June 23, 2017

Consumerism Feeds On Consumers



There is a very interesting flower that I see while on my hikes and rides into the forest around my home. It is a rare carnivorous variety called the round leafed sundew. It is a plant that eats meat.

"The plant feeds on insects, which are attracted to the glistening drops of mucilage, loaded with a sugary substance, covering its leaves. It has evolved this carnivorous behaviour in response to its habitat, which is usually poor in nutrients or is so acidic that nutrient availability is severely decreased.  
The plant uses enzymes to dissolve the insects – which become stuck to the glandular tentacles – and extract ammonia (from proteins) and other nutrients from their bodies. The ammonia replaces the nitrogen that other plants absorb from the soil, and plants that are placed in a high-nitrogen environment rely less upon nitrogen from captured insects."

This amazing plant reminds me of another entity that sucks the life out of things leaving only piles of waste behind: consumerism. So with apologies to the round leafed sundew, I make my comparison.

"The practice of consumerism feeds on consumers, which are attracted to loaded promises and glistening shiny things, heavy with cultural meaning and significance in a high stakes competitive environment. 
It has evolved this carnivorous behaviour in response to its habitat, which requires optimizing profit to the point that the well being of consumers not yet consumed by the system is severely decreased. 
Consumerism uses billions of dollars worth of propaganda, plus intense social pressure, to dissolve its prey's innate drive to be frugal and thrifty in all things. The prey becomes stuck to this system's sucking tentacles at all turns, and funds are withdrawn from their accounts and credit cards to the point of poverty. 
The drive for profits replaces all common sense, ethical considerations, and social/environmental rights, and companies that are placed in a high wealth environment rarely consider them at all.

People! It eats people! And everything else it can fit in its gaping maw. Imagine a tree-sized round leafed sundew enticing you with its sticky sweet tentacles, waiting to dissolve you completely for your cash and ultimately your life and your planet.

Consumerism has a voracious appetite for consumers, and resources, that can not be sated. This carnivore will eat everything you set in front of it until it pops from its own gluttonous behaviour.

Don't feed this un-natural beast. Living simply is the best way to avoid entrapment.


Once again, apologies to the round leafed sundew, which is just doing what comes naturally.



June 20, 2017

Summer Solstice


Sable Island, Nova Scotia wild horses in Summer.

What a light-drenched treat Summer Solstice is at the 45th parallel north of the Earth's equatorial plane, even if we haven't actually seen the Sun for almost a week of rainy, low-cloud weather.

Here, halfway between the equator and the north pole, full darkness is vanquished for a short while before the Sun reverses and begins its slide back toward the equator. Right now a person staying up all night (something Linda and I like to do at least once a year) would, after sunset (9:12 PM), see twilight in the northern sky until the sun rises (5:38 AM) a short while later.

Having four seasons is one of the things I love about living far from the equator. Summer and winter are so dramatically different in terms of amount of light alone, never mind the temperature extremes. Since the whole of our existence is solar powered, this time of year is to be celebrated and enjoyed before the darkness and cold visit again.

Back and forth we go, through the seasons, throughout the years. Such cycles are my centre, my calendar, the yin and yang of my life.

Now if the clouds would just part long enough to get some warming rays on my skin. Thank you for  your services watering my garden, but I can take it from here for a while.

Happy Summer Solstice to our Northern Hemisphere readers (and Winter Solstice to those of you in the southern parts of our amazing planet). It's a fine balance, and a good reminder.




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