An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of June 15, 2003
written in the woods a few miles east of Natchez, Mississippi, USA

NEATNESS AS ABOMINATION

A fellow in the vicinity has been busy this week bulldozing the trees and bushes from a ditch running across his large, flat, grassy field. Someone remarked to me how wonderful it is that "things are getting cleaned up around here, really looking neat now."

Let it be known that when it comes to neatening up the landscape for neatness' sake, what I see is habitat destruction, and there's nothing neat about it.

Above I use the word "abomination" advisedly. I am aware of the word's religious connotations, for many of us never see that word except in the Bible, where many things are classified as "abominations before the Lord." I use the word not in a religious context, but in a spiritual one, and in my opinion the destruction of life-giving habitat purely for the sake of appealing to the local community's concept of "neatness" is abomination before the spirit of the Creator.

For, when you look into the Universe and at the web of life on our little Earth, you see plainly that the Creator blossoms diversity out of nothingness, evolves sophistication out of awkwardness, and leaves strands of interdependency among all things. Whatever in spirit goes against this grand and beautiful theme of the Creator is "abomination."

The bushes and trees along that little ditch across the field provided a tiny island of habitat for a gorgeous diversity of living beings. A thriving local ecosystem of mutually dependent living things existed in an ocean of ecologically unstable monoculture grass. It was a polyphonic song sung in a silent desert.

And its destruction for the sake of neatening up the landscape is an abomination. Facebook Icon.