Should Druid’s smoke

This subforum is for discussions of any issues and concerns that impact the environment, such as biodiversity, global climate change, genetically engineered plants and animals, human population, animal and nature conservation, natural disasters, etc.
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Should Druid’s smoke

Post by Babybard1976 » 07 Apr 2019, 13:22

A lot of pagans smoke. I realise it’s an addiction but cigarettes cause serious harm to the environment. From deforestation to air and water pollution and the toxic plastic used in filters. Surely as a set of spiritual paths that teaches respect for the environment, we should not smoke or at least vape if quitting is too hard. We owe it o ourselves and future generations to try and make the world cleaner and repair the damage we cause. Smoking is never discussed when talking about air and water pollution.

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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by laneth » 07 Apr 2019, 16:03

As someone whom has never drunk alcohol or smoked cigarettes, or done any sort of drug besides medically prescribed pills, I’ve never truly understood or respected addiction.

When I was younger, I found it so hard to take advice or learn from people talking about clean or healthy living while they sat and chain smoked or drank a cask of wine in one sitting...

As much as it is so destructive and dangerous, one must consider what that person has gone/is going through and and allow them the dignity to come to the choice in their own time.

I totally agree with you that, ideally, few within the pagan community should engage with such vices from an individual and environmental health perspective, but ultimately the power and right of individual choice is protected and stronger.
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by Babybard1976 » 07 Apr 2019, 16:24

Exactly, it’s an addictive substance and they can smoke if they want. Just don’t inflict it on others. Just trying to raise awareness of the environmental impact of smoking. I get so annoyed at some smokers treating the environment like a giant ashtray though. It’s sheer laziness and there are portable ashtrays available.The filters contain non biodegradable plastic though,They should be the next thing to be phased out. They get in the waterways and seas adding more poison and pollution.

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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by mitsubachi » 07 Apr 2019, 19:33

Addiction seems to be poorly understood yet pretty much practised by all. I highly recommend to anyone interested in this topic to check out Bruce Alexander's body of work.

His work The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit is especially relevant to those following a spiritual path.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/806 ... -addiction
Wikipedia summary about his life's work https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_K._Alexander

Here's a thought exercise he often asks his students: ask yourself what YOU are addicted to. Maybe it is reading, watching tv, shopping, religion, exercise, internet browsing .... Challenge yourself to be honest about your habits. In the many years of teaching he has not yet found someone who doesn't display some addictive tendency. This society is sick and people understandably must seek relief. Knowing this, understanding this, is key to finding compassion for those society wants us to vilify. It can and should guide us in making compassionate policy decisions.

And yes, the tobacco industry is a serious source of pollution. The smoke and manufacture pollutes the air, tossed butts distribute serious plant viruses to the soil and weirdly enough the industry contributes a surprisingly large percentage of the plastic pollution found in the ocean.
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by Corbiniane » 08 Apr 2019, 09:22

Not that long ago I read a study on air pollution in Germany, where they put up additional measuring stations all over Hamburg. Not surprisingly, the worst air pollution was near Hamburg harbour, but surprisingly, other areas with bad air were found to be well-to-to residential areas with little traffic. The culprit: fireplaces and wood-fired heating systems.
So maybe we should also do without our Beltane and Samhain bonfires....

And don't get me started on the topic of e-cigarettes....

On addiction, there's really no one who is truly free if addictions of any kind. Anything you feel "you have to do" points in direction of an addiction or at least activity or substance abused to produce numbness or distraction. Can be your morning coffee.... or social media.... or the need to eat right (called orthorexia). It's just that some addictions are more harmful (to both addict and environment) than others.
If you're truly addicted to something you generally stop caring what your habit does to your health - and if you can't change a habit that negatively affects your health, don't think the environmental impact will make a difference.
Speaking as someone who was severly addicted to bakery goods (especially anything containing processed wheat and butter)(yes I know how that sounds, but it wasn't cute at all), you can know all this and still be unable to change a single thing. Mostly because there is one part inside oneself that sees the addiction as (still) essential for our survival.
I can't really tell you how I managed to get out of this; mostly the urge simply vanished, it was like... I was done with it, time over, didn't need it anymore.
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by malcolmb » 08 Apr 2019, 10:37

I object to the ongoing massive increase in radiation that is constantly passing through me. You know who I am talking about. Yes you. All of you. You mobile phone users. You on the internet. Did you ask my permission before you polluted my body with your chit chat? No you did not. And now to satisfy your insatiable demand to be able to send trite little messages to your friends, we have 5G - which apparently will kill us all. And its your fault.

And of course you will all ignore this comment as you cannot imagine life without your mobile phone and the internet. Hallo addicts.

But you still feel you have the right to preach to us smokers. Yes, us smokers. I smoke. I have done so since I was 18 and that was a very long time ago. Back then, it was not only sociably acceptable, it was almost a social obligation. Just about everyone smoked. The TV (that dreadful polluter of the body and the spirit) was full of cigarette adverts. It was good to smoke. I had the obligatory lecture at school about the perils of smoking and here I am 58 years later, still smoking, still breathing.

I have always been conscious of the fact there are people who do not wish to share my enjoyment. Fine. I have always smoked in only designated places - fewer and fewer today. If I am in company, I always ask if people mind if I smoke. If they say they do, I don't smoke. If I am on my own, my rules. If I am in the countryside, I carry a portable ash tray - no cigarette butts or ash left behind. Does my smoke pollute the atmosphere. Probably. But can you really compare that to cars and lorries? If everyone in the world dumps their mobile phones, never accesses the internet and removes all petrol and diesel - consuming vehicles from the road, sea and air, I will stop smoking. Can't say fairer than that.

There is an old saying - "physician, heal thyself". Just like "Let him [and her] who is without sin cast the first stone". We are all addicts. I do not rush up to every phone user and demand they turn them off. So let me puff away in peace.
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by Corbiniane » 08 Apr 2019, 10:48

Just because you smoke doesn't mean you're addicted - in my opinion. I smoked for not quite 10 years and I wasn't addicted to nicotine but rather the act or activity of smoking. There are worse things to do than smoke a few cigarettes a day if you are enjoying them. It's different if it's become a mindless habit, like, you get up and the first thing you do is reach for the lighter.
I try to cultivate a mindset of not seeing things black or white and keep things in proportion. Like, look at the hysteria surrounding tick-related diseases or measles, when it's in fact cars and obesity that are the bigger risks to our children (not to mention G5 or climate change).
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by tamarack » 08 Apr 2019, 17:58

"Should Druids smoke?"

'Should' hasn't been a very productive or helpful force in my life...should / shouldn't , guilt, us and them... for me this thinking pattern hasn't been a driver for growth into wellness. One of the appeals of Druidry was that the path seemed to stay more or less clear of this terrain.

I'm going to try to listen to things more, develop more sensitivity to the sacred, become more self-aware... if in the process I'm able to grow past old and harmful habits that's great, if i can make a difference for my family and community and shift things by degree towards wholeness that's great. But I don't think it's going to happen by standing on a box and telling people their 'shoulds'. That's been tried forever, I don't think it ever goes anywhere good. People are where they are and they will grow as they are able. Maybe we should just try to create a better growing environment as best we are able.
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by Dru* » 08 Apr 2019, 18:05

Thoughtlessly discarded fag butts are pollution, and we shouldn't tolerate them any more than we tolerate bits of plastic (I'm glad the tide is turning on that one). I find it distressing to notice cigarette ends on ancient paths, hidden under rocks in woodlands, buried in the sand on beaches... and I find it even more upsetting to realise that I used to leave them there.

We ex-smokers are the worst, right... though actually, I found vaping so much harder to quit than smoking. But I'm glad I did in the end. I've grown increasingly to dislike the whole of idea of smoking, but having been on the other end of the argument, I know it's pointless being preachy or dogmatic about it. I didn't stop because people were cross or disappointed with me. I changed in the end because I wanted to.

Addiction isn't an on/off state. Any of us can become dependent on anything. And all of us can choose. The key questions are "does this thing get in the way of me living the kind of life I want to live?" and "do I want to change?" Answer "yes" to both of those, and you're on your way. That doesn't make it easy, but it does make it possible.

And it's important to keep things in perspective. Every living being consumes resources, takes up space and leaves behind waste. Yes, we humans can do it in novel and particularly destructive ways. But we only stop having an environmental impact once we've completely decomposed and been recycled by the earth's system. While we're alive and conscious, we just need to do our best.
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by Runefang » 08 Apr 2019, 19:58

I think that if smoking were not bad for you I would probably smoke a pipe, one rather like Gandalf’s.

Becoming a Druid, or at least becoming enlightened into the ways of the Druids may make one more aware of potential environmental harms associated with lifestyle but I am a strong believer that you should be your own judge of what you do as long as it doesn’t inconvenience or cause harm to other people. Your body has to last you a lifetime, it is up to you how long that is to some extent. :)
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by sugarbush » 11 Apr 2019, 05:57

malcolmb wrote:
08 Apr 2019, 10:37
I object to the ongoing massive increase in radiation that is constantly passing through me. You know who I am talking about. Yes you. All of you. You mobile phone users. You on the internet. Did you ask my permission before you polluted my body with your chit chat? No you did not. And now to satisfy your insatiable demand to be able to send trite little messages to your friends, we have 5G - which apparently will kill us all. And its your fault.

Don't you mean "our fault," friend? [insert here a wry yet friendly face]

I don't find it useful to compare one person's indulgences to another's, personally. Righteousness is boring. I smoke two pipes a year because I enjoy the ritual (and the nicotine high). I happen to feel that pipes do less harm than manufactured cigarettes, but that doesn't make me a better person than my friend who smokes a pack a day. He also put his cantankerous and anti-social aunt through hospice last year, so she could have a good death, and smoked his way all through that trying time. There can be no end to moral accounting, it is an infinite trap.

I don't know that 5G is going to kill us all, but I know that we're all going to die. I know that I have my own notion of The Good and I try to do more good this year than last year. That's it. One day, when I am all craggy and venerable, I may discover that giving up the pleasure of my two pipes a year is the right thing to do; today I cannot even imagine a world so healed that my greatest good could come from a gesture so small. My friend, on the other hand, has wanted to quit for many years because it's an expensive, smelly habit - clearly that good is much higher on his list. So I do what I can to help him.

I'm reminded of this passage from one of my favorite books, Le Guin's The Dispossessed:
For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved? Will you punish us for that? Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate? No man earns punishment, no man earns reward. Free your mind of the idea of deserving, the idea of earning, and you will begin to be able to think.
Thank you for this conversation.
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by malcolmb » 11 Apr 2019, 11:46

sugarbush wrote:
11 Apr 2019, 05:57
Don't you mean "our fault," friend? [insert here a wry yet friendly face]
Logically by my presence here, I must accept some blame. Just a bit. A little bit. I spend very little time on the net - I do have a real life. But the main target of my diatribe was those who seem to live their life 'on-line'. I have always been puzzled by what they find to talk about. Back in the days when making a phone call meant a hike through the inclement weather to stand 'in line' outside the nearest phone box (I remember those times well), a phone call would be a rare occurrence rarely lasting more than three minutes. That was quite long enough. Today as I totter along the road, I find myself constantly dodging and weaving through a populace who are oblivious to anything other than the device to which their eyes are glued. Apparently seeing what a 'friend' who they have never met had for breakfast is more important than the real world about them. I receive calls on my land-line telephone from call-centres who seek to confirm that I did actually write a cheque to pay a bill. A cheque? How quaint. Yes, I am aware that I can pay bills 'on-line'. I choose to write cheques. I have done so for many, many decades and will continue to do so. And when they tell me my bank details are incomplete and they need my mobile phone number, I am tired of explaining to an incredulous youth that I do not have a mobile phone, have never had a mobile phone and never will. The fact that they had to pass a law to stop people using mobile phones when driving instead of relying on people's common sense says much about the world today.
sugarbush wrote:
11 Apr 2019, 05:57
I don't know that 5G is going to kill us all, but I know that we're all going to die.
https://ehtrust.org/key-issues/cell-pho ... lth-risks/
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http://www.soundclick.com/malcolmbrown
http://www.youtube.com/user/LyleMusic

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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by Corbiniane » 11 Apr 2019, 12:51

I don't know that 5G is going to kill us all, but I know that we're all going to die.

https://ehtrust.org/key-issues/cell-pho ... lth-risks/
A person could say natural selection will weed out those who use cell phones excessively... only here they are in the process of fitting schools out with interactive whiteboards or smartboards (not quite yet having kids with tablets instead of paper), so it's only getting worse. At the same time teachers are complaining that children lack the fine motor skills to write well (by hand, I mean) and that generally, children leaving elementary school have inadequate longhand writing skills. But then, it seems everything is done over WhatsApp here now - there are groups for soccer and for ballet and birthday invitations are issued over it. Tow truck drivers, as another example, now have to use an app to put in not only all the data that used to be done on actual paper, but also all prior scratches etc a car may have before they are allowed to tow it, which means a single job takes 60-90 minutes now instead of 20-30 minutes ... for the same amount of money of course. Someone who simply can't get the hang of a smartphone will have to be let go now because there is no work left they can do without those skills.
But then, living where I do, I don't need to use mobile phone myself, I guess I'm getting passively zapped anyway, thank you very much.
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by Wanderer » 11 Apr 2019, 13:00

And when they tell me my bank details are incomplete and they need my mobile phone number, I am tired of explaining to an incredulous youth that I do not have a mobile phone, have never had a mobile phone and never will.
LOL. And at your age you can probably still somewhat get away with it. I am about half your age.. Now imagine the look on peoples faces when they ask for my phone number, and I have to caution them that, while I indeed own a cell phone, it is almost never on (I only use it for emergencies or if I need to be able to reach someone while travelling long-distance), and they should not expect to be able to reach me that way.
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by Corbiniane » 11 Apr 2019, 13:47

I dont really talk on the mobile. If I'm not home to answer the landline, I'm usually not in a position to talk! I do use it a lot to check emails and messages though, sigh.
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by sugarbush » 12 Apr 2019, 04:20

Thank you for this! I took a look at the key fact sheet for the study, shown here: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/materi ... es_508.pdf

There's good news for all our precious bodily tissues. Here I'll present a couple of relevant observations.
But first, a CONTENT WARNING: Readers sensitive to animal cruelty may wish to center themselves before reading on, or skip the quote block below.

(1) The intensity of the RF radiation was extremely high, because they were deliberately testing terrible scenarios.
Exposure to RFR began in the womb for rats and at 5-6 weeks old for mice. The RFR exposure was intermittent,10 minutes on and 10 minutes off, totaling about 9 hours each day. The RFR levels ranged from 1.5 to 6 watts per kilogram of body weight in rats, and 2.5 to 10 watts per kilogram in mice.
Whereas, "The permissible upper limit for cell phones set by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is 1.6 W/kg of RF radiation." (Source: https://www.oit.uci.edu/telephone/cell- ... radiation/ - this website also has best practices for reducing RF exposure for those who wish it). The bottom end of the testing range starts at the FCC legal limit and ramps up to 6.5 times that limit.

(2) The RF radiation covered their whole bodies, which isn't analogous to the exposure humans get from using cell phones.

Like my dad was fond of saying in the '90s: Sure you can kill a mouse with aspartame, if you drop 50 lbs of it on his head.

I don't think that the FCC set the limit at 1.6 because they're certain it's safe; the study was done as an investigation of what safe might mean. Also, they were testing 2G and 3G, not 5G (although unless the legal limit changes I'm not certain it makes a difference). I personally begrudge no one choosing to live cell-free, and I share a lot of the complaints about, shall we say, related lifestyle choices of online mass culture which fills the bulk of your post. My comment is mostly for clarity about what the study does and does not show, and maybe to reduce the anxieties of anyone who - like me - reads a sentence like "clear evidence of tumors" and immediately gets a tummy ache. But, like the visible light radiation we get from the sun, there's a major difference between low intensity and high intensity exposure. There should and will be further studies, and in the mean time I don't think there's anything wrong with taking some simple precautions and/or getting on with one's life.
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by malcolmb » 12 Apr 2019, 11:36

sugarbush wrote:
12 Apr 2019, 04:20
.... related lifestyle choices of online mass culture which fills the bulk of your post.
From my pedestal of assumed wisdom supposedly bestowed by age, I have some difficulty in accepting that on-line can represent a lifestyle but perhaps my perception of 'life' has more to do with being in and embracing the real natural world than its safely packaged image on a tiny screen. As for such a life-style being a culture, I recall my Greek teacher saying that culture ended when Greece fell to the Romans. Looking around the World today, I am even more sure he was right.

Your other points are well made. I will continue to take my simple precaution by not owning an infernal mobile device. If anyone wishes to contact me, please note that my house has a front door and a door knocker. If I am not at home, please come back at a time when I am. Or leave a message with my neighbour. That has worked well for countess generations for thousands of years. It still works fine for me!
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My original Celtic / Folk / Jazz music at:
http://www.soundclick.com/lylemusic
http://www.soundclick.com/malcolmbrown
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by Jasper » 12 Apr 2019, 12:10

I smoke. I enjoy a an occaisonal pipe or cigar maybe one or two a month.
Some of my tobacco I grow, cure and shred myself.
A fine cigar or well tamped pipe will last me up to an hour or more of peace solitude and introspection.
Tobacco like all things, less is more.

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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by Corbiniane » 12 Apr 2019, 12:59

I smoke. I enjoy a an occaisonal pipe or cigar maybe one or two a month.
Some of my tobacco I grow, cure and shred myself.
A fine cigar or well tamped pipe will last me up to an hour or more of peace solitude and introspection.
Tobacco like all things, less is more.
I'm very sure that's not the kind of smoking addressed in either here or in the gwersi :) It's more about attitude than the act and impact of smoking now and then. Same goes for all the other potentially addictive activities, like, alcohol is harmful in about a hundred ways but "we druids" still like and even homebrew mead.
A big part of my druidry and spiritual path on the whole is increasing mindfulness and being present (in my body). Most of the rest follows automatically. In a mindset such as that you can pretty much do what you want because overindulgence is contrary to it. (Still getting there :) )
It can be very helpful to take note of your habits and routines and see how much you resist switching them around. Like if you always drink a cup of coffee first thing, set the goal to drink water or herbal tea instead for some time. The harder this is, the nore stress you experience and the more you cling to your cup of coffee (the morning run, the daily soap, the cigarette after, the checking of emails,...) the more addicted and mindless your behaviour is, no matter whether it is healthy or not.
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Re: Should Druid’s smoke

Post by sugarbush » 12 Apr 2019, 19:22

Just popping in to say that I agree with all of the above.

Thank you friends. I am a brand new initiate, and was hoping I would enjoy the company of the folks here, which is proving true.

This is great; carry on!
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