Stewardship: We Worry More About the Environment than Our Own Bodies

Sooner, rather than later, we will be driving electric cars because of the environment. We use energy efficient light bulbs and recyclable packaging for the same reason. And there is a growing debate about the environmental impact of what kind of food we produce and consume. But I still don’t hear enough about the internal impact on our own bodies when we consider stewardship of natural resources.

Our bodies and our health are the most important resources we have, and yet the focus in our culture seems to be on our external environment.

Just like the consumption culture has ignored its effect on our planet in favor of customer convenience and business profits, it has ignored the effect it has had on the health of the human beings it set out to serve. And just as we now are fearing for the future of our planet, we ought to be more than a little bit concerned about the future of the human race.

But, just as we really can’t expect the corporate world to lead the environmental effort, unless we can engineer a way for them to see profit in doing that, we cannot expect it to lead any kind of effort to make the population healthier. That is something that has to start with the individual.

We all need to take responsibility for our actions, large and small, external and internal. Idling your car to warm it up before your morning commute is bad for the environment and eating corn flakes, instant oatmeal or pop tarts for breakfast is bad for your body. And, for lunch, I see cars lined up, idling, at takeout restaurants that don’t have fruit, vegetables or unprocessed grains on their menu. And just think of the soft drinks that come with those meals.

Driving to make a short, nearby errand is bad for the environment. Choosing not to walk that distance on foot is bad for your body.

The one good thing that may have come with the Covid pandemic is that people are cooking and eating more at home and I hear there is a renewed interest in growing your own vegetables. Someone wrote recently that in some way our physical world has gotten smaller and more important to us while the nation and the world have come to feel almost virtual.

Maybe that offers some hope that we will pay more attention to our own health and our own habits.

If we don’t, the chronic diseases plaguing the industrial world will dominate our lives in ways that one day will make the environmental disasters seem irrelevant to the growing majority who will suffer from the failures and breakdowns of their own bodies.

3 Responses to “Stewardship: We Worry More About the Environment than Our Own Bodies”


  1. 1 Grouchy Texan November 2, 2020 at 9:15 am

    This seems somewhat silly. However important good health habits are, even if people die at an earlier age or are more debilitated, it will not preclude the next generation’s living. Where environmental destruction can wreck havoc that will cause starvation, fires, disruption of nature with bad consequences for human existence of people of all ages. It’s fine to urge people to do better, but this comparison is really off.

  2. 3 Marcel Tam November 5, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Isn’t caring for the environment and caring for our bodies the same thing? For example, the air we breath, the food we eat, the preventive health behaviors (exercise)…all align with healthy environment = healthy body. It seems like a false dichotomy to say that we need to prioritize one OVER the other when they are actually the same thing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




Osler said “Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis”. Duvefelt says “Listen to your patient, he is telling you what kind of doctor he needs you to be”.

BOOKS BY HANS DUVEFELT, MD

Top 25 Doctor Blogs Award

Doctor Blogs

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

RSS Recent posts

Mailbox

contact @ acountrydoctorwrites.com
Bookmark and Share
© A Country Doctor Writes, LLC 2008-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

%d bloggers like this: