By Jay Wexler

In this vigorous, round-the-world journey, legislations professor and stand-up comedian Jay Wexler explores the intersection of faith and the environment.

Did you recognize that

   • In Hong Kong and Singapore, Taoists burn paper cash to soothe “hungry ghosts,” filling the air with smoke and unsafe pollution?
   • In Mumbai, Hindus hold twenty-foot-tall plaster of Paris idols of the elephant god Ganesh into the ocean and depart them at the ocean ground to represent the impermanence of lifestyles, extra polluting the scarce water assets of western India?
   • In Taiwan, Buddhists training “mercy unencumber” seize hundreds of thousands of small animals and unlock them into irrelevant habitats, killing the various animals and destroying ecosystems?
   • In critical the USA, palm frond revenues to US clients for Palm Sunday celebrations have helped decimate the rain forests of Guatemala and southern Mexico?
   • In long island, Miami, and different huge US towns, Santeria fans sprinkle mercury of their residences to fend off witches, poisoning these houses for years yet to come?
   • In Israel, on Lag B’omer, a vacation commemorating a recognized rabbi, Jews make such a lot of bonfires that the smoke might be visible from area, and journeys to the emergency room for bronchial asthma and different pulmonary stipulations spike?

Law professor and stand-up comedian Jay Wexler travels the globe so as to comprehend the complexity of those difficulties and find out how society can most sensible deal with them. He feasts on whale blubber in northern Alaska, bumps alongside at the back of a battered jeep in Guatemala, clambers down the crowded shorelines of Mumbai, and learns how one can pluck a useless eagle in Colorado, all to respond to the query “Can non secular perform and environmental safety coexist?”

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Considering he used to be a member of a whaling staff himself, I felt it is going to were impolite to item, so I requested one of many bucket humans for a “very small” piece, which she fortunately deposited into my Styrofoam clamshell field. The whale used to be unusually difficult, besides the fact that, and my little plastic silverware used to be unequal to the duty of slicing it. i used to be approximately to renounce, whilst fortunately (I wager) the man subsequent to me observed me suffering and lent me his lengthy, sharp knife, which I used to chop the piece up, even though the motion additionally absolutely shredded the clamshell, rendering that factor thereafter lifeless. I again the knife and fed on the mikiaq, hoping that it wouldn’t kill me. regrettably, I don’t fairly have the phrases to explain how the stuff tasted, yet suffice to claim, i didn't ask for seconds. throughout the holiday that undefined, I wandered again to the lodge to hot up a piece and get a brand new caribou-soup-free espresso cup. whilst I again, little children have been taking activates the blanket toss, and a small workforce of local singers have been making a song Christian songs with verses like “Oh God my savior Lord to me” and “One, , 3, devil’s after me . . . seven, 8, 9, he overlooked me for all time. ” one of many captains got here to the microphone to announce that the slab of whale that have been sitting in the midst of the grounds used to be now chop up and on hand for viewers to take domestic with them. I joined a crowd of people—mostly individuals of alternative Arctic communities—by the large blue bath and cardboard packing containers that have been now packed with huge items and chunks of whale meat and watched as humans jockeyed for area and chosen the most advantageous items to install their Ziploc baggage for the journey domestic. A fellow customer from ny whom I had met prior within the morning instructed me that she concept this was once “their Black Friday,” which I didn’t comprehend until eventually she defined that the throng of whale-slice choosers gave the look of mall consumers struggling with for the final discounted flat-screen tv at the day after Thanksgiving. I stood and watched the free-for-all for an excellent whereas or even thought of taking a bit myself, which possibly i'd have if I’d had any notion what to do with it. because it was once, i'd have needed to positioned the slice in my coat pocket for the fifteen-hour journey again to Boston. the subsequent a part of the pageant day—and the final half for me, simply because I needed to go away at round 5:30 p. m. to trap my plane—involved mass distribution of plenty of varied components of the 2 whales. It was once in this time that i ultimately succeeded in my quest to discover anyone i may hang around with and seek advice from in regards to the pageant. My past efforts in this entrance had long past nowhere. First, the outdated woman had laughed at me. Then, a lady named Fluffy confirmed me to an empty chair that i assumed used to be one in every of hers, yet that truly belonged to another person who had left for your time after which get back and despatched me packing. eventually, a youngish man I approached to invite concerning the that means of the prayer had no notion what it was once approximately yet was once rather attracted to asking me questions and in reality periodically approached me during the afternoon to invite me issues approximately Boston like, “Did you ever see Larry fowl?

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