Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 56) – Coexistence and Survival

27 January 2020

Coexistence and Survival; All Rights Reserved 2020 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this photomontage. Prints are available upon request.


27 January 2020

Our fragile planet succumbs to its assaults by human intervention. As a result there is a daily surge that pierces our psyches and thoughts. And so we march forward seeking ways to be. The constant invasion of “news” that dishes out truth and variations on lies creates an atmosphere to “just say no.” This constant pollution of noise places us in a state of uncertainty. At least we can curtail listening to and reading the verbiage. My formula to cope is to spread hope and optimism, which seems almost beyond the sight lines.

In the Lens section is a photomontage that links the results of the climate crisis to renewal. The background represents the increase of many examples of invasive acts upon nature and thus human nature. For instance, the ongoing devastation of fires tilts our sense of reality. But Mother Nature will begin to heal with the buds of new life.

It’s incomprehensible that the tipping point has not been realized by those that can change the trajectory of the damage to the wild, to humanity, to life as we know it. BUT I believe strongly in (literally an metaphorically) on-the-ground action.

Did you know that if 350,000 people were vegans (giving up dairy and meat) for a month, the result would be the reduction of carbon emissions by 45,000 tons (The New York Times, Pledging to Go Vegan, at Least for January, by Alyson Krueger, 18 January 2020). This movement to join Veganuary, the “campaign was started in the United Kingdom in 2014 … According to Veganuary, 750,000 people from 192 countries have joined the pledge, with about half signing up for 2020.”

I’ve been a vegetarian for over forty years, but I do love cheese. And I adore my recent switch to oat milk, having given up soy or almond milk for specific reasons (medical and environmental in that order). I definitely will pick a summer month (when my garden is at its most productive) to “go” vegan. At least to see how it affects my everyday meal choices.

This reassessment of selection of ingredients reminds me of my early days as a vegetarian: how availability was minimal and what was available was not always palatable. Vegetarian cooking has been a magical journey of, well, magic in choices, flare, taste and more inclusive public acceptance. It’s a lifestyle that I inhabit with complete enthusiasm each and every day.

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16 Responses to Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 56) – Coexistence and Survival

  1. Another gorgeous montage. I particularly like the colour and luminosity contrast between the deep red and the bright blue, like hope in a fire.

  2. Excellent image, strong combination of colours. Very emotive.
    No vegetarians or vegan here, at our age it is difficult to change totally our habits. But my wife and I decided to eat no meat and no fish at least two days a week. It’s not so much but it’s a start.
    Anyway we usually do not eat much meat, so we try to have a kind of …equilibrium…

  3. Amy says:

    Your beautiful image speaks so well about the coexistence…. Thank you very much for the link, Sally!

  4. Similarly to you, I’ve been mostly vegetarian since the early ’70s, but I do love cheese and yogurt, and cream or milk in coffee. That said, I never mind eating a fully vegan meal. On our big summer trip last year we had supper in a vegan restaurant in Rochester (NY).

    • Steve, I do dabble in vegan choices. But would find it difficult to give up the same kinds of things you enjoy: cheese and yogurt. Oakly is a delicious vegan non-dairy choice, which I have been using for over a year. Milk has never been a beverage of choice for drinking, I’m a devotee of herbal teas, cold or hot. I use Oakly for cooking and in my granola, and it is fabulous.

  5. rabirius says:

    Beautiful picture.

  6. Virginia Duran says:

    Love the photo collage but even more for what it represents. I try to avoid ‘noise’ by not reading any news, because it brings me down. And I am trying to reduce meat consumption this year. Last year I achieved half and hopefully this year I will further reduce it. I no longer have any animal milk. Very encouraged to read you’re vegetarian.

    • Virginia, I appreciate your response to my image. While I do not judge other people’s food choices, life as a vegetarian is filled with a myriad of choices: combinations are limitless. Over the years the introduction of such options as grains, vegetables, fruits and spices has increased the choices for recipes and meal planning. It’s a glorious time to be a vegetarian. Oh, and I am 99% organic consumer. It’s great that you know the value to the planet and yourself for such a lifestyle.

  7. Lignum Draco says:

    Particularly relevant to me, here in Australia where bushfires continue. Entire species probably extinct. Remaining ecosystems will take years to recover, if ever.

    • My heart feels wounded with the loss for your country, especially the wildlife. But each part of our planet affects the other, and so it has increasing global effects. As Pogo (a cartoon character of the past) said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  8. Su Leslie says:

    Your montage is stunning Sally.
    Like you, I love cheese (and butter on fresh-baked bread), but I probably enjoy my occasional indulgence in them more now because they are so occasional. Plant-based milks are my real challenge, so I have cut my coffee and tea consumption to reduce my consumption of cow’s milk.
    Apart from those things, I find eating a plant-based diet much easier than I expected.

    • Su, we have a butter here that is plant-based, and I cannot tell the difference. But butter has never been a big part of how I cook or eat. Maybe you can find the plant-based variety. It is a misconception that being a vegetarian takes longer to create a meal. That’s never been the case for me. Cooking has always been a time of creativity and meditation. It’s joyful.

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