In the past year I have spent time in Eastern Iowa, Northern California, the San Francisco Bay area, Costa Rica and the Boulder/Denver area of California. In the populated places the human animal definitely is king. However the human animal has it’s heirarchy to be sure. Some people live under bridges and some live in mansions.
In the areas where there are no towns on maps I used to have the idealized thought or hope that that’s where the animals live, that’s where nature lives. In the midwest this is just not the case. This is the land of chemical farming and massive machines to torture the earth and kill its burrowing creatures. Its bleak, in my opinion. It is many miles of either barren land waiting to be tilled and planted or land growing principally gmo corn or soy plants, broken up with straight as an arrow access roads and highways. I keep thinking, where do the animals live?
There used to be ranging creatures upon these great plains. Great herds of buffalo. Large groups of deer, antelope, elk. Great prairies as far as the eye could see. Native peoples and native hunting creatures, foxes, wolfs, coyotes and hunting cats. These are much diminished if not outright gone. Why can’t we share? Must we have it all. When we do get it all will we finally be happy? Not a chance. Not a chance. We already see that when resources are scarce war can break out we turn on each other.
Is there just not enough for both man and beast? This is a question we might ask. With our large and growing populations one could say so. We might need to start asking, is population control appropriate? How might we do this? I have some ideas but won’t much go into this now.
As I wrote about previously, capitalism eats the earth. I believe this. We must come to a spiritual understanding that man is just one of Gods creatures and our aim is to live in harmony on this great planet not dominate all around him.
In January I found myself driving from Des Moines east on Highway 163 and I came to a town called Prairie City. There was a nature reserve where native bison were said to be living. This is called the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. I pulled off the highway and drove into the reserve. Rolling frozen fields cut by straight roads and a few low trees in the gullies were what I saw. I drove several miles and across a gentle valley I saw them, a group of about 10 or 12 shaggy bison looking cold and forlorn mostly sitting on the ground. I know I shouldn’t read too much into their emotions. Maybe they were happy. I don’t think so. They were boxed in with only a few square miles in which to roam. Their population small. This group as I said was only 10 to maybe the low teens. There may be other groups living in the small reserve. However a sense of sadness and loss filled me. “Why can’t we share?” went through my mind.
Most of the midwest is farmland that grows food for animal feed. It is used to fatten up animals for our fast food meals, pulled pork, burgers, steaks and chicken.
This to me is not right, not fair and not kind. Just because we can dominate all, must we dominate all? This thought comes to me again. If we are evolved beings we should know our place. We should limit our burden on the land. We should allow other plants, animals and ecosystems to be as they wish. I am not saying we don’t have a right to be as well. We can be but not as much as we are now. We are too much. We tread to heavily. We box in what little we choose to say is natures area.
At this point the solutions would need to be a revisioning and a restructuring of what we want for the land. People “own” most of the land. Who will compensate landowners if we decide that say half the land should be home to the rest of Gods creatures. That the big open spaces in the midwest should once again be home to the buffalo, the sage grouse, the antelope the bear, the wild wolf, the prairie dog, the coyote and all the rest.
How can we return to balance? How can we go back to the garden?
Thank you for reading and caring. Much love.