Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Nature Lovers Anonymous

Molly Hodgdon lives in Vermont. You know about Vermont. It gave us Bernie Sanders. But it also gave us a large coterie of tree-hugging environmentalists who worship at the altar of Mother Nature. (Via Maggie’sFarm)

Naturist cult followers believe that what is natural is good and that what is artificial, unnatural, technological or industrial is bad. It’s a simple-minded moral schema, but what did you expect from people who spend their days contemplating Nature’s raw beauty, without corrupting the view with polarized sun glasses.

Hodgdon lives in Vermont, so she sees Nature more clearly than do those of us who live in the great cosmopolitan metropolis:

To live in Vermont is to be smothered by nature’s beauty on a daily basis. Everywhere you look is another peaceful pond, another shimmering lake or emerald hill or misty field graced by a family of grazing deer. It’s almost obnoxious, like that one friend you have who’s so pretty, funny, smart and talented that you want to hate her stupid gorgeous face.

And yet, Nature’s natural goodness has given Hodgdon a case of systemic lupus, an auto-immune disorder that does not enhance your lifestyle:

That’s why I just don’t buy the idea that ‘natural is best’. Your organic, gluten-free, sprouted ancient-grain bread is all-natural? That’s nice. My disease is all-natural too. My chronic pain, pleurisy and angry kidneys are all-natural, and my death would’ve been too, if I didn’t have access to the decidedly unnatural medications that allow me to lead a somewhat normal, comfortable life.

In your reverie you should also think about the average life expectancy was before all of that industrial sanitation arrived on the scene.

Cult followers do not want to hear about these inconvenient truths, so Hodgdon lays it out:

But was nature as great as their idealised Earth Mother fantasies suggest? We tend to romanticise the past and blame every ailment on this crazy, modern lifestyle and scary ‘new’ technologies, forgetting the mortality and brutality we’ve left behind. If Eve was a real person living in the palaeolithic era, her life expectancy would have been only about 30 years, max. As she approached this ripe old age, she would likely have been prone to many of the same ailments that people today don’t typically start to suffer from until their 60s. She would have been fortunate to live that long, considering they obviously didn’t benefit from miraculous modern medical advances such as antibiotics, cancer treatments, obstetrics, surgery and BiorĂ© pore strips. And yes, the abundance of nutritious food that we enjoy today is thanks, in part, to GM technologies. You know what makes my lupus feel better? When I can afford healthy food, all year round.

And also:

Nature can seem as inspiring, beautiful, strong and nurturing as a mother, but it would be foolish to believe that this ‘mother’ loves us. There’s no reason we can’t celebrate her glorious natural gifts while also appreciating the important ‘unnatural’ improvements our fellow humans have created. I wouldn’t – and couldn’t – have it any other way. Would you?


James said...

Perhaps as I have said many time before (I am older) the great post neo-modern philosopher Yogi Berra said "The good ole days aren't what they used to be." and somewhere near a shimmering pond Mother Nature laughs.

Sam L. said...

"Nature is red in tooth and claw." Also mandibles, fangs, and innumerable biting insects.

trigger warning said...

My in-laws live in upstate NY near the VT line. This vid perfectly captures the VT mindset...

I did bring some obscenely overpriced cheese home after my April visit. Meh.