© Unknown
I've spent a lot of times in foreign countries. I've seen people in Bosnia eat the bark off of trees and I claim the Appalachian Trail as a previous address.

I may be jaded but I also realize that for thousands of years, people lived without the luxuries that we now consider necessities. In fact, a recent study just found that what we thought were necessities just last year, we think of as luxuries. Things like cell phones, air conditioning.... Not too long ago, electricity and automobiles were luxuries. Maybe as a result, I think that we can all toughen up just a tiny bit.

In 1st world countries, we have become a spoiled, obese, expectant and fearful group of people. We have learned to manipulate nature and our philosophies to our benefit, our comfort and our profit, to the detriment of our planet, our society, our ethics, our health, our children and ourselves:

We live in climate controlled 72 degree homes, offices and cars, 12 months a year.

We demand and get, fat and ripe strawberry's grown in Latin America in the middle of February.

We build our homes further into the woods and mountains and then kill the animals who stray into our yards.

We eat beef that has been doped with antibiotics from birth.

We leave our porch lights on all night, not realizing that 130,00 Americans die every year from fine particulate matter spewing from coal plants.

We buy bottled water, not realizing that it takes five bottles of water to make the plastic for 1 bottle and that 82 percent of those bottles end up in that the land fill. Not to mention that bottled water cost's 4,000 percent more than tap water. (which most bottled water comes from)

We like the idea of renewable fuel sources, but balk when we realize it may cost an extra ten dollars a month. (While spending at least that on pizza and fast food)

We spend our time shuttling our kids to soccer practice while feeding them boxed cereal for breakfast that we wouldn't even feed our dogs.

We are so paranoid about what we see on CNN that we don't let our kids explore the fields, streams and woods right outside our doors. The whole time, not knowing that our children are safer doing exactly that, than we were.

We continue to fear things like salmonella, the news of the latest outbreak on our lips as we purchase non-local foods at our grocery stores.

We continue to fear the mercury in CFL's while having worked most of our adult lives under 6 foot long florescent lights.

Just like the people before us, we live in nature. Nature provides for us.

We don't live in huts or cabins made of stick, mud or wood. Instead, we live in houses made of wood, metal and glass. Those materials still come from nature, but now they are provided to us and manipulated to create the homes we live in.

We don't hunt and grow our own food. We have it killed and grown for us. Instead of hunting a wide variety of animals, cows now stand on metal meshed parking lots (or feeding stations.) They walk an inclined ramp to the top of a factory and come out as hamburger at the bottom. Instead of growing gardens, our food is genetically manipulated, sprayed with poison, put on a truck and shipped thousands of miles to a grocery store.

Where people used to ride horses, we now drive cars. Cars are natural resources too. They are made from metal and glass and those come from nature. We've learned to manipulate science to create plastics, but even the chemical compounds of plastics come from nature, because without nature, there is nothing.

Now I'm not saying we have to (or even could) go back to living like our forefathers. But we have lost our symbiotic relationship with nature. We don't realize that everything we take, everything we use, every thing we eat and drink, comes from nature. If it was just this, it still wouldn't be so bad. But in the act of taking things from nature (much of it being non-renewable) we destroy and then pollute it in a cycle of retrieval, use and disposal.

How fast is oil formed in the earths crust? It takes about 100,000 years to produce 1 pint. How fast does metal ore reproduce? It doesn't. What was there when the earth was formed is all there ever was and all there ever will be.

An example of this is copper. If you take all the copper that is / was in the ground and split it into three groups, then 1 part has been mined and is in use, 1 part has been mined and is now in landfills and 1 part is still in the ground.

If you take all the oil in the ground and split it in half, 1 half has been used and 1 half is still in the ground. How long did it take us to use half the planets oil and 2/3rds of the planets copper? Less than 200 years, with most of it being used in the last 50.

O.K., that's bad, but whats really bad? All the easy stuff, the stuff near the surface, has been taken. The stuff that's left in the ground is going to take a lot more energy, destruction and devastation to extract. That's really bad, but whats even worse? Our planets population is doubling every 40 years. If you put the numbers together, then that means that the next generation wont have things like oil, copper and a lot of other resources to use.

We may be talking about renewable energy while people who are vested in selling natural resources continue the fight to extract them, but the fact is this. Our children wont be having this discussion. They wont have copper pipes. They wont have oil to turn into gasoline or plastic or blacktop.

We do a disservice to ourselves, and we dishonor our future generations by not thinking about where the things we consume come from.

Your beef comes from the grocery store? No it doesn't. That 1 pound package comes from 7 pounds of grain and 2,500 gallons of water. It comes from an 18 month old cow, fed that corn and injected with antibiotics from birth, made to stand and defecate it's hole life on a metal grate.

Your light comes from a switch? No it doesn't. Mine comes from a mountain in West Virgina that had its top blown off and the dirt shoved into the valley where people live, clogging their rivers and streams.

Your Coach bag comes from Italy? No it doesn't. It comes from a sweat shop in china, where it's shipped to Italy without a label, so they can sew on the Coach tag and say it was made in Italy.

Your diamond engagement ring comes from Zales? No it doesn't. It comes from an open pit mine in South Africa where mine owners have to pay off militant rebel groups to operate and kids get their hands cut off if they don't pick fast enough.

Your dog food comes from Purina? No it doesn't. It comes from a rendering plant, where they melt down dogs and cats euthanized by Vets along with road kill, and dead zoo animals.

Knowledge is power and reality is real. Lets stop living a life of denial and lets recognize that the choices we make have an impact on the planet, people and ourselves.

Keep up the good fight.