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Cherish the green things. March 9, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.”

—William Blake

Reading Blake’s quote instantly brings to mind the destruction of the rainforests, clear-cutting in logging operations, stripping the land for strip-mining or fracking.

But in our friend Ben’s immediate neighborhood, it brings to mind much more. A foul (or perhaps in this case, fowl), greedy turkey magnate has strong-armed the local town council into agreeing to change the status of some spare land of his from protected agricultural heritage status to “put up as many warehouses, developments, and strip malls as you can cram on what was once serene farmland” status, and to hell with the farmland and everyone who lives anywhere near it.

Mind you, David Jaindl, of Jaindl turkey farms, is an incredibly wealthy man, thanks to inheriting his grandfather’s and father’s turkey operation. The last thing he needs is more money. If he’s sick of renting out this beautiful green stretch of land to local farmers, he could sell it to the Amish, who desperately need farmland for their children.

But oh, no. The greedy monster threatened the council that if they didn’t give him free reign to turn his green fields into tarmac—remember “They paved paradise, put up a parking lot?”—and destroy the local water table and clog traffic, he would turn his beautiful, supposedly protected farmland into a 700-acre quarry.

Well, I think a quarry would be far better than a filthy, truck-clogged urban monstrosity in the middle of a countryside full of farm fields, vineyards, and horse-and-buggy traffic, but I still don’t see how changing the status of the land could possibly be legal, even from farmland to quarry land. But oh, oh, how money talks and buys people. How quickly the council laid down on its back and said “Okay, do whatever you want!” How David Jaindl must have rubbed his hand in delight at the prospect of killing the green things that stood in his way.

Please don’t be a Jaindl. Cherish the green things, and every living thing, for whom you’re a caretaker.

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