For all the inspiration and love we feel for our fellow inhabitants, the 2016 ‘State of Nature’ report published today tells us the tragedy that 1 in 10 UK wildlife species faces extinction. There are birds, insects and animals we have seen in our lifetimes that we will never be able to show our children.
The way we grow and consume food is one of the major contributors to this damage. What we put on our plates shapes the landscapes and habitats we leave for wildlife. The governments we elect can have a powerful role in shaping this, yet they are failing to articulate the urgency, put in place the right mechanisms and stand up to the powerful forces of big food companies.
I’m discovering Wendell Berry’s writings where he was describing with great clarity over 40 years ago the contradictions we live with; the gap between what we think or say and what we do. Living undestructively in an economy that is overwhelmingly destructive often feels impossible and we are by no means divided into saints and sinners. But with every step taken towards a lighter footprint, a deeper understanding of our ecological interactions and turning our backs on highly consumptive and individualistic lifestyles, we can feel more liberated, more resourceful and more connected. I’m definitely far from there but working on it and I reckon it’s worth it.
Photo credit: “The Encounter” by Rene Mensen