Here’s to a more contemplative, considered, measured Earth Day 2018 (on, around, or far from 4/21), as for all intended days of remembrance, tradition, action, and activism.
Here’s to an antidote to do-something-ism, the arrogance of action for the sake of acting without intelligent, careful thought, patience for information, debunking myths, withholding judgment, uncovering assumptions, probing conventional understanding, and placing a check on emotionalism. Certainty is impossible, but near-certainty must be earned, not used as an excuse or a form of denial beforehand.
Here’s to Earth, to people, to animals, to reason, and to love. To a balanced appetite for details and the big picture. To doubt, to questioning, to human rights, and never killing to punish. To you, if you’re with me on these–if you, too, would cull the herd mentality, whether it claims to come from truth, patriotism, freedom, control, justice, safety, mercy, love, or God.
And here’s a poem of sorts.
Culling the herd © 2018, Carrie Tangenberg Sometimes to love animal means to love human-animal balance, if love is a balanced act of compassion, reason, acceptance, for human is animal, too. I couldn’t pull the trigger in everyday conditions, but I don’t begrudge the hunter, farmer, game warden, parks ranger, zoo keeper, veterinarian, wild survivor, adventurer, conservationist, naturalist, lost traveller who may have to, want to. Who am I to stop everything? Save everything? Or anything? Start something? What exactly and why? What is wisdom, wise action here? Cull the herd, naturally. Cull the herd naturally. What does it mean? What is natural? What unnatural? Where is the line between? And which herd will it be? And how? Curiosity, discovery, fascination, wonder, awe, anxiety, annoyance, frustration, disgust, confusion, amusement, anger, sadness, startlement, fatigue, and sometimes fear— These are the feelings of living among wild prey when one owns a dog and a yard with grass you don’t want dug up by any but yourself, and a house built on pavement ant pandemic. But free will is never free, never without consequence. What if making a difference means doing more harm than good? Did you know? Do you? Always? Respect the what-if, at least. I don’t get squeamish reading about creature death, butchery, predation, and harvesting for food, watching wild death on TV or the Web, or watching vet shows, trauma, surgeries, sorrows. I would, I do not like to see blood up close, so bright, so red, so shiny, fresh, raw. All it took was a clip of the quick on my dog’s left back toenail to send me into panic where I’m usually calm. It wouldn’t stop bleeding. General Chaos conquered. It was Easter 2018. Bleeding eventually stops, and so do breeding, foraging, fleeing, hiding, sleeping, mating, hunting, scavenging, migration, habitats, and life. We can’t stop everything, but everything stops, even rivers, seas, forests, islands, valleys, mountains, plains, planets, stars, solar systems. Even senses, motion, heart, brain, growth, and breath. Even love, even faith, even hope, even panic, idiocy, evil, insanity, and this listing of word lists.
If this post or poem resonated with you, you may also enjoy: