It's Earth Day, where we celebrate our planet and participate in activities to help keep her sustainable and healthy.
I was reading up on Earth Day this morning, and found that in 1970, Earth Day helped Democrats and Republicans form an alignment to get the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Act passed in Congress, which was somewhat of a letdown for me.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all about protecting and improving our planet. My lifestyle and job depend fully upon my ability to do so. I also love that those who do not live in an area or have a job that allows them to improve earth daily are willing to help make a difference on this day. That's wonderful, and it's amazing to see what people can accomplish, even in the most urban areas, when they set their minds to making the earth better!
The part that bothers me is that so many people associated with the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, and numerous other supposedly helpful acts, laws and causes for the environment hate me, my neighbors, and my lifestyle. They jump on the bandwagon of one day of physically helping earth out, then spend the rest of their year negating everything those in my profession do that is also helping and improving the earth.
This becomes particularly frustrating on months like this one, where everyone I know has spent countless hours dealing with inclement weather, working tirelessly to ensure the health of their livestock, planned ahead and reduced numbers to make sure the land and ecosystems on that land are cared for, even if it's another drought year. When a few blog comments pop up damning me and my profession in the midst of all that, with no justification beyond stating that I am in the wrong because of what I am and how I make my living, my good humor takes a dive.
This is because these less than fun days on America's privately owned lands are the Earth Days that make the most difference, be it good or bad, and we aim to make every single one good. We take our responsibility of being stewards of the land to the extreme, regardless of weather, breakdowns, health or personal sacrifice. We set a standard based on our children and grandparents, rooted in generations of work and personal responsibility, paid for in sweat equity.
And, perhaps most irritating to those who hate us - we do what we know is right for the land without fail, regardless of the monetary, social or personal loss. Even more frustrating to them is that we don't care about that "loss," because to us the permanent gain of improving the environment far outweighs any temporary gain that may be found through their misguided options.
While today's official Earth Day itself is fun, and a wonderful opportunity to help make a difference, it's one of 365 celebrated and practiced by farmers and ranchers every year. We love our big and little pieces of earth beyond measure, and care for them accordingly.