The second milestone of the Food for Thought class was to find an issue and demonstrate the parallels between crop mono culturing and human mono culturing. I chose the deforestation of the rainforest because I thought this showed both sides properly. One side being the deforestation is wiping out crop diversity and the other side being that the Brazilian government is creating a monoculture by deforesting to transport commodities through the vast rainforest. I have thought about this issue very differently after learning about various mono cultures of the mind over history and the surprising amount of similarities between crop monocultures and historical monocultures such as the Holocaust.
There is an uncanny relationship between the life of the rainforest and humans, and this is called monoculture. What is a monoculture? A monoculture is the exclusive planting of one variation of a crop thereby eliminating crop diversity and only planting one variety of crops. This creates discrimination of the other crops because they are cast aside and not planted. A monoculture does not only apply to crops, however; it also applies to humans. Since the beginning of time, there have been humans trying to create a monoculture society.
Over history, many leaders have tried to create this type of society and just as it has with crops, it failed with humans. Dictators such as Hitler or Saddam Hussein have tried to create monocultures by killing off people that they saw as unfit for their “perfect” world. Hussein was a member of the group that is known as the Sunis, and he was trying to eradicate another group known as the Shiites. Adolf Hitler believed that blonde haired, blue eyed people were the perfect race, also known as the Aryan race. In order to attempt his monoculture of the German people, he had Jewish people imprisoned and killed during the Holocaust of World War 2. These are two key examples of mono culturing by eliminating diversity, however there is another monoculture of the mind and that is segregation. An example of this would be the American segregation of Whites and Blacks in America. Blacks could not even use the same water fountains as white people because of this government dictated monoculture.
In terms of the deforestation of the Brazilian rainforest, there is an issue of mono-culturing in both senses. The Brazilian government faces a huge issue because they need to deforest the rainforest in order to transport their commodities across the vast region of the Amazon. The trees are also used for materials to build homes for those in need. With the deforested sectors completely flat, farmers plant soybeans and other crops that are in high demand. The government has a monoculture of the mind with the rainforest by encouraging the dismantling of the diverse rainforest to create monoculture farming.
In order to address the issues that the Brazilian government is facing, I would like to have a negotiation between Brazilian government officials and scientists that study the conditions of the rainforest. The reason why I chose these two groups is because they can come together to create a strategy to keep the rainforest from being wiped off of earth permanently. At this negotiation I would serve the many fruits and foods that exist in the rainforest to demonstrate the importance of keeping the region safe. The use of these foods would symbolize what would be lost if the rainforest is not cared for properly. With this arranged meet between the two groups, there could be a plan that could save the rainforest. Even I have thought of some ways to save the rainforest so if the powerful minds of the Brazilian government team up with environmental scientists there’s no telling what good they can do.
The suggestions that I would have at this negotiation would be to utilize the deforested space better. In certain areas that have been cut down, only small spaces are utilized for things such as farming or living. With a better plan for usage of deforested areas of the rainforest, there will be less demand for more flat land. Another discussion point that I would discuss with both sides is the vitality of keeping the rainforest. I would show them that with the rainforest completely eradicated, they would have a similar situation that Kenya did when the British colonists burnt down the vast forests. The country was never the same after that until only recently there has been a tree planting incentive to save the once rainforest esque Kenyan landscape. The most important issue to discuss would be the social implications of the deforestation. There will be civil unrest if privatized military organizations harm the farmers that are only trying to protect the rainforest that has given them the gift of life and food.