I coil my ribs and heart in the ropes of my arms. I find pockets for my hands to slink inside; I feel safer with them there. Our arms are this long, I was told yesterday, to cover and protect our genitals. Scott once mentioned to me how unfair it is that lady parts are inside the body, while men have their's on the outside. I wonder if this is God's way of forcing vulnerability in every man. (Sure titty twisters can cause blisters, but they do not induce vomiting, knock the wind out of her, nor surge estrogen through her blood and cause emotional breakdowns. At least, I don't think so.) Vulnerability never really became a flaw of the female as it has for men. Maybe God predicted that. However, regardless of whether our privates hang or hide, we are all shaped to cover our crotches with our hands. And though our baby toes are disappearing, instinctual reactions to fear——flight or fight——have remained by evolving into new defenses. Now no longer running from saber tooth tigers, most of our greatest fears fester in the realm of social interactions. Flight has become fidgeting shrugs; hiding hands in pockets and armpits and boisterous bouts of self-mockery.
I'm ready for my shrugs, which minimize my point of view by apologizing for myself and my ideas to settle into stillness. I want conviction. I want to straighten my spine. I want my eyes to stop swinging like search lights. I want my words to ride out of me like a prized show pony: poised and proud.
I am a vegan. One reason why I am a vegan is because I want to live a life of proactive environmental peace. I hate this commercial culture of corruption and cover ups. The meat, fish and dairy corporations of the world are leading two genocides: one; the torturing, slaughtering and selling of billions of defenseless animals and two; the massacre of our natural resources. Our oceans are nearly naked now of fish and coral. Our rainforests are being axed down for cattle grazing, causing extinctions of animals, birds, plants and therefore oxygen. I read all about this in the book, Comfortably Unaware. Our fresh water supply is not unlimited or "sustainable" as many Americans would like to believe. Just as the trees we cut to graze livestock would take hundreds of years to grow back, if we ever let them. We are killing our planet. Did you know that? I think if you knew that, you wouldn't purchase and eat the food that is causing global warming and——as Dr. Richard A. Oppenlander describes in his book——global depletion.
"Approximately 40 percent of all methane produced by human activities is from livestock and their flatulence and manure, to the point where atmospheric concentrations have risen 145 percent in just the last fifteen years. Nitrous oxide is 310 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Our livestock industry generates 65 percent of all human-related nitrous oxide."
Nitrous oxide which soon will not be digested by our trees when the trees have been plowed for more cattle grazing.
"Over 70 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed——lost forever——due to cattle ranching. The United States is the single largest consumer of Central and South American beef. A startling 95 percent of Brazil's Atlantic coast rainforest has been slashed and burned, the vast majority of it to raise cattle. Although it is not commonly known, approximately 34 million acres of rainforest on earth are lost each year."
We don't want to know that. We don't want to know where our food comes from. We have other things to worry about. But what is more important than food and our planet? We are living organisms. We need food to live. We die without food. Therefore, shouldn't we care, shouldn't food be our primary concern? It used to be more important (still is to many people in this country and certainly throughout the world where poverty, malnutrition and lack of fresh water are daily struggles). Yet we stuffy Americans don't want to worry about it. We have more "important" things to worry about like money, promotions, retirement, holiday parties, social media posts, whitening our teeth, shoe shopping and enthusiastically tending to our addictions of caffeine, prescription drugs and alcohol. But even above food, we living organisms need air, water and an earth to stand on. We are such selfish inhabitants. We take and take and take. We of the 1st-World countries are together an obese child. We scream for fat, salt, soda and candy, while our dehydrated baby sister thirsts for cool clean water and our Mother Earth lays on a metal table in the meat department. She gave us beauty, our Mother. She gave us dirt, vegetation, water, sunshine and rain. By giving us trees, she gave us air to breathe. She taught us by showing and giving. And what have we done? We've held a semi-automatic to her head, stripped her naked, raped her, whipped her with a chain saw belt, and then took a knife to the stomach where we once grew and made an incision up to her throat. We reached in with our dirty fat fingers, ripped out her small intestines and sold it for $3.95/pound. Her liver was plucked, stuffed and later passed as hors d'oeuvres for some stuffy business party where everyone is red-faced, pudgy and on several prescription drugs to tend to the signs of impending heart disease and diabetes. Her lungs were cut out, cleaned and mounted on the wall. Look how big and mighty I am, we think, I have the power of destruction. "Won't my mommy be so proud of me," we sing in a deep delusional tone. Her blood is mostly drained and dumped. Her bone marrow boiled into broth. Her muscles are marinated, grilled and named "good protein." Ooo——a barbecue! How fun! Let's sit around in creaky lawn chairs, drinking strong alcohol while we wobble across our Honduras Rosewood deck to the gas-powered grill where we slather sugary red sauce on the dead. Mmm the dead is so delicious. Look how big and mighty I am! Back in the butchery, Mother is still alive, but barely. She is ashamed of her screaming greedy baby and worried for her skeletal baby girl who is now too weak to beg her mother for rain. But most of all, Mother holds the heaviest sadness in the well of her slowly beating heart. She might die. She is almost certainly going to die. And when she dies so will we. When she sees us looking at her head, contemplating the price of her brains, she tells us the story of her life. She ends with a warning. If I die, so will you. We don't like to hear this! We scream that it isn't our fault! (Anger is our defense mechanism.) That we were only doing what we had to in order to survive. You had more than enough to survive, but you let egotism blind you and greed control you. You are lazy. You want everything to be easy, convenient, cheap, fast and accessible. You don't think about where it all comes from or where it all goes. You waste and waste and for what? So you can spend your time zoning out on the couch, listening to laugh tracks and reality trash? Leave me be for awhile. Let me grow green again. I want organic vegetable farms. I want the fish, the turtles, the shrimp and the lobsters to be left alone. I want time for rain to refill my rivers. But we don't hear this. We stopped listening a few minutes ago due to our defectively short attention span. Instead we've been staring at our mother's barely-beating bloomed red heart, wondering what we could sell it for.