Kelly Izlar

With Gentleness

When I sat down this morning to write my first post for this blog, I meant to focus on eating bugs — who eats bugs, why don’t we eat more bugs, why does it gross us out… recipes? I don’t know. But instead, this came out:

“There’s a type of cruelty that is inescapable; every person lives at the expense of another creature. We are not going to live to be innocent in our use of the world.”horse 

This was an off-the-cuff quote from writer and environmental activist Wendell Berry who spoke in Floyd, VA, during Biological Woodsmen Week in late November.

A panel was addressing the idea of restorative forestry, which strikes at the root of sustainability. In order to achieve ‘sustainable’ forestry, they claim you must first restore the forest to the point where it can be sustained. Their sense of  purpose was inspiring.

When I was in my early 20s, the classes, the people, the conversations and the situations around me peeled away a layer of complacence I didn’t even know I had, and I found myself passionate in a way that I had never been before. How can we not care about  the importance of bees, the question of feminism in science, or the thawing of Artic ice

As I’ve gotten older, the fires are somewhat banked, but the embers burn steadily.  I’m less concerned with starting a revolution and more interested in this idea of cultivating a careful, purposeful interaction with the world.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to use anything,” Berry said. ”We need to fulfill our needs in the gentlest possible way.”

The gentlest possible way.

Continue the article on OIRED’s Compass Blog.