As I’ve worked through learning the circular stories of provenance behind the products and services I consume daily, I’ve become more aware of just how much we use and abuse the living world – which wholly supports all our lives, each moment of every day.
Not a shred of our collective reality would exist without the benevolence of our biosphere, and it is our disconnection from this truth that sits at the base of just about every issue we face.
Plants Create Oxygen
For our entire lives, we breathe oxygen produced in an act of reciprocity through the carbon exchange of plants in our biosphere.
Plants Create Food
Every morsel of food we’ve ever eaten was created through symbiosis with the elements, allowing plants to not only feed themselves but also offer up nutrients to us as well (and other heterotrophs).
Plants Offer Shelter
The shelters we live in were built from the torsos of forests and ripped from the depths of quarries to protect us from the elements.
Plants Create Clothing
Plant fibres frame our bodies too, whether our clothing is made up of natural materials, or Frankenstein fabrics derived from fossil fuels – which themselves were made from cycads (seed plants) that died millions of years ago – plants dress us too. Even when we find refuge or decoration in the skins, furs and feathers of fellow heterotrophs, their bodies were formed from plant persons also.
Plants Create Drinking Water?
Potable water is a product of plants as well, filtered through soil, which when healthy is made up of living and decomposing plant life. If the soil has been cared for by plants, rainfall is filtered through its system, delving deep through its various layers until it reaches impenetrable clay, where it follows the flow of gravity leading it to escape into a spring, which leads to many of the streams and rivers which come our way. If soil isn’t healthy, because it is void of plants, then that soil turns to clay and the water cycle which brings us life never penetrates to be filtered, running off into our waterways to create brown, undrinkable water.
Plants Create Medicine
Worldwide, between 50,000 and 80,000 flowering plants are used medicinally. When we’re ill, whether we swing to the side of natural medicine or pharmaceutical aid, this rings true. In the United States, 150 of the top prescriptions are made up of 74% plants, 18% fungi, 5%bacteria, and 3% vertebrate species. This includes medicine in treatments of diseases like cancer. Every one of our physiological needs is met directly or indirectly from the living world.
It is moronic, when you think about it, that we don’t whisper words of thanks throughout our day in awestruck gratitude. It’s crazier still that our whole society developed with such a lack of humility, to take without return, nor regenerative reciprocity. The earth has offered us endless acts of Love, perhaps in our bid to save her, our duty is to offer endless acts of Love in return. If we can edit our personal actions to reflect this conscious circularity, perhaps we can edit our politicians, and with it, their policies.