The Beauty of Dirt

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It turns out that soil is way more beautiful than we think and is even linked to issues of veganism. I realized how little I think about soil and what it is composed of- in fact, I didn’t even know exactly what soil is. It was just something that I took for granted. Thus, it was interesting in the lecture and in the clips from the film Symphony of the Soil to learn that soil is in fact not completely solid- rather, it consists substantially of air and water, and that that is where many microbes, bacteria, and other organisms live. The film also demonstrates what an amazing self-sufficient system soil is- that is, without conventional agricultural interference. It was also surprising to learn in Chris Brausch’s piece in the Guardian as well as in the lecture, for example, that pasture-raised livestock can improve soil health, cattle can be raised on land otherwise unsuitable for horticulture, and that purely vegan farming is extremely difficult. In organic farms, fertilizer is typically used from livestock manure. Thus, if everyone were to go vegan (and organic) and livestock farming was ceased, it would actually inhibit plant growth. It seems to me that the way Mother Nature designed the plant, animal, and soil systems is the most brilliant, while in our current system we are drastically deviated away from that.


Works Cited:

Brausch, Chris. “Meat Eating Could Save the Planet.” The Guardian, 23 December 2015, Accessed 14 August 2017.

Liftin, Karen. “The Political Ecology of Meat.” Lecture, University of Washington. Accessed 13 August 2017.

“Symphony of the Soil- Beginning of the Film (Clip).” Uploaded by Lily Films, Vimeo, Accessed 10 August 2017.

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