their own page; changed some images; deleted music.
7-8 April 2002, 3:15am: launched.
8 April 2002: minor tweeking.
2003: no updates as I was in the midst of moving from California to Michigan.
2004: 20 April
2004 -- keeping opening essay from 2002 since nothing's changed;
did links-check; shuffled around order of links; added factory-farm link.
22 April 2004 - 1-2pm-ish: added 3 more must-see links; re-fonted all quoted passages.
April 2008, 4:45am: added Christ Weeping image; keeping opening essay from
Still need to update all links for first time in 4 years!
19 April: I intended to update this page before the May Day/Beltane page,
but an email telling me about obnoxious pop-up ads on the Beltane page changed my mind. Thus, I did that one first.
Tonight, I added a new Earth Day link to this page & updated a handful of broken links, thanks to my Links-Elf, Michaela
-- still about 8 to go. Hopefully, I'll be able to update these links before 4/22.
16 April: tweeked a few minor things in the opening essay from 2002--
I'm shocked by how relevant it still is nearly a decade later. Do we never learn?!
Updated broken links for first time in 3 years, thanks to my Links-Elf, Michaela. Still have 6 or 7 to go.
21-22 April 2011: finished all updates; also switched previous 10-point italicized quotes to 12-point, no italics, pale blue
-- shows up much better and easier to read. Also -- c. 3-6am, 4/22/11 -- added 2 new links and 2 NASA photos of Earth at Night.
22 April 2011, 7-8:30 pm: added a 3rd new link on Aldo Leopold.
The kaleidescopic "Ann-i-mations" are provided by Ann Stretton at: