Thursday

Ownership, invention, and control


The magnolia blossom unfolds magically. It must be magic--I didn't see it happen even though I stared at it for at least an hour. Just suddenly, there it is, and the bees and wasps are landing and relanding to get their fill of pollen. If I had the remote control for nature, I would just sit and watch this miracle happening over and over and over again. But I don't need a remote, because its there in my backyard and I can watch it all spring and summer long. I own the tree or so I think I do. It's on my property. I pay taxes on the property but do I really own it? Sometimes Florida Power & Light (FPL) thinks its their tree and hacks its branches out of the wires. They v-notch her, a butchered job, and I can't bear to watch or look at her for a month. FPL seems to own her, if she touches their wires. She is just a job to them, just a thing in the way of progress, our need for electricity. To me, she is a glorious living creature. Tall and beautiful, with wonderful shade in this hot and humid climate. A great invention, when men want to have her. But in the way and a burden to those of us who must have our electricity.
How do you patent human milk? Like the magnolia blossoming in its own time, breastmilk flows in its own time, regulated by birth and/or nipple stimulation. There it is...a miracle food for our children. We can't see the milk being produced nor see the ounces in designer plastic bottles. So, we question the magic, the miracle of nature. We think it is our property, afterall it is produced in our bodies. Yet someone else sees the beauty and decides that its utility should be shaped and pruned by men of science. They suddenly own it and can hack it into components that give it utility for our progressive society. Human milk as invention. Men will shape her into their definition of nature and natural. For after all they own this earth and with ownership one must control one's property. Fence, prune, and destroy it at will because one can do what one likes when its your property. But who truly owns nature? Who invents it? Who controls it? Men of science say they do. And then the hurricane comes......who controls who?
Copyright 2008 Valerie W. McClain

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