Dear friends of Holistic-Ways,
When I was looking for an opening quote for today’s newsletter, I came across so many, which seemed to speak directly from the bottom of my heart that I decided to share more than just one. Here we go:
“It shouldn’t be the consumer’s responsibility to figure out what’s cruel and what’s kind, what’s environmentally destructive and what’s sustainable. Cruel and destructive food products should be illegal. We don’t need the option of buying children’s toys made with lead paint, or aerosols with chlorofluorocarbons, or medicines with unlabeled side effects. And we don’t need the option of buying factory-farmed animals.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals
“We are such spendthrifts with our lives, the trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”
― Paul Newman
“To reverse the effects of civilization would destroy the dreams of a lot of people. There’s no way around it. We can talk all we want about sustainability, but there’s a sense in which it doesn’t matter that these people’s dreams are based on, embedded in, intertwined with, and formed by an inherently destructive economic and social system. Their dreams are still their dreams. What right do I — or does anyone else — have to destroy them. At the same time, what right do they have to destroy the world?”
― Derrick Jensen, Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization
A few months ago, I was invited to sit on a panel at the University of Alaska Anchorage to speak about the importance of Local Food. Although I am not a farmer and just moved to Alaska half a year ago, I was hopefully able to draw the connection between sustainable, local farming practices and our personal health.
I feel blessed that I met a wonderful, inspiring group of panelists, as well as several courageous students of UAA who attempt a change on campus; they want a garden and better food in their cafeteria. Sitting there, listening to all the speakers, it became once again clear to me that a change needs to happen. And although “it shouldn’t be the consumer’s responsibility” (as mentioned in Foer’s quote above) it will be on each of us to reach that break-through.
I tell my children that it must be their generation who achieves this change; and so I told the students. Unfortunately, out of more than 10,000 students at UAA, we had four listening to our panel of five. However, those ladies were full of inspiring ideas and equipped with a valiant streak of wholeheartedness, which leaves no questions that this group will grow. Therefore, I believe they will carry out their dreams and ambitions, just like a handful of students in Fairbanks did before them. They were successful; and now the kids on campus are eating food grown at the University.
We all feel little at times. When I look at this immense Universe and all the billions of people on our planet Earth I truly am just a tiny speck. However, it is you and I who can make a difference if we intent to. It is you and I who talk to our neighbors, friends, and family. And it is you and I who will create the ripple effect if we choose to do so.
For now, I would like to thank the four spirited students who have chosen their battle. If you guys need anything, I will give my best to support you in any way possible!
As for all other readers of this newsletter: Have you chosen your battle?
Maybe this write-up makes you think… it surely did the trick for me (once again). And so I try to talk to my neighbors, friends, family, and YOU to see what that tiny speck in the Universe can do to encourage people to live a more sustainable, healthy and happy life on our planet Earth – and how to keep it this beautiful for our children, grand-children and their children down the road.