There is a disturbing trend taking hold in America. If you read the headlines, you know I’m talking about the escalation of tree rage.
You can go into any hardware or home-improvement store in America and find trimmers, loppers, and cans of poison, brazenly displayed. All are designed to maim or even kill our leafed-brethren.
The most recent incident involves Harvey Updyke, a man whose name is now synonymous with tree rage. Such is his irrational hatred of trees, that he allegedly poisoned rival Auburn University’s revered, old oak trees. *
When will the tree carnage end?
That’s why I was delighted with my last order of office copy paper. “Paper from farmed trees” was prominently printed on the side of the box. I don’t recall seeing this before, and I’ve purchased tons of paper in my life. Have I, unwittingly, been contributing to the cruel reaming of the barked? Where has my paper come from? I shudder to think.
Maybe they were murdered in the California redwood forests. Or they came up-river from the Amazon rainforest, smuggled into this country by the greedy, evil paper industry (no doubt with ties to Haliburton). Perhaps roving bands of bounty-hunting tree thieves are on the loose in the suburbs, slipping quietly across neatly manicured lawns in the dead of night to debauch innocent maples. Oh, the humanity!
Upon further reflection, though, is farming trees better? Doesn’t that mean they live their short lives constrained, unable to run free in the wild? Um, metaphorically speaking.
Would it be more humane to have free-range trees? But now we are returning, full-circle, to the argument against the barbarity of slaughtering trees in the wild.
It’s hard to know which is the more politically correct option here.
I think there is but one course of action open to the compassionate arbor-humanist. Join me now in my vow: I’m not buying any more paper until the manufacturers can truthfully declare: “No trees were harmed in the making of this paper.”
*Mr. Updyke, by all accounts an Alabama fan, may have also been motivated by some sports team/school rivalry. Interestingly, his release from prison was contingent on his taking anger management classes and avoiding Auburn fans and herbicides. I am not making this part up.