I have come to believe that the physical destruction of the earth extends to us, too. If we live in an environment that's wounded--where the water is polluted, the air is filled with soot and fumes, the food is contaminated with heavy metals and plastic residues, or the soil is practically dust--it hurts us, chipping away at our health and creating injuries at a physical, psychological, and spiritual level. In degrading the environment, therefore, we degrade ourselves. ... The reverse is also true. In the process of helping the earth to heal, we help ourselves. If we see the earth bleeding from the loss of topsoil, biodiversity, or drought and desertification, and if we help reclaim or save what is lost--for instance, through regeneration of degraded forests--the planet will help us in our self-healing and indeed survival.Maathai also notes that she has "never differentiated between activities that might be called 'spiritual" and those that might be termed 'secular'" when it comes to environmentalism. What do TreeHugger readers think?
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