Dear Reader- During this past month, I have grappled with the challenge of writing a letter to Mother Earth. Surely one needs to thank the hostess for her hospitality after a visit, and for the food and the accommodations provided. So, what is my difficulty with saying: “thanks?”
Well, without fully understanding the CO2 emissions science, I am aware that sunlight feels hotter with each passing summer. And without any significant snowfall last winter, my neighbors with wells will feel a diminishing access to water through the up coming months. Then there are earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, wildfires, and droughts that sometimes make the news. Mother Earth is not happy with us. Instead of being grateful for Nature’s beauty and bounty, we have trashed our home planet by our mere presence.
Greta Thunberg’s The Climate Book explains that the main polluters are in the privileged Global North, with the USA being the world’s biggest polluter. Wow, can you see why I struggled to write this post? In this interdependent earthly existence we all share, it is no surprise to reason that EVERYTHING WE DO IMPACTS THE EARTH. We ask- What can an individual do? Or as Greta puts it, “What can you stop doing?”
Greta says we are not aware that we are not aware. Our leaders, the global governments, and the media have crafted a story about the climate crisis that has downplayed the emergency and lulled us into complacency. Becoming aware is the first step. Then educate yourself. I highly recommend The Climate Book, it’s an ice water splash to wake up.
Now, my letter to the Earth-
Dear Mother Earth,
I ask your forgiveness. Through my cultural ignorance and my self-absorbed distractions, I have lived unaware of my part in this whole mess. Now, I know better. And with awareness comes responsibility. So with my budding consciousness, I intend to walk more gently upon the Earth, staying focused on the beauty each new day offers. And as a positive action that I individually can take, I pledge to move from being vegetarian to becoming vegan.
Everywhere I read- being vegan “is the most important and direct change we can immediately make to save the planet and its species.” (Chris Hedges, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCarthy, Jared Leto, Ariana Grande, Ellen DeGeneres, Scott Jurek, James Cromwell…)
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Having a plant-based diet sounds like a good start.
With humble gratitude for your unconditional care,
P.S. Be the change…find something you CAN do, however small. Eliminate beef, if not meat altogether. Even for just one day per week. One pound of beef requires 2,000 gallons of water. One quart of milk needs 165 gallons of water to produce. Think of all the deforestation that is taking place for the sake of those hamburgers. And then, there’s the methane problem that comes with grazing cattle.
Or pick up trash on the beach, in the park, anywhere! Repair something, if you can, before you buy something new. Shop at consignment shops. Buy used books. Visit tag sales. Be inventive.
“Change is often hardest just before you make it. We too easily focus on what we think we are losing, finding it so much harder to imagine what we might gain.” The Climate Book p.336 https://takethejump.org/
Letters to the Earth. Writing to a Planet in Crisis. Introduction by Emma Thompson. William Collins, London. 2019
The Climate Book, Greta Thunberg. Penguin Press, New York. 2023
The Little Book of Being Vegan. Welbeck Publishing, 2021
Diet for a Small Planet. Frances Moore Lappe. Ballantine Books, New York. 1982