How wonderful it is that I can adopt an inchworm for an afternoon, then return it to its home in the grass.
How amazing and truly throught-provoking that I may purchase a succulent from a vendor, who has either nurtured the cactus from nothing, or hired someone else to do so. I may pay the equivalent of half an hour’s wages for a living thing. (Think about that: You work your whole life to buy a shelter for your family, but may shell out five dollars in exchange for a piece of genomic history that’s survived milennia.) Then, I may feed it whatever I please (mostly water, a few sips of selzer, and the occasional drop of tea dregs) and watch it extend its emerald tendrils extremely slowly (to the human eye… in geologic time, that plant grows faster than preteens) towards its benefactor, the sun.
Why does no one else freak out about the miracle of owning a cactus?! (Buzzfeed somewhat addresses this, but in the form of “let’s all get pet plants!”)
The proposition that we, humans, are stewards of the Earth, and that we must take care of it, is a complex and loaded statement. In truth, we’ve only gathered up our unique Homo sapiens identity and asserted our humanity for a literal jiffy in regards to Time. It makes me think of a situation such as the process of raising a child. Throughout those eighteen years, they are influenced by everyone in that village who affected them. If the Earth is that child, I think humans and our parental influence could be equated in weight to the light pat on the back by the child’s dad’s friend’s insurance agent. In sum, we’re hardly apt to live up to this antiquated vision of humans tending for the planet. Adding in a second equation concerning climate change and all that influence is for another blog post. Relating the power of trees to a sibling or parent might be accurate, for instance.
Ownership is such an intense topic. Is it even real? Can you consider your pet hamster yours if you keep it alive? Or, if you’re more of a “hamsters give me a reason to live” person, does the hamster own you? Is it co-produced? Can anything ever be owned, especially living things? And now we get into deep territory. Let’s call it a night, you endive enthusiasts!