The Bee and the Machine: Moving Beyond Efficiency and towards Nature-Centeredness

The Druid's Garden

Animals have spirit!

Over the course of the last four centuries, the Western World has created a set of « unshakable » principles concerning the natural world: that nature is just another machine, that animals don’t feel and do not have souls, that plants and animals aren’t sentient. Descartes, writing in the 1600s during the early rise of mechanization, was one of the first to make this claim. He posited that animals are mechanical automata, that is, they are beings without souls, feelings, or pain. These same ideas were not limited to non-human life; we see the same kind of thinking being applied to justify slavery, genocide, colonialization, and a list of other atrocities. When we combine this kind of thinking with the economic ideas of « growth at all costs » and « efficiency », we end up in the dystopian fiction we find ourselves living in right now. I want to take some time…

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On Being a Minority Religion and Paths to Building Respect

Great article!

The Druid's Garden

« I’m sorry, I’m unavailable to meet on that day. »

A pause, « well, why is that? This is an important meeting. »

« Because it is a major holiday for me, and I am taking a personal day to celebrate it. »

Another, longer pause.  « Wait, your holiday is Halloween? That’s not a religious holiday. »

« No, my holiday is Samhain, which is a holiday dedicated to my ancestors. Modern Halloween traditions actually derived from this much older holiday. »

Another pause. « Can’t you celebrate it on another day? »

« No.  The timing is critical to the celebration. Would I ask you to meet on Christmas or Easter? »

Another pause. « That’s not the same thing. »

The above interchange is a fairly common interaction fairly typical of my workplace experiences in being a minority religion, a druid, here in the USA. In fact, I had this exchange with someone just last week. Since this kind of thing seems…

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A Promulgation of Social Rights for Animals

Advocates for Animals

In Switzerland, it is illegal to keep certain social animals, such as guinea-pigs, rats, gerbils and mice, on their own (without legal justification)[1]. Many might find this surprising, (eccentric even!) but despite this law being passed in Switzerland over a decade ago (2008), the discussion over affording social rights  to animals in law has thus far seemingly failed to pervade modern discourse. So, is it time, or even long overdue, that the social rights of animals are enshrined in law?

The Swiss ‘Animal Welfare Ordinance (AWO)’ provides legal rights for animals of gregarious (social) species to be allowed adequate social contact with others of their own species[2]. This law ensures gregarious animals do not have their social needs neglected, in line with the constitutionally enshrined idea of the dignity of living beings[3][4]. Whilst “social animal rights” can be considered a broad term, the…

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4 Things To Consider When Creating An Indoor Garden

Plants and Beyond

~ If you do not have a garden outside, or if you simply want to adopt green living plants, it makes sense to create your very own indoor garden. 

To get you started, here are a few useful ideas.

herbal stand

1. Consider Plant Varieties

What is your final goal when you envision home plants? Do you want home trees that will produce more fruit and vegetables, or are you thinking about your home’s aesthetic appeal? Many plants can be grown indoors, but assuming you only have the space for a few pots and baskets, narrow down your selection accordingly. Perhaps looking at your house orchids makes you smile daily, or taking care of your little velvety violets creates a beautiful exchange of energy. Are you the person who likes to feed the family with the fruits of your labor? Then think about what your family enjoys to eat when purchasing…

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