Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.

A tribute to Dr. Seuss by The Conscious Shopper

Yesterday was Dr. Seuss' birthday, and what kind of environmentalist would I be if I didn't mention his classic book, The Lorax? In the words of the great Dr. Seuss:

Way back in the days when the grass was still green
and the pond was still wet
and the clouds were still clean,
and the song of the Swomee-Swans rang out in space...
one morning, I came to this glorious place.
And I first saw the trees!
The Truffula Trees!
The bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees!
Mile after mile in the fresh morning breeze.

And, under the trees, I saw Brown Bar-ba-loots
frisking about in their Bar-ba-loot suits
as they played in the shade and ate Truffula Fruits.

From the rippulous pond
came the comfortable sound
of the Humming-Fish humming while splashing around.

I felt a great leaping of joy in my heart.
I knew just what I'd do!
I unloaded my cart.
In no time at all, I had built a small shop.
Then I chopped down a Truffula Tree with one chop.

I meant no harm. I most truly did not.
But I had to grow bigger. So bigger I got.
I biggered my factory. I biggered my roads.
I biggered my wagons. I biggered my loads.

I yelled at the Lorax, "Now listen here, Dad!
All you do is yap-yap and say, 'Bad! Bad! Bad! Bad!'
Well, I have my rights, sir, and I'm telling you
I intend to go on doing just what I do!
And, for your information, you Lorax, I'm figgering
on biggering
turning MORE Truffula Trees into Thneeds
which everyone, EVERYONE, EVERYONE needs!"

On it's surface, The Lorax is a critique of the logging industry (and an effective enough critique that twenty years after it's publication, the logging industry published it's rebuttal, The Truax). But the message of the Lorax extends beyond cutting down trees to all environmental exploitation, pollution, and greed.

The Lorax was published in 1971. For forty years, we've heard the story. We've read it to our children, and the text has become a part of our culture. So when will we finally learn the lesson?

You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back.

If you passed through childhood without visiting this wonderful book, head to your local library and pick up a copy of The Lorax.

Photo Credits:

Cherry Blossom by connor395
A Visit from the Easter Bunny by aussiegall
Clarke's Clown Fish by Shek Graham
Finnish Forestry by Greenpeace Finland
Ancient Forest Destruction by Greenpeace Finland
Mountaintop Removal by Silvia Alba
Child with Seedling by D Sharon Pruitt


Lina said...

Such a great book! Thanks for the post.

Kathryn Grace said...

Thank you.

Daisy said...

Doctor Seuss would be proud to be featured here. I think he would have enjoyed the photo illustrations.

zee said...

Guess what? I didn't get to read the Lorax when I was a child. It was a friend from work who told me about it years ago when I was already in my early twenties! I wondered why I had not read such a great book when I was little! Of course I went ahead and read it and loved it! It really is a great book. It teaches us and kids the importance of taking care of the planet. Doctor Seuss would have loved to join us today in our quest to protect the planet in our own little ways!


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