Invasive Plants and Invasion Biology as Destructive Concepts: A Druid’s Perspective

‘One of the striking things about the invasion biology movement is its connection with the Nazi’s xenophobic and genocidal thinking, as detailed by David Theodoropoulos in his book (and also discussed to a more limited extent on his website). The Nazis had a very similar “native plant” movement in Germany where they worked to eradicate the landscape of non-native plants; this, of course, parallels the atrocities committed in their attempt to eradicate humans from the landscape who didn’t fit their idolized image. Theodoropoulous argues that invasion biology is connected to the same kinds of destructive thinking prevalent in Naziism, that is, an easily identified enemy that one seeks to exterminate, an emphasis on genetic purity, the goal of preserving one’s lands, and a root cause of dissatisfaction with where things are currently. I’d add to his arguments that it becomes easy to construct an enemy, get people angry with the enemy, and then work hard to eradicate it, all the while stripping them of the facilities for rational thought through fearmongering and intense emotional reactions. From a rhetorical perspective, when we begin setting up multiple logical fallacies in order to generate hatred of plants (straw man arguments, post-hoc fallacies, either-or fallacies, overgeneralization fallacies) we get into a mode that allows us to react emotionally rather than reason logically about our interaction with our landscape.’

The Druid's Garden

When people talk about plants, one of the common conversations that comes up is whether the plant is native or invasive. Invasive plants have taken on monstrous qualities of epic proportions, and people in organized groups nationwide argue for the eradication of invasive plants using harmful, chemically-based methods. The native plant community, whose conferences are sponsored by Bayer Chemical and Monsanto, advocate the use of noxious chemicals to deal with problem plants. I’d like to spend some time today discussing the “invasive plant” movement from a druidic perspective, where this movement came from, and provide an alternative perspective.  I’ll also note that while I think the term “invasive” is a problem, I haven’t yet come up with a better term, so I’ll use it in this blog entry.  I don’t think its a good term, however, and it creates more problems than it solves.

Invasives as a Cultural Construction: The…

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Populations that do not typically consume dairy products…

“Populations that do not typically consume dairy products appear to exhibit lower rates of bone fracture despite consuming far less calcium than recommended. Why this is so is unclear. Perhaps their diets contain less protein from meat and dairy foods, less sodium from processed foods, and less phosphorus from soft drinks, so they retain calcium more effectively.”

-Food, Inc., edited by Karl Weber

No, this isn’t an #AllLivesMatter thing:

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I know Lewis was trying to shed light on how some of us react to certain animal deaths (lion or human). But that is fundamentally part of the problem. We don’t have normal reactions. To anything. We are a fucked up species.  We care about the murdered lion, but not the murdered black person. We care about a murdered lion, but not the murdered chicken on our plate. It’s fucked up on every level.

But an attack on a win is not the way you make people care about something else, though. I’m against both racism and speciesism.

It’s so fucking rare for us as a country to give a shit about any dead animal, actually. That’s why this was a big deal. Lion lives matter.

Oscar Wilde on Animal Rights

I need to get something off my chest.

So, I just got back from spending an afternoon with my parents and, of course, the topic of me not eating animals came up. I gave the same old spiel about how eating meat means consuming the food and water used to feed that animal—food and water that could be given to humans, etc. etc. etc. I was trying to appeal to their human-centric egos.

Then my mother proceeded to say that “You would get a lot more with honey than you do with vinegar” because apparently I am “So negative” all the time.

This really offended me. Mainly because honey gets you nowhere. I’ve done that before. I’ve been the veghead that used to say “I don’t eat meat, but don’t worry, I don’t judge you if you do.” Even though it did/does offend me. But I got tired of being nice to people, because it wasn’t being true to myself. I was lying to the person too—basically telling them I was OK with their choices. It wasn’t changing anything. And the world DOES need to change.

I will no longer remain silent. What if American abolitionists had been silent and tolerated slavery because “It’s OK, I don’t like slavery, but you’re a good slave master!” That would only propagate the problem.

My feelings all boil down to something Oscar Wilde once said: “[T]he worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves, and so prevented the horror of the system being realised by those who suffered from it, and understood by those who contemplated it…” –The Soul of Man Under Socialism

This wasn’t the first time a meat-eater had told me I wasn’t going to win a convert through the methods I was using. But I’m not in this to win converts, though that would be fantastic. I am in this to create a world where we do not need converts, where evil is not the norm or accepted so thoughtlessly.