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maudt's avatar

Dying Earth

Another art challenge by :icondaekazu:, :iconmidnighttea7:, :iconvinegar: and :iconmaudt:!

For each challenge we interchangeably give ourselves an idea or topic to illustrate and a short, specified time to execute it in whatever shape or form... of course, without knowing what the others are going to come up with.

This week's topic is maudt's idea: Dying Earth. Exploring the motifs of death, decay and the ecological disaster that is the state of our planet.

My topic this time. First of all: my anatomical inaptitude makes me make a mass even when using references very closely, so nevermind that.
The message? Well, I have been recently more and more interested in the ecological and health impact of food. People have little to no idea how much agriculture is affecting the planet (confinement animal husbandry, GMOs, extensive pesticide use- I'm looking at you)... it's really a terrible, terrible mess. Get informed, vote with your forks!

Check out the other versions by:
vinegar Dying Earth - WIP by vinegar
daekazu Dying Earth by daekazu
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© 2012 - 2021 maudt
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EtquitteDino98's avatar
Can Extinction Rebellion use this for posters?
Snuchi-Nator's avatar
Hey dude ,iam in a metalcore band ,would u let me use this ,il give u credits
Rebel-Rider's avatar
Good job. My family raises cattle and hay for the cattle. We've seen the neighbors using GMO crops and from what we know, it seems like they're not as healthy as non-modified crops.
We also try to keep our cattle natural. The only vaccination they get is one we need to give them if we want to sell them. We don't do hormones at all and only do antibiotics if a specific animal is sick.
maudt's avatar
Your family gives me hope then! :) Keep it up!
nnava4's avatar
Lol Eyeless Jack XD ITS AWESOMEEE!!!
Sniper0092's avatar
It is, you may have one in your area, where do you live?
maudt's avatar
In Poland, they don't have them here, trust me ;>
There are 2 stores with organic food in a quite close distance, but they don't have nowhere near that amount of food. But I think something is better than nothing.
Sniper0092's avatar
One reason I like Whole Foods. I am a vegan.
maudt's avatar
Whole Foods sounds like a dream (I drooled just by looking at the pictures of the colourfully arranged veggies). We don't have that much choice in organic produce (just some basic stuff and a couple of things that are in season).
Zak05's avatar
Great scene!!!
GMO aren't evil and they aren't destroying the planet, probably.

Also, as someone who has spent time in the unadulterated wilderness, there are many, many good reasons why we've running away from it for thousands of years.
maudt's avatar
Probably? I'm not aying that they are destroying the planet but they are a part of that destruction, of humanity's meddling with things that we don't fully understand. All for the sake of profit. They represent the whole mindset of gigantic monocultures that have to be heavily treated with artificial fertilizers and pesticides. They're neither healthy for us, nor the environment. Most crops are farmed this way unfortunately, not only GMOs, but GMOs especially (check what are the Roundup Ready varieties). Besides, there have been studies that show infertility in mice (in later generations) and lots of degenerative disorders (liver failure and cancers). Just because people don't see their effects now, doesn't mean that their children won't suffer from it (although some people see adverse effects now). Plus they virtually deny us the choice of food we want to it because of cross-pollination (and it's really hard to restrict with wind and bee driven pollen). at some point in the future there won't be non-GMO varieties left. That's great news to the corporations that are their patent holders. For the people? Not so much. Just think about it.

I can't say I had the privilege of being in truly unadultered wilderness (we got rid of it in Europe pretty much entirely) but I know nature can be tricky and nasty. But do we really have to go to the opposite extreme? Getting rid of it all and leaving only what serves us? That won't do in the long run. The less complex the ecosystem, the more vulnerable it is. The less varied the genepool, the more susceptible it is to damage (adverse weather conditions, pathogens and such).
Probably. As you mentioned, there are a lot of things we don't understand very well. I don't mind the meddling because meddling is how we learn and waiting to fully understand before acting means you won't ever act. Often the meddling isn't just profit, but also curiosity and necessity. Flooding and the resulting food shortages are a real problem in much of south/south-east Asia. So, engineers developed a rice species that can survive being submerged for over a week. I don't see what's bad about that.

Modern agricultural practices do have their downsides. They also allow me to spend $100 a month on food and eat quite well. I like having cheap, plentiful food available to me all year, which means global supply networks and GMOs. What foods do you want, but are unavailable?

Coming from a farming area that is surrounded by wilderness, I honestly don't know that much about the opposite extreme. Our local flora and fauna are quite active, annoyingly so at times, so mostly we curse the meddling outsiders and their latest hairbrained plan to save nature.

I confess that europe puzzled me greatly in some respects. Sleeping anywhere but a campground was illegal. Weird. If you want wilderness come to the states or canada. There's plenty to go around.
maudt's avatar
Yes, meddling is how we get any progress, but aren't we at the point of civilisation where it should be illegal to conduct experiment on the general populus without it's consent? This is how I see GMOs. I simply think there hasn't been enough testing done by objective scientists before they have been introduced into the ecosystem. Other than the tests conducted by or sponsred by the companies who engineered the plants most other reasearch sees dangers in GMOs. It's one thing to create GM bacteria to produce cheap antibiotics, all in controlled environments of labs, I have ne beef with that. But it's something entirely different to release GMOs into the ecosystem where they will irreversibly cross-polinate with other plants producing new and unpredictable allergens and other problems (superweeds, colony collapse disorder in bees, to name a few). The ecosystem is a living organism and it will have to deal with these new variables as it always does, by adapting, but bear in mind that some changes take a long time. I hope we won't wake up one day to a world without bees and other pollinators, if we do we're truly screwed.

Let me explain how they restrict my choice. It's mostly about cross-pollination. Let me give you an example, the EU has allowed only a couple of GM crops, one of which is Monsanto's corn. However, many member countires have introduced a moratorium on their planting. So did Poland (this year) where I live, but I also happen to know some farmers who import corn as fodder for cattle but plant it instead. Simply put, they don't give a damn and have created a situation where there's absolutely no control and no information about what we grow. And such practice is not an exception, it is quite common. Corn pollen can travel by wind for many kilometers, so the "purity" of the corn grown here is probably compromised. Does anybody test it? Not to my knowledge. Now, of course I could stop eating corn (not that I ever ate a lot of it anyway) but if you know anything about modern food production you will know that corn derivatives are in tons of foods (starches, HFCS etc.). Sure, so I'll simply avoid such food, it's bacically in any processed foods. And I do, they're mostly junk food anyway. But here's another fun fact: most of the meat industry is based on GM feed (soy and corn mostly). So now I can't eat meat. And I don't, to a large extent (but I have some other reasons for that too). Same goes for dairy. So unless I buy certified organic, there's no knowing what I'm eating. Do I think that GMOs have restriced my choices, you bet.
And that's Europe which has a much more conservative attitude to GMOs, whereas on your side of the pond the government is much more liberal.

Yet again, I'm not saying we have to forgo modern agriculture, but in the long run our present methods are unsustainable, as they base heavily on the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticied, both of which are derived from fossil fuels. Those will run out one day, maybe not tomorrow, but they will. Never forget that the cheap food you nowadays enjoy comes with an environmental cost. Not to mention the healthcare cost, it's a lousy default diet after all that accounts for most of the serious diseases in the world these days (heart problems, cancer, obesity, diabetes etc.). And I won't even go into the whole business of how much the present food prices are also a result of governments' subsidizng certain crops. That's just too much politics for a humble DA comment :) But you may want to read Marion Nestle's Food Politics book, or her blog (same title).

Despite all my love for nature, I think I'm a pathetic human being who wouldn't survive a day in true wilderness, but I still hate how humanity has to ruin it by it's constant push to "civilise" every bit of it. All in the name of progress and "feeding the world". Well guess what? It's that progress that enabled the human population to grow that much.

Do I have a bleak outlook on the world? Maybe, but 3 months ago my mother has passed away... a victim of cancer. I think I have every right to be a bit paranoid :(
Sniper0092's avatar
You do, I fear things like that a lot...
KrasnyMagtira's avatar
This picture is horrifyingly stunning. Great work! I got goosebumps just by looking at it! :eyepopping:
maudt's avatar
AnnRita45's avatar
i dig this alot!!!! i have a thing for deep stuff like this!!!! can i ask an odd question?? do you mind if i use this as a background on my laptop????
maudt's avatar
Thanks :> Sure you can, if the format works for you.
AnnRita45's avatar
ok, cool!! thanks!!!
erraxul's avatar
PandoratheChostElf's avatar
Th word 'Desolated' comes straight to my mind. . .
YellowRainbow20's avatar
this looks very.... whats the word... i don't wanna sound happy about the destruction of our home... its horrible in a good way! the colours and everything work together so well! It suits the topic sooo well!! Good job! scary...perhaps but true
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