THE GREAT EVERGREEN MASSACRE–XMAS

Don't call me a Scrooge.  Don't assume I'm anti-Christmas because I am not a Christian.  But I half-seriously question the universal annual sacrifice of millions of evergreens/pines in the name of a holiday.

Of course these trees are 'raised' to be used for Xmas.  Of course this is a multi-million dollar industry that employs large numbers of ordinary, innocent people.  But from a metaphysical perspective, trees ARE living organisms. And ironically, the same individuals who hug trees and protest 'carbon footprints', and decry the destruction of South American rain forests are now busily erecting and dressing their dead trees in their own living rooms.

We all understand the pagan origins of the Xmas Tree.  That's fine, all religious and cultural practices have fascinating roots.  But would it be so terrible to use an indoor living tree or bush that already exists, or utilize an [ugh] artificial product ?

The grossest example of tree slaughter is the annual ritual and publicity surrounding the majestic, spectacular massive tree carted each year and erected in Rockefeller Center in NYC.  Am I the only one on the planet who would rather see a living tree planted there for 365 day appreciation, easily available for the annual spectacle?  Just think of the money that would be saved each year that is expended in cutting down, carting and erecting the magnificent dead tree.  This is aside from the obvious destruction of one of Nature's beings.

Metaphysically speaking, is this attitude towards trees the residue of Cartesian dualism ?  17th century philosopher Rene Descartes separated the world into physical and spiritual and only human beings had a spiritual component, a soul.  As a consequence, animals were deemed fit for experimentation and brutal treatment.  Alfter all, Descartes reasoned, they were merely lumps of nonfeeling protoplasm.

I will not even argue the proposal that plants/trees can 'feel'.  But they very likely do have some sensory responses to injury, they probably do suffer on some level. 

Once again, sorry to bring anyone down this season.  We all have enough negative energy to dispel.  But let's really think about what we do, even if it is tradition.

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