My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day goodies

When I found this potent little video in my web-wanderings last month, I knew immediately that this year's Earth Day post would be a perfect place to share it...

Don't do nothing because you can't do everything.
Do something. Anything.
~Colleen Patrick-GoudreauCompassionate Cook

There are hundreds of things we can do (or stop doing) to help reduce waste, pollution and environmental destruction, and most of us are probably already aware of and actively doing many of them. And there's no day like Earth Day to thank each other for our efforts, and resolve to learn about and do even more! 
You can also read about how your diet could change the world (for the better!) at The Vegan Society, who also offers a free vegan pledge for seven days or for thirty days, with or without a mentor.

Along with my warmest wishes for a happy and meaningful Earth Day, I want to leave you with a few moments of beauty, peace and inspiration from two Australian musicians who call themselves, appropriately enough, Sacred Earth...


  1. Very good post. The "MAN" video was sad but oh so true. Let me know if you know the answer to stopping all this madness as I don't have any of those aliens to go after the "MAN" -- barbara

    1. Thanks, Barbara. I wish my preferred solutions (a human race of vegans practicing empathy for all creatures, voluntary simplicity, and zero population growth and emphasizing quality of life over quantity of stuff) would be as quick as the one offered by the aliens, though they arrived to late for it to be effective! Hopefully we won't make that mistake, but we do seem to be hurtling insanely down that path.

  2. Great post, Laurie! That video is very sad, but I liked the ending.

    Happy Earth Day!

    1. Thanks, Molly! I know, Steve Cutts did it with humor, but it was very black humor - and rightfully so. The ending was pretty gratifying. (The "MAN" plopping that crown on his head and smugly smoking his cigar while surrounded by all that death and destruction he'd created made me think of Dick Cheney!)

      Happy Earth Day to you too! Every day! :-)

  3. The 'man' video gave me the horrors. How could it not. I wish I could say that it is exaggerated and untrue. But I can't.

    I do what I can - it isn't enough, but it is a start. And the Sacred Earth clip (almost) took the bad taste left in my mouth away.

    A stunning and powerful post. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Ellie - your reaction is pretty much what I'd hoped for. Sadness and horror at the awful truths contained in the first video, a desire to do more (because all of us always can, unless maybe we're childless vegans living off-grid on vast lands that we protect as a wildlife and permaculture sanctuary while growing all our own organic food and catching and recycling all our own water and never driving or flying anywhere! :-) ), and finally, to be left feeling inspired by the last video's beautiful reminder of why it all matters.

      Thank you again, Ellie C, I'm so glad you found it to be those things!

  4. Thanks for the good wishes and the same to you. :-)

    1. Thank you, veganelder, I enjoyed your Earth Day post as well! :-)

  5. The first video is so accurate. and so horrific.
    The Scared Earth video is wonderful. I'm going to put it on my blog even though I've missed Earth Day. Thanks Laloofah!
    Do I gather you are Laurie? I'm John. I guess we hide a bit but not too much on our blogs.

    1. Hi, John! Yes, my nom de "real life" is Laurie. Guess we're not very good at being deep cover operatives. LOL Feel free to call me Laurie, Laloofah, or La. Or whatever - I adjusted as a child to answering to our dog's name, since my distracted mother often used it by mistake to call me in from play. (Fortunately, our dog's name was Princess, so it wasn't so bad!) :-)

      I'm heartened to see in these comments so much evidence of awareness of the dire realities we've created, are creating, and need to take swift action to reverse. I doubt we have time to wait for the aliens to step in! Thanks for sharing the "Man" video on your blog!

      I think your spelling of Sacred Earth as "Scared Earth" is less a misspelling than a Spoonerism that also shows awareness! Though the Earth could shrug us off in a heartbeat and go merrily on, we Earthlings can't afford to be so sanguine.

      Happy Earth Day! Celebrating it every day means never missing it. :-)

  6. That was a really good Earth Day post. I really liked all the variety and the inspiration. My very favorite was the video at the top. Steve certainly made true the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words". What he said in that video would fill volumes. It was so cleverly done and the humorous ending was really good. I didn't pay attention to the title the first time so I went back to read that - "Man" was perfect.

    I don't know where to start with my impression of the last video - it was all so beautiful. I really liked the rainbow (I think that was nearer the beginning) that looked like the edge of a giant globe. I liked how they mixed up the scenes with close and far - the beauty of our earth at every distance. The music was beautiful too.

    And lastly, I wanted to mention that wonderful quote by Ghandi. I had not heard that and it has such a stong visual meaning to me. I can see the universe in his arms and the gentle shaking!!

    1. Thanks, Jo! I'm glad you liked it. It didn't come together easily, because I had so many things to share but it got too cluttered in thought and image and I had the painful task of culling some other good stuff. But there's always next year (or random days between now and then!) :-) I'm especially glad you thought so highly of the first video, since that was really the anchor for this post and I thought Steve did a brilliant job with both the message and its execution. I can't imagine all the hours/days/weeks it must have taken to do all that animation - I see new details each time I watch it.

      I loved that rainbow shot too - that was some cool photography! I'm guessing they used some sort of special fish-eye lens, but it looked like we were seeing a rainbow over the earth inside a soap bubble! My other favorite scene was the lightning at about the 8:30 mark, and of course the shots of Earth from space always give me goosebumps. Nice job of noticing how they mixed shots of such varying distance! And it was a wonder to me that except for the satellite shot of earth at night with the lights shining, I didn't see a single piece of evidence of human habitation. Not even a road or a boat or an airplane in the sky. (Didn't see any critters either - not so much as a bird - did they Photoshop those images???) :-) It made it feel very primordial, unspoiled, and fresh.

      I really like your mental picture of Gandhi gently shaking the universe! And I love that quote too, and the image used for the background - so much that I'm almost willing to forgive whomever created it for misspelling Gandhi's name. :-) I used to have such trouble remembering where to put that "h" in his name too, till I came up with the mnemonic of putting a friendly "hi" at the end of it. :-)

  7. TW!
    Another wonderful post in celebration of Earth Day. All of yours in the past have been very well done. The video was sad, but we're a sad lot sometimes. What aliens must think of us!
    You should be proud in that you have always done all you could to make Earth a better place.....well, not "always", but you've evolved very well indeed ;-). It's bittersweet to look back on things we used to do that truly harmed our world, but "Mother" is very forgiving. I thank you and she thanks you. xoxoxo

    1. Thank you so much, Spudly! That's nice to hear. I must admit, I really liked last year's post a lot too - and it, like this one, wasn't easy to put together and for the same reason. I had so much I wanted to say and share, but thought keeping it fairly clean and simple would be best. Last year's still gets a lot of visits, and not just around Earth Day. People tend to find it during a web search that brings up one of the photos - usually of the Amazon deforestation or the Madagascar soil erosion.

      Funny what you said about my "evolution" (thank you!), because although I haven't always made steady progress (I had selfish priorities in my 20s, especially), and we're still living well short of our off-grid, more self-sufficient, Nearings-like goal, I remember being a tree-hugger from a very young age. A sapling-hugger. :-) I loved nature, absolutely loathed littering (and anyone I caught doing it received the full brunt of my righteous 3 or 4-year old wrath), and my 5th grade science fair project was about Earth Day (which was only a couple years old then) and pollution. I spent hours coloring construction paper Ecology flags to hand out (remember those?), and I had some big graphics chart with info I no longer remember, and 3-D examples of litter (in fake grass beside a highway), water pollution (various pieces of trash floating in a river I made of a dyed-blue dough-like substance my mom would use in her crafts), and air pollution (a cardboard factory with real smoke coming out its "smokestack." (My dad helped with that part, which would be against all fire codes now since it involved a smoldering string inside a shallow can inside the cardboard factory!) Anyway, I guess the handwriting was on the wall early on. I also preferred stuffed animals over dolls and rescued many stray and injured critters as a little scabby-kneed girl, so my path, though winding and not always smooth, was pretty well carved out, I'd say! :-)

      I know what you mean about those bittersweet feelings and that Mother Earth seems able to absorb more of our abuse than I think she should. But if we keep vandalizing her beautifully decorated Home Sweet Home and torturing her non-human children, she's gonna kick our collective asses to the curb.

    2. Well.....I was wrong. Yes, you've evolved, but you were way....way ahead of your time. And, our world's a better place for it ;-). Yes, litterbugs!!.....ack, ack!!

    3. Aww, what a sweet thing to say! Thank you, Spud-Muffin! xoxo :-)

  8. Some people think it is too much work to live responsibly with our fellow creatures on earth, but really, a bit of respect goes a long way. That is something that was sorely lacking in years gone by (for certain peoples).
    Now I will have my tea and sit back and enjoy the second video.

    1. Unfortunately, it's still sorely lacking, in far too many people. But I think that attitude is one that's taught through societal and cultural messages that desensitize us early in life, and tell us things like we're superior to all other species and we must battle and subdue Nature, and those messages are constantly reinforced, subtly and not so subtly, all our lives. The trick is to reconnect with our innate wisdom that most of us had as children, that knows that animals are our fellow beings deserving of compassion and that Nature is our home and we are part of it, and to make choices based on that knowledge. It's an empowering and fulfilling awakening to experience, one that brings a lot of peace, though not without some pain and struggle at first. Guess that's what some people consider the "too much work" part - if only they knew what they are missing out on.

      Hope you enjoyed the second video - I found it a made a lovely accompaniment to a cup of tea! :-)

  9. Well, the first video was certainly depressing — it's really sad that what it represents in comic strip form is all too true in real life. Thanks for providing some other more uplifting images to soften the blow. Happy Earth Day!

    1. I know, it wouldn't be so painful to watch if it weren't so true! Makes me think of this cartoon!! But the message is an important one, whether it serves as an epiphany or a reminder, and I thought it was cleverly told to great effect and definitely worth sharing. I hope a lot of people see it, and think Steve Cutts deserves lots of awards for it!

      I didn't want to feel hopeless after watching it, though, I wanted us all to feel motivated and inspired to do what we can to stop participating in the carnage and empowered to make a difference. So thanks for appreciating the empowering and uplifting notes I chose to end the post with! :-)

  10. What a lovely post. A reminder that we can all do something.

    1. Thank you, Fiona! It's easy to become complacent or to simply not realize how empowered we are and how much one person can make a difference (for good or for ill).


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  • INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
  • THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
  • THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
  • THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"