Why An Interspecies Approach is Key To A Sustainable Future

Exploration and examples that show we are already hard-wired to take this approach

B. Lorraine Smith

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For instance, I bet you could gather a lot of insights from this one little fungus-on-cut-tree situation, just by reflecting with intention. (Photo by me.)

A few weeks back I wrote about what I would do If I Had a Trillion Dollars. The prompt came from recalling a budget I drew up to prepare for the unlikely event of my having a billion dollars, and then realizing I needed to move the decimal a few places after conducting the assessment on TD Bank. This all stemmed from my experimental industrial art project, Matereality.

In the Trillion Dollars piece, I provided a hierarchy of my trillion dollar spending needs. At the top was taking an “interspecies approach”. This has, per usual, led to more questions than answers, so I explore the approach further here.

Of all the conceptual places I’ve wandered into, this one is the most wide-open, so I am hopeful you, dear readers, will weigh in with reflections of your own.

Instead of being angry about how wrecked things are, or seeing my own species as an invasive, destructive force, taking this approach helps me see paths and possibilities I might otherwise miss.

Who am I to propose this?

I’ll plant a few seeds on what I propose with this approach. But first, I’ll preface my comments with a double-sided caveat about my bona fides.

  • Side one: I am not an Indigenous person, nor have I been culturally shaped in a way that includes me among all of our relations. I have no formal training in plant medicines, zoology, geology, or even plain old biology. In fact, like most of my “modern western” peers, I have been raised to get a “good education”, and then get as busy as I can (economically speaking) while coping with the results in the margins of time, in more or less healthy ways.
  • Side two: I am deeply aware of our interconnectedness, across human and non-human communities. Since I can remember, I have been engaged in long conversations with animals…

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B. Lorraine Smith

Former sustainability consultant replacing ESG with reality-based insights about corporate purpose and impact. https://www.blorrainesmith.com/