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Global Thanks Giving

November 26, 1987|ERNEST CALLENBACH | Ernest Callenbach is an editor at the University of California Press and author of the novel "Ecotopia." and

I give thanks to the tropical snake

whose venom provides pills to lower

my civilized blood pressure,

and thanks to what's left

of his harboring rainforest.

Thanks to the Ceylonese tea gatherers

who work in the merciless sun

to give me the familiar cup

that lends me courage for the morning.

Thanks to the banana trees of Costa Rica,

and to the Indonesian mahoganies

felled to veneer my bedroom dresser,

and to the Canadian spruce cut down

and pulped for paper with which we

might enlighten each other.

Thanks to the cotton-growers of India,

who live on the verge of starvation

but gave me my shirt, and to the women

in the sweatshops of Hong Kong

who sewed my pants.

Thanks also to the billion microbes

who ferment my beer, recycle my wastes,

and in the end

will faithfully return my body to

the Great Round of Being.

And thanks to those uncountable tiny creatures

compressed by geological history

into oil under Nigeria or Venezuela,

whose fossil energy lets me cross

a whole town for an ice cream cone.

Thanks above all to my fellow humans

born in the wrong countries,

who suffer falling wages, malnutrition,

the deaths of innumerable children,

destruction of their landscapes,

mutilation of their ancient cultures,

in order that my goods shall be cheap

and my corporations profitable.

I give thanks, but I do not expect forgiveness.

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