“The Killing” was created to show the violence of the recent chainsawing of a 90-year-old Douglas Fir tree — and over 20 other trees — on public land in San Geronimo Valley, Marin County, CA (north of San Francisco).
This tree, over 100 feet tall was healthy and thriving in a forest, mature and beginning its long life (Doug Firs can live 500-1,000 years). Its future was ended in minutes by people, decades younger than the fir tree itself, wielding a chainsaw. They were unwilling to feel its aliveness or sense its value as a healthy, valuable and integral part of a living ecosystem.
Worse still, the slaughter was sanctioned and supervised by employees of the Marin County Open Space District, a division of Marin County Parks.
They should know better. Their stated mission: ...preserving, protecting, and enriching the natural beauty of Marin’s parks and open spaces, and providing recreational opportunities for the enjoyment of all generations.
Why was this done?
Much more is at stake here than one beautiful tree. Or 20 trees. Or just one forest, or just one wealthy county that can afford to spend time and energy debating such issues. At stake are two fundamentally different views about how we humans perceive and interact with the natural world:
A) Trees are merely objects with so little value we may casually kill them, cut them down, as was done here, in an attempt to control other humans, or;
B) Trees are one of many beautiful, valuable and fragile non-human species
we appreciate and value by tapping deeper into our innate sense of the sanctity and interconnectivity of all life.
Trees are defenseless at the hands of us powerful, smart, tool-wielding, numerous humans. We have the power and thus the responsibility of determining their fate. We all learned in grade school (and too easily act as if we’ve forgotten) that we are part of a web of interconnected life, so our actions on plants and animals also determines our own fate. Until we learn this lesson of interdependence, we will continue to deforest the Earth and slowly, and lately not so slowly, make our one and only home less habitable for all.
We are already plenty smart; intelligence is not the question. The question is: are we willing to FEEL again?
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