After 25 years working in the field of permaculture and Permaculture Aid, I’ve run into religions many times. Buddhists, Muslims, Christians of all types and a few hybrid religions that people have cut and pasted together. I still haven’t seen the big hand of their God come out of the sky and fix the problems here on this planet (any day now!).
Of course these religious people at various times have tried to recruit me. My personal belief is there is certainly a God or some amazing universal power that created everything that is. You’d have to be a moron to believe somehow a bacterium was formed when lightning struck the ocean and then a zillion years later it crawled out of the sea and somehow became a monkey which later mutated into a human! Those scientists that thought that one up must have a whacky of humour I recon!
The only physical representation of God that I can see is nature. It supplies all our needs many times over. That’s the God or Goddess I work with. To me religions are like political parties, they promise everything if you join but once you do it’s different than they promised. I see myself instead as an independent. For me, God is within all of us, not without.
In the past, when the various recruiters come to me, I tell them “Sure, Ill join your religion, just as soon as God shows up in your church, temple, synagogue or whatever, Give me a ring and I’ll be straight there to sign up!” No calls as of yet.
A Hare Krishna group in the Philippines contacted me recently to help establish an Eco village and permaculture training centre. I found them to be a very nice bunch of people with a 9 hectare property to develop into a sustainable farm, temple and village. These guys wear orange robes, carry beads and do a lot of chanting. Some have a haircut like me, bald. They also believe in care for the Earth and care for the people, big time. After meeting with their Swami, I decided that this religion is the closest thing I’ve seen to a permaculture religion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not signing up, but I am going to form an alliance and we will co-create the Hare Krishna Green Warriors together.
The Hare Krishna devotees do not want to harm animals so this will be a strictly vegetarian branch of Green Warrior. Together we will develop an animal friendly vegetarian permaculture system for them to teach and use in their eco-friendly, self-sufficient agrarian temple models around the world.
I’ve found animals are crucial in a permaculture system to ensure soil fertility. If there are no animals in the system then it degrades over time. The problem with animals is they breed and multiply and can over populate a farm and destroy the land if their numbers are not kept in check. If you don’t eat animals, how do you keep the numbers at a manageable level? Nature’s answer is to introduce a predator. Imagine a farm with its own predators snacking on the weak animals. We better choose wisely lest we get snacked on ourselves! Is there some other way to control numbers? This requires a bit of clever thinking, we will have to do a lot of work on this conundrum.
Meanwhile we will start with ducks and geese and strategically located ponds near our vegetable production areas so we can use the pond water as liquid fertilizer. We will separate the males and females to limit breeding for now until we solve the predator problem.
If you are a permaculture vegetarian ( I know you are out there!) and wish to help or you want to do one of our 8-week internships, please contact me here through this site. Hare Krishna!