Month: May 2019

The Strawberry Tragedy

Fresh Strawberries
Fresh Strawberries

Charlotte Joko Beck in Everyday Zen explains a famous Buddhist parable: “A man was being chased by a tiger. In his desperation he dove over the side of a cliff and grabbed a vine. As the tiger was pawing away above him he looked below and saw another tiger at the base of the cliff, waiting for him to fall.

To top it off two mice were gnawing away at the vine. At that moment he spotted a luscious strawberry and, holding the vine with one hand, he picked the strawberry and ate it. It was delicious! What finally happened to the man? We know, of course. Is what happened to him a tragedy?

Notice that the man being chased by a tiger didn’t lie down and say, Oh, you beautiful creature. We are one. Please eat me. The story is not about being foolish even though on one level, the man and the tiger are one. The man did his best to protect himself, as we all should.

Nevertheless, if we’re left hanging on that vine, we can either waste that last moment of life or we can appreciate it. And isn’t every moment the last moment? There is no moment other than this. The man being chased by the tiger is finally eaten. No problem.”

Cow Farts and the End of the World

Presumed Innocent
Presumed Innocent

I read an article about cow farts in our local newspaper the other day and decided to do some research. The Salt Lake Tribune said: “Greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise, global warming is becoming a bigger threat, and cow farts are partly to blame.

Methane from cows is a big contributor to the greenhouse effect, trapping thirty times more heat than carbon dioxide. To put the toxicity of methane in perspective, you would have to sit and idle your car for 21.3 hours a day in order to produce the same amount of gas as one cow does per day.”

Josh Goldman of Australis Aquaculture said that one alternative is to feed the cows a certain type of seaweed. He claims: “If you could feed all the cows this seaweed, it would be the equivalent of taking all these cars off the road.”

Note: whether cows actually fart and whether or not as one website put it, cow farts matter and could destroy the world, think carefully before sitting in your car with the engine running for 21.3 hours. I had a neighbor who did that once and it did not end well.