On Tue, 17 Dec 1996 19:08:35 PST R J H <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>A Tree-hugger..? [shakes her head] Perhaps I am, but I hardly consider
>myself a radical when it comes to land-usage and the co-existence of
>humanity and other species. My point is that co-existence requires
>some responsibility and some respect on the part of the people whose
>range crosses the habitat of other living things. We can't simply look
>at a beast and say "I'm Human, you're not... That means I have the
>right to use your habitat as I see fit without any consideration for
>you, your species, or any of the others that might get in my way".
>That's the attitude that the majority, at least in this area, seem to
First I must apologize, because in order to respond to this
message, it requires that I must write of things that have nothing to do
with Celts. So you may skip this message here if you wish.
The attitude you're describing is called "speciesism", it was
coined by a Canadian academician and animals-rights activist in the early
1970s. If it wasn't 3:26 am, I'd be able to think of his name, I ought
kick myself because I did some really in-depth research into
animal-welfare issues recently.
A large percentage of agriculturalists under the age of 45 are
university educated. The current doctrine taught in Ag. schools is that
production considerations must be weighed in regards to long-term effects
on the flora and fauna. Thus the development of minimal-till / no-till
cultivation, planting cover crops, Integrated pest management, and a
whole host of other things designed to be "environmental-friendly."
I've seen many of these "new" methods work quite well in actual
practice, most of the people using these methods are third and fourth
The reason many people are doing things the "old" way is not
because these "new" methods are too costly and complicated, it just has
something to do with human nature and the slow acceptance of change.
The reason I put the word "old" in quotation marks is because my
great-grandfather farmed right outside of Boone, North Carolina (which
is in the Appalachian mountains) using two draft horses and two hands,
that is the actual old way of doing things.
It's really only in the last 40 years that high-intensity
production ag. has started to produce nasty by-products. So it's not
that responsible production methods cannot be practically implemented.
What it takes are people who are intimately connected with
agriculture and the local community, say for instance, County Extension
Agents, to act as change agents for these innovations.
>I firmly believe that humanity has just as much right to the Earth as
>any other creature. These people have every right to exist and go
>about their business... BUT... The point is... Humanity has As Much
>right to the land. Not more. Not less. And where-ever possible, I
>think we should try to live WITH the natural world rather than against
>it. The natural world isn't our enemy, as many of these people seem to
>believe. Country dwellers aren't the only ones who need to remember
>that. City-dwellers and planners could also use a good lesson in
>adapting one's life to one's surroundings, rather than one's
>surroundings to one's idea of "Modern Life". Some changes are
>inevitable, and necessary... But look at something like the LA
>freeway... It's ridiculous. Do what you need to do in order to make
>the area relatively safe, and inhabitable for people... But remember
>the impact the city is going to have on the land surrounding it. Think
>about what might happen down-stream if you dam a river or take too
>much water out of it... Or if you crowd too close to the shore and
>have to build tide-walls...
I've never been to L.A. but I've seen it's grey carbon monoxide
cloud all the way from New Mexico :)