The Sacred Grove of Oshogbo was one place I had been looking forward to visiting in Nigeria. As prevalent as indigenous religions still are in West Africa, it is often hard to find public expressions of them in towns and cities; the Christianity brought by European slavers and colonialists has taken root and pushed most of these religions out of mainstream life. But in the Sacred Grove shrines honor all the local deities, including Obatala, the god of creation, Ogun, the god of iron, and Oshun, the goddess of water, whose aqueous essence is made manifest by the river running through the trees. The place is unique in the Yoruba religion, and that intrigued me.
In the past we didn’t designed gardens that play a critical ecological role in the landscape, but we must do so in the future if we hope to avoid a mass extinction from which humans are not likely to recover either. As quickly as possible we need to replace unnecessary lawn with densely planted woodlots that can serve as habitat for our local biodiversity. Homeowners can do this by planting the borders of their properties with native trees plants such as white oaks ( Quercus alba ), black willows ( Salix nigra ), red maples ( Acer rubrum ), green ashes ( Fraxinus pennsylvanica), black walnuts ( Juglans nigra ), river birches ( Betula nigra ) and shagbark hickories ( Carya ovata ), under-planted with woodies like serviceberry ( Amelanchier canadensis ), arrowwood ( Viburnum dentatum ), hazelnut ( Corylus americnus ), blueberries ( Vaccinium spp) . Our studies have shown that even modest increases in the native plant cover on suburban properties significantly increases the number and species of breeding birds, including birds of conservation concern. As gardeners and stewards of our land, we have never been so empowered to help save biodiversity from extinction, and the need to do so has never been so great. All we need to do is plant native plants!
I have never chosen vegan because I can not understand how it is more ethical to shred one sacred being over another and call myself ethical. Many vegan spiritualist will happily commune with nature and connect to an ancient tree but then go eat a plant. All beings are sacred. Just because we find it easier to relate to those that are animal with blood and vocal chords does not mean that we are not causing pain and distress to other forms of beings.
Practice your compassion to all beings and honour the sacred relationship we are all involved with not the just our relationship with animals