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Originally published January 22 2014

Five signs that humanity is detached from the natural world

by Michael Ravensthorpe

(NaturalNews) In his 2010 book, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Bill Bryson wrote that the development of civilization was a process of "getting comfortable slowly." Of course, this desire for comfort is an understandable one: Most of us would rather receive our water from indoor faucets, for instance, than draw water from a spring many miles from our home. And certainly, most of us would rather live in a stable house than a tent or a cave, where we are at the mercy of the elements.

Unfortunately, this desire for comfort has arguably progressed too far. Modern society is no longer geared toward merely sheltering itself from the outside world and domesticating it in a respectful manner but instead toward detaching itself from the outside world completely. Consequently, the mindset of the people and the governments that control them have come to reflect this detachment. This mindset is perhaps most evident in the way which we pollute our food and water supplies or remain glued to our televisions for unhealthy periods of time. However, there are many other, less overt signs of this detachment. This article contains a list of five of them.

1.) We complain when it rains

It would be difficult to find people who live in accordance with nature, and who are dependent upon their crops for sustenance, complaining about rainfall. It provides all life on Earth with the most vital substance in existence, and without it, our lives would end.

The fact that we complain about rainfall constantly, even if it's just a refreshing drizzle, is a testament to our detachment from agriculture. Since we live our lives almost entirely indoors, rainfall is little more than an inconvenience that we must endure as we navigate from one indoor environment to the next. Would we still complain about rain if we relied upon it to water our only food supply, or if we truly understood the implications of a deficit?

2.) We criminalize plants that could benefit our spiritual evolution

The idea of criminalizing plants (or more accurately, the possession of plants) that grow naturally in the soil - any plants, even those that are genuinely harmful - is strange indeed, but this strangeness is magnified tenfold when we understand the benefits of many of these "drugs."

Studies continue to show, for example, that marijuana, magic mushrooms, ayahuasca and flora that contain DMT, psilocybin and other active compounds often contain notable pain-killing and mood-boosting properties. Many of these plants are undeniably "spiritual" in nature, sometimes providing their users with life-changing personal insights and revelations. What sane people would allow their governments to ban the consumption of these plants and throw their users into the same prisons that hold murderers and child molesters?

3.) We prevent nature from performing important purges

Purges are an essential part of the natural world. Overgrown forests, for example, have always been subjected to natural fires over time that purge the land of excessive overgrowth and allow young trees to thrive in the newly-unobstructed clearings. Yet firefighters are commonly tasked with extinguishing these fires and preventing the purge from occurring, often because people are foolish enough to build their homes in high-risk areas.

4.) If food stores suddenly ceased to exist, most of us would die

There's no point in sugar-coating it: If all food stores suddenly vanished, an impressive proportion of the world's population would perish within a short time - and that includes those of us who grow food in small gardens. Centralized commerce has gradually eroded communal self-sufficiency to the point where most of us don't even know our neighbor's names, let alone engage them in productive exchange. We might have local farmers living nearby with whom we are on friendly terms, but a national food crisis would almost certainly overwhelm them and force them to prioritize the welfare of their families.

5.) We embrace creatures that destroy the environment, and destroy those that benefit it

Most people believe that all creatures in the natural world develop an equilibrium with their surroundings. This, however, is untrue. Some species, especially those that have been introduced to environments to which they are not native, can cause serious damage to the local ecosystem if left unchecked. Unfortunately, we often let these species thrive at the expense of the beneficial majority.

Undoubtedly, the worst offenders in this regard are cats. According to a 2013 study published in the Nature Communications journal, cats kill an estimated 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually in the United States alone. At least 33 species of mammals have become globally extinct because of cats, and many other species are becoming threatened. The cat problem has become so acute worldwide, in fact, that a New Zealand environmentalist has launched a campaign to ban them from his country!

Meanwhile, as cat charities and professional cat breeders reach an all-time high, our bee populations approach critical levels. Are we mixing up our priorities?

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.

Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.

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