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I hope they’re all vegan …

January 22, 2011

Photo | Creative Commons SteadyJohn

“Great to see you! How were the holidays? Yeah, fabulous, great to hear, me, too! Did you have a tree? Yeah, what was that? Really? Well did you go artificial or DID YOU KILL ONE?!?”

Accusatory verbal darts, ouch: the righteousness of the green saviors, those soldiers of pine … who eat turkeys and pigs, nog and cheese.

I like trees, too, who does not?  And, no, I don’t “kill” trees for the holidays.  Indeed, we all need to practice responsibly and respectfully to protect, and preservation should be our principle concern and effort.

But what of preserving integrity as well and practicing ethically?  What of the other life, those who are born and bred to be dead, what of their lives? The commitment and reverence we witness and experience on behalf of nature’s gifts needs redirection towards all. Next time people chain themselves to trees, I hope they metaphorically chain themselves to non-human animals, too, for their lives, so cruelly crafted and exploited in accordance with financial burden and stats, deserve our protection. Just as the trees do. sr

From The NewsTribune
By Stacia Glenn

Residents share concerns about future of trees along Ruston Way

Some think the leafy trees along Tacoma’s Ruston Way obstruct businesses and block views of the water. Others argue that the trees are the view.

And so it went tonight during a community meeting meant to give Metro Parks an idea of what residents want to do about the 279 London planes, Norway maples and red maples that were planted more than two decades ago between the street and the sidewalk, in a strip as narrow as 4 feet in some places.

Although 98 percent of the trees are healthy, park district staff members say some have restricted root space and are tearing up sidewalks, becoming so top-heavy that they topple in storms and creating hazards for joggers.

“No matter what plan we pick, things are going to change,” said Metro Parks urban forester Kathy Sutalo.

About 50 people gathered at Slavonian Hall to ask questions, share suggestions and scribble notes about their likes and dislikes regarding the trees.

Several expressed concern about cutting down healthy trees and lobbied instead for them to be pruned. One man liked the idea of creating a citizen advisory board to cobble together a master plan.

Let’s please express concern about killing other beings, too … And just not do it.

Todd Steel, vice president for the Old Town Business Association, said some business owners had resorted to cutting down trees or lopping limbs that blocked passersby from seeing their establishment.

He said he is not opposed to keeping most of the trees along Ruston Way but wants to thin the number of trees around businesses.

“These trees have really overwhelmed the waterfront,” Steel said, suggesting that at least a few trees be removed “so we can all still enjoy our views.”

Those who walk the tree-lined waterfront in the summer objected, saying they like the shade and aesthetics.

Virginia Ferguson piped up about her disapproval and pointed out that to her and others, the trees themselves are a beautiful view.

“There’s got to be a balance between the view of the water and the view of the trees,” she said after the meeting.

Nancy Johnson, parks district spokeswoman, said the next step is to compile all the notes collected and determine the “big picture” of how people want Ruston Way to look. Then staff members can begin coming up with solutions such as whether to remove sections of trees at a time, whether to incorporate new types of trees to prevent a pest wiping all of them out and which areas of the waterfront should have denser trees.

PETA’s Vegan Shopping List

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Vegan Starter Kit: Mercy For Animals

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