Kitchen Garden Guides

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Where is our acorn gene...

It seems to me that humans, on the whole, have lost the "acorn" gene. The squirrel gathers acorns and keeps them safe ready for the winter. Squirrels and all other plant and animal species seem to know in advance, of changes in their environment.... you see fruit trees flowering early or late, not just one tree, but all in a region.... baby birds of one variety hatching all at similar times, and those times vary year to year.... late ripening tomatoes (from a colder than normal summer) somehow managing to defy the frost, and ripening through into June when normally one frost and they are gone.... All these are signs that everything else is adapting to constant change, planning for these changes and altering their daily behaviour.

But humans? Oh no! They expect everything to stay the same. They do not prepare their nests / collect food / follow the seasonal changes / adapt in any way to patterns in their surroundings. Scientists study things that stay the same as well as things that change and, for the last 200 years or so, humans have relied on technology to react to these findings and create ways to allow humans not to have to adapt to change but instead to change our environment to fit our needs.

Genetic modification in agriculture is an example of humans trying to adapt its world to its own needs so ordinary people can still buy cheap packets of flour, bags of eggplants and litres of soy milk on the shelves in the supermarket (so they have more money left for entertainment and stuff), oblivious to desertification of the planet, destruction of biodiversity and consequent climatic challenges to agriculture and farming communities and, ultimately, themselves.

Can we have lost the acorn gene so fast or is it still there, lying dormant? It seems to still be visible in some humans and these humans are trying desperately to, firstly, make the rest see the changes all around us and find ways of adapting to them, and secondly to realise that we are causing the changes through our own short-sightedness and lack of the acorn gene which makes squirrels plan for the future....

A disease has crept in and is sweeping the world; a disease which has laid dormant this gene for planning and adapting, for their future, in humans. It is called money. If you have the money disease, you can ignore everything else. It develops like a computer virus..... working away behind the scenes, infiltrating every corner of your existence, making you feel busy and useful; too busy to stop and think about what you are doing and where it will lead. And, like with the computer virus, its insidious nature means it is sometimes not apparent until its too late.

So, before we self-destruct, lets put money aside for a while, open up to our minds and get out our innate "acorn" gene, think about what really would be best for the future of mankind and take a small step on a new path. If 6 billion people took one step on a new path, wow, what an impact that would make on our future.


Pam said...

I like your thinking, thanks for getting me thinking!

farmer_liz said...

absolutely agree. Humans rely too much on engineering and technology to "fix" nature instead of living within natural cycles. This is starting to catch up to us, but its so hard to change, there is so much ignorance and complacency working against us, its like trying to turn a huge ship. I hope that blogs like yours (and mine) do start to get people thinking that alternative lifestyles are possible (and actually more enjoyable than thinking about money and possessions all the time).