This morning, as I used my all-natural laundry detergent and fumed about yet another chain store wanting to enter my little town, I decided there are three clear types of people in this world.
The first: my oh so favorite (please sense the sarcasm) treehuggers. These treehuggers essentially believe that the world is better without humans to preserve the world. It doesn’t matter if a tree is dead and about to fall on the home that has been in a family for generations and poses a risk to the little ones playing in the yard. They still think the tree should not be cut down and be allowed to fall as if it were still in an uninhabited area.
The second: I don’t actually have a good name for these people, as of now. This group is filled with people who live in the concrete jungle and think that the entire world should be paved over with asphalt, cement, concrete, etc. These are the people that seem to think that every village, township, town, city should have a McDonalds and Dollar General. They are the anti-treehuggers. It is important to note that while all in this group are city-boys, not all city-boys are in this group.
The third: the naturalists. This is the group of which I consider myself a part – the happy medium between the first and second. Naturalists are happy with how things are now – distinction between the country and the city. Naturalists typically live in the country because they don’t like the crowded, nature-deprived city, but they recognize the necessity of the cities to house a continuously growing population. Naturalists don’t go protesting every time a tree is going to be cut down, but they do believe and love national, state, and local parks. Naturalists don’t like the government interfering with how we keep our houses warm (the EPA should be disbanded), but they also prefer natural, biodegradable products around their house to do what they can to help preserver the environment. Naturalists are pro-hunting, but dislike hunting purely for sport (Dances with Wolves has a scene of thousands of slaughtered buffalo, killed for sport rather than meat and warmth, that has haunted me for over a decade.).
Naturalists can live in the city. You’ll find them in parks or taking weekend outings to local lakes or hiking grounds. They’ll be pushing for recycling in their building or homeowner’s association.
Naturalists are the most likable of the three groups. Treehuggers cannot go a day without telling you you’re wrong about everything when it comes to the environment. They tell you how you’re contributing to global warming that day. That second group cannot go a day without telling you that yeah, the fields of wheat waiting for harvesting set against a background of gold, flaming, and auburn trees with a dusty blue fall sky above all are beautiful, but think of how much nicer it would look as a parking lot for the new plaza of stores they want to build there. Yeah, our grandparents used to climb trees and run play by the creek, but it’s much safer for them on a small playground.
Because of the feuds between the treehuggers and the concreters (not the best title, but it’s still pretty accurate), everybody thinks the choice is one extreme or the other other. Everyone forgets that there is the third option. When you live half an hour from a city with every grocery, clothing, craft, auto, home-project store you could need, you don’t need a dollar general in your town just to have a dollar general in your town. You don’t need to feel guilty about cutting down a dead tree. Just plant another tree or grind that one into mulch for your flower beds or chop for a bonfire or woodburner.