Chapter 7: HEALING OURSELVES, HEALING EARTH

animal farm evolution

When enough individuals are carriers of the ‘consciousness of wholeness’ the world itself will become whole. ~ Edward Edinger

Just as the resolution of the psycho-spiritual crisis must happen at the level of the individual, so too is the solution to our climate crisis individual. It’s all about how we humans relate to the natural world. In recovering the ‘nature’ in our human nature, we are impelled to reconnect to that natural world in more satisfying ways.

Herein lies the cure for ourselves and our ailing mother Earth.

The biggest problem to date with the climate movement is that it has continued to play the game by the outdated rules established by the Oligarchs, pretending that somehow the solution to a problem posed by the way the world’s largest corporations operate involves raising money for political capital and getting people into the streets — as if somehow our politicians are going to have a crisis of conscience and stand up to their corporate controllers.

This is madness!

We’re not really thinking strategically, at least not outside of the political box they’ve placed us in, and we’re not really listening with all our heart. Here’s the good news: “Attention Earthlings: do not be concerned with the corrupted and broken instruments of your corporate overlords.” We simply need to think outside that broken boom box, and co-opt the system, subverting it with the very power it surreptitiously cedes to us: consumer power. The power to create demand(s). Not presenting our demands in writing, or pretending that participating in a broken political process with voting matters. No, we will vote with our mouths.

You see, we the people have all the tools we need right now to reverse climate change. Isn’t that shocking? To paraphrase the Mexican bandits from Treasure of the Sierra Madre: “Leaders? Leaders?! We don’t need no stinking leaders!” Once we get in touch with our grief over what we have lost, what has been taken away from us, then we are able to see what is really still possible, what is still within reach. And it is remarkably simple at this particular time in history, because the other power we already possess is the power of manifest reality: the power that comes from being completely interconnected instantaneously, via social networking on the world wide web.

It is vitally important to see the solution to runaway climate change in relation to it’s cause, because it is such a systemic problem. Treating symptoms will not do. The fatal disconnect that occurred when we split the atom and traumatized our collective psyche was the disengagement from the ground beneath our feet – the fertile Earth. The one intimate connection we still retained to our mother was through the umbilical chord by which we received her nourishment. Our once-healthy food chain, which had sustained us for over ten millennia. When that was severed, we were cast adrift and the age of increasing alienation, dis-ease and dissociation began.

And now she is calling us back to reconnect in the very way that was lost to us. This is why we are so drawn to farmer’s market – even if we find we do not purchase a great deal of our food from them. We crave that connection to our food-growers. It’s natural.

And there is nothing that defines us more than what we eat. We underestimate the power of our food choices at our own peril, both personally and collectively. The dietary revolution is already well underway, though we just have yet to really figure out what it is really all about. You could even say it is emerging ‘organically.’

What this food revolution is about is restoring our connection to the natural world, resurrecting our own human nature, and healing the planet we’ve so grievously harmed. And all it requires is making a moral choice about what we will put inside of us, and what we will not.

The inherent beauty in the food movement is that in doing the right thing, in making the moral choices available to us, we not only altruistically benefit the planet, all its inhabitants, and all future generations – we selfishly benefit as well. Once we throw off the shackles of the unhealthy, unnatural, manufactured food chain that enslaves us and is killing the planet, then our hearts and minds naturally regenerate.

The experiment in better farming through chemicals and monoculture, like the American Dream itself, seemed like a good idea at the time, but has proven to be a planetary disaster. According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the world on average has just 60 more years of growing crops in this way. Why is that? Because over time, it destroys the very soil we require to grow food and survive.

Now, switch from this failed and civilization-threatening agribusiness chemical monoculture model to regenerative organic agriculture, with soil that is not chemically ‘enhanced,’ and guess what? Not only can we produce more food per acre, not only do we remove the poison from our food chain, but the soil itself is regenerated. And regenerate soil actually removes carbon from the atmosphere, creating the potential for a solution to climate change from the disease itself – as the current agriculture model of chemically intensive monoculture, along with factory farmed livestock, is the primary driver of climate change. 

 According to a 2014 Gallup Poll, 45% of Americans already seek out organic foods in their diets! And a 2013 Public Policy Polling survey surprisingly found that 13% of Americans consider themselves vegetarian, with over half calling themselves vegan!

So what would happen if the American people suddenly began choosing en masse organic produce and whole food diets supplied by local farms over commercially grown, chemically enhanced and processes foods shipped from who knows where? And what if they stopped supporting the ongoing animal holocaust of factory farming? It would be like the Berlin Wall falling with the overnight collapse of the Soviet Union!

If properly wielded, consumer power is actually an awesome force of social transformation. We don’t need pols or corps or Big Greens afraid of standing up to livestock interests in order to effect the change that needs to happen now. That the beauty of supply and demand, isn’t it? This is what the American Spring will look like. People waking up to the connection between their stomachs and a healthy, living planet suitable for passing on to their children (not to mention healthy children!). Organic farmers taking over failed Agribusiness plantations and transitioning back to a culture of community-connected family farming with humane treatment of animals. And during what promises to be an unsettled transition period, the conversion of urban landscapes to food-scapes, with people growing healthy food in their yards, on their roofs, and in public commons. This, too, is a growing trend.

As Vandana Shiva says, “The only way to build hope is through the Earth.” Amen.