I was off to a quick start with my reading journey and finished my second book, The Lakota Way, within days of finishing Anything. I picked up my third book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle before the holiday craziness really kicked in and, if time permits, I’ll have a couple more book reviews up within a week or so.
The Lakota Way and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle have both further awakened a disturbance I’ve felt brewing. The more I look around, I see this mentality of superiority and a lack of respect for humans of different shades or ways of life and animals of all kinds. In many ways, it feels like it’s the essence of America’s foundation. On top of that, I see an out of sight, out of mind way of thinking ever present in the daily lives of myself and those around me. If we don’t see how the animals we eat for food are treated, the landfills being piled up, or the plastic in our oceans, it doesn’t exist and isn’t our problem. It’s almost as if we have the right to exploit, use, abuse, destroy, and dominate because of our reasoning, opposable thumbs, and bipedal gate.
We’ve fully adopted the idea that savage is bad and civilized is good. Of course, civilized requires clothing, food, a car, a house, heating and air, WiFi, an education, student loans, a meaningful career, a yearly extravagant vacation, and the list goes on. Isn’t it ironic how we acquire a career only to pay others for what we can honestly do ourselves? Yet, we often look down on those who work in more laborious jobs because of the mindset that they don’t require much of an education, despite the fact that they’re the ones helping our lives run smoothly and easily. Further still, try informing someone that they can grow something like peanuts themselves and they’ll be left scratching their head in confusion and amazement as if they never knew food doesn’t just magically appear in grocery stores.
The way I see it, we’ve traded in natural movement, a true sense of community, and skills of survival for paying someone to grow our food, make our clothes, build our homes, and now we schedule workouts around our work life, travel by sitting, and put walls and fences on land that none of us actually own, but merely borrow for our time here. Those around me claim that we have to adapt with the times in order to survive, but at what cost to ourselves and others? Are we really surviving or did we create an illusion of survival? For those of us who question and feel the weight of our decisions, and even the choices of those before us, how do we adapt, preserve, and conserve in this modern day?