The First Environmentalist Essay example

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“We are the same as plants, as trees, as other people, as the rain that falls. We consist of that which is around us; we are the same as everything. If we destroy something around us, we destroy ourselves” (Buddha). This quote from Buddha depicts the essence of Buddhism and its intimate relationship with the environment. Buddhism new and old is intertwined with nature and the environment. Buddhism is intrinsically, at its core, environmentalism. Environmentalism shines through many aspects of Buddhism: the middle way, Samsara, Karma, iconography, and impermanence. These facets led to Buddhism containing an underlying theme of environmentalism. When the Buddha first began Buddhism he was concerned with how people live their lives. Before …show more content…
The story concludes with the knowledge that the pig’s “feed was good while it lasted, but it did not last long" (Babbit). The story is a parable for the middle way; you may be able to consume all the time, but it will lead to demise if you stay on the path of excess. Through suppressing consumerism, waste generation would also be stifled. From consuming less and attaining less “junk” we would no longer create as much trash. Furthermore, with the suppression of waste and consumerism, excess energy usage will also be tamed. Everything we do needs some kind of energy, but if abiding by the middle way and lessening our excess, not as much energy would be needed. All of these examples and more would be dealt with by the middle way. Next, Samsara is an important aspect of Buddhism that has environmental connotations. Samsara is the cycle of birth and rebirth you undergo as a Buddhist; you enter each realm according to your good or bad karma generated in a lifetime. The main aspect of Samsara that is environmentally inclined is the ability for a person to be reborn as an animal and the implications it has on how Buddhists treat animals. Animals were treated with similar respect to human counterparts because you “may [harm] a relative” (Bloom 124). Also the “concepts of compassion and kindness recognized the common destiny of all creatures in [Samsara]” and

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