We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Religion vs. the Sprinkler Police

by Charlotte Laws Friday, Oct. 02, 2009 at 3:27 PM
officeofcharlottelaws@yahoo.com

When it comes to my yard, a middle ground is unachievable if it means a dead ground. My religion and moral value system require healthy greenery; which in turn, benefit the animals and insects who depend on my yard for sustenance.

Does your Rain Bird no longer fly? Are your PVC pipes feeling neglected? Has your city hung your lawn out to dry and given your timer a time-out? If so, you probably live in a place that restricts landscaping watering. Due to devastating dry spells, dozens of cities have implemented ordinances aimed at water conservation.

When I grew up in Atlanta , it was so rainy a fish could survive on land; but when I visited last year, I found straw-like lawns and a total watering ban. In Los Angeles , where I now reside, the City Council has implemented a partial ban: residents are restricted to two days per week for outdoor irrigation and no more than 15 minutes per watering station.

I understand the need to conserve and have always been a “waste not, water not” woman, whipping the faucet on and off while teeth cleaning as if water were pricey champagne. In my college dorm, I won the coveted “Snappy Shower Award,” and I treat my dishwasher like a roller-coaster ride: it doesn’t leave the station unless it’s full.

However, when it comes to my yard, a middle ground is unachievable if it means a dead ground. My religion and moral value system require healthy greenery; which in turn, benefit the animals and insects who depend on my yard for sustenance. I live in a fire hazard zone in Woodland Hills—the most sweltering part of LA--where watering two days per week is as effective as healing third degree burns with a Band-aid and where dead foliage is an invitation for flames to “come up and see me sometime.”

My lot—which abuts undeveloped acreage--may appear fully suburbanized, but it serves as an oasis for rabbits, bees, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, gophers, snakes, bees, owls, and birds of every kind. Saint Francis of Assisi would not want for feathered friends.

I am not a Christian like Assisi , but practice Jainism, which is often described as the world’s oldest living religion, originating in India around 500 BC. Adherents follow the principal of “ahimsa” or non-injury to all living beings. Although practically-speaking it is impossible to be perfect, a Jain does her best to make sure no living being is injured by her action or inaction. Compassion is extended to mammals and reptiles as well as flowers, grass, insects and trees. As a Jain, I have a duty to protect the life forms on my property, and any ordinance which interferes with this is at odds with my First Amendment rights under the US Constitution.

How interesting it would be for this water-related dispute to percolate into court. Santeria--a religion with Afro-Cuban roots which has approximately one million followers in the US —condones killing animals in ritual. In 1993, Santeria adherents in Hialeah , Florida won a “free exercise of religion” case: the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the religion and against a local ordinance, which sought to ban animal sacrifice. Although the case had an unfortunate outcome for nonhuman victims, it illustrates the power of the First Amendment. One must assume the Supreme Court would protect the critters in my yard under the same rationale used to deny them protection in Florida .

Apart from religion, my moral value system dictates that I maintain a verdant yard. I hold that all living beings have interests, as evidenced by their efforts to flourish and survive, and to disregard these interests would be arrogant, self-serving and speciesist. Speciesism is a form of prejudice, much like racism or sexism, in which humans deem themselves superior to other species. To adequately recognize the innate value of nonhumans—which policy-makers rarely do--and shake off speciesism, our democracy would need to be more like an omniocracy or government with representation and consideration for all living beings. An omniocratic system would, at the very least, be mindful of the needs of other species before intercepting their lifeline with an overly restrictive water ordinance.

Some LA City Councilmembers--as well as misguided environmentalists—suggest homeowners rip out their grass and lay synthetic turf in order to save H2O, despite the exorbitant cost. It is $7000 for 600 square feet. This would, of course, solidify Tinseltown’s image: plastic surgeons could have plastic yards, and every street could look like a movie set. But real grass is essential because it serves as a carbon offset, absorbing 13.2 million pounds of CO2 per year. One would have to plant and maintain 1861 trees for a decade to compensate for a football field of fake turf.

Artificial grass is not what I would call “environmental” or “animal friendly” with its lead-content problems, the extensive energy and raw materials needed to produce it, and the risk that synthetic materials may leak into the water table and that rubber infill crumbs may become airborne and inhaled. Installing make-believe grass is akin to moving your home office onto the driveway in order to save a lightbulb. In addition, horrifying images come to mind: rabbits ingesting green shag fibers and tiny life forms roasting under an airless blanket of toxins. Turf temperatures can climb to 160 degrees on summer days.

As a vegan, I could maintain a lush, English garden at my home and still use less water than a meat-eater in a condo, a fact the ordinance fails to take into account. It takes 300 gallons per day to produce vegetarian food, while it takes 13 times more--4,000 gallons--for a carnivore, the difference between night and day or a bathtub and a pool. This is because it is so costly water-wise to raise and feed each of the 55 billion farm animals slaughtered for food.

Apparently, not many sprinkler scofflaws or hose hogs exist; officials in both Los Angeles and Atlanta have revealed significant declines in water usage since their ordinances were put into place. There has been an 11% reduction in LA since June, and residents consume the same amount of water today as they did 25 years ago, despite a population increase of over one million people. Atlanta has realized a 20% reduction over the past eight years despite a population boom of 30%.

It is hoped Los Angeles , Atlanta and other cities will continue to explore and implement conservation alternatives, when viable, such as desalinization processes, smart irrigation systems, recycled water programs, urine diversion toilets, groundwater replenishment systems and rainwater capture plans.

In the meantime, I hope you will conserve when you can. But don’t let the water ordinance rain on your parade or kill your “living yard.” Lots of creatures count on you.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 5 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Utter nonsense Fredric L. Rice Saturday, Oct. 03, 2009 at 5:56 PM
look who's typing... "you're an idiot" Sunday, Oct. 04, 2009 at 5:30 AM
that's funny.... say what? Monday, Oct. 05, 2009 at 3:56 AM

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

DIARY OF A CON MAN J16 10:40PM

PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

Changer de mentalité, changer de société J09 9:17AM

Teacher Strike? Time for Labor Studies J09 6:26AM

December 2018 Honduras Coup Update J08 10:12PM

Paraphysique de la désespérance J07 9:38AM

The Unification Church with Rev Moon is in La and Orange Counnties J07 9:07AM

Time to Start Imagineering a Post-Ayatollah Iran J05 10:00PM

L'écomorphisme, du culturel et du temporel J05 10:33AM

Sexual Harassment Charges of Men Suing Women who are accused of Harassing Men are now 10% J05 4:08AM

Stases psychiques et stases sexuelles J04 11:34AM

Paraphysique de la sous-vie J02 9:01AM

Paraphysique de la biomasse mondialisée J01 9:45AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy