Minimizing Civilization’s Harm

Ultimately, I agree with anarchist John Zerzan (“Civilized, All too Civilized,” EW 6/23)

It is hard to reimagine what it looked like in the times of the Grandmothers. I know that sustainability is an idea whose time has come, but it is difficult to see through the fog of consumption and what that means. My best touchstone is: “How do we survive without harming our Earth?” How do we survive and produce our food, shelter and clothing without doing that? My best answer: Remember that we are animals, albeit the strange two legged type;  we eat, run on that energy for a while, defecate, then repeat the process.

How do we survive sustainably? With a vast intellectual/ecological component. With encyclopedias of recovered, verbal knowledge of plants and fellow animals, their habits, their use and preparations as medicines and foods, while gently bending the stems of the natural landscape of Earth to our needs over many generations, without breaking them,  and treating their well-being very much the same as our own.

Richard Gross


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