Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Personal Choice, Collective Responsibility

Being a vegetarian is a personal choice. Hands down. Everyone has their reason, and that's great. Animal rights, the environment, Buddha, whatever it may be. And I encourage everyone to share their reasons with other people. As Ghandi: "be the change you want to see in the world." (The mantra of any environmentalist it seems). What that means to me, in regards to my food choices, is that I really think being a vegetarian is best for the environment. And instead of being preachy to those who choose to eat meat (me in 2 weeks.. get ready to be preached to future self!) I think its best to adopt that change in my own life and be proud of it, to give an example to others. I can share my story and hope that it will promote change in someone else's life (hence the blog, on some level. on most levels this blog is for jokes though. and most of my jokes appear in parentheses, so I apologize for the lack of joke here :-) ). So, since we are approaching the two week mark and Alex and I seem to be in full prediction mode, I will expand on a thought that was put in my mind from my counterpart's previous post.

The two things I will expand on are the source of food, and awareness of meat/food in general.

As opposed to preaching to people, castigating them for not even considering going vegetarian, in general reducing their self-esteem to minuscule levels in order to scare them into changing (never works, trust me...), or urging, imploring, arguing, stamping my feet, etc etc., I will take a different approach. The point of going vegetarian for us was not really about meat, but rather about food. Not about only meat I should say, but rather about the sources of our sustenance (shout out to Mark P, Danielle, other IB kids...). If meat weren't wasteful, I would order a whole chicken sent to my apartment immediately (they do that, right?). What I am getting at is the process of delivering that succulent bird to my plate is wasteful.

Just like Florida apples in Michigan. Let me say a few things about this. I have a few pet peeves, and that is one of them. I wish people were more conscious about where their food comes from. Alex, I would wager that if you looked, you could find Michigan apples in some grocery store or at some stand somewhere (not that you are not looking, I am sure it's harder than finding those Florida apples). It may not be the most convenient to find and buy them, or most cost effective, but when it comes to the environment, you will be thanked (I think the environment sends out gift baskets these days... complete with one can of clean compressed air, a gallon of pure drinking water, and a box of sunshine (don't ask how they do that)). What's worse is most apples that people buy don't even come from Florida, they come from Chile, or worse, NEW ZEALAND! You couldn't pick a further place to get produce from! You are essentially paying for a first class ticket around the world for your red delicious (honestly who likes red delicious anyway.. leave comment if you do so I know who you people are). There are countless examples of this. Milk comes from Wisconsin over New Hampshire (important here in Boston of course). If you look, there is almost undoubtedly a local version of the product you seek, or at least something from a state a bit closer.

The worst is bottled water. I, Devin, right here right now, vow to never buy bottled water again. I can give that up for life and not have to blog about it (can you imagine? One week without bottled water - I gotta say, I don't know if I can do this. I smell bottled water everywhere.. Soy water just doesn't cut it..) (Soy water? In Spanish that means "I am water"). My revelation about this horribly wasteful product came about a month ago at a burrito place (of course. I find I have a majority of my revelations at burrito places...something about the beans). I got my delicious chicken burrito (don't worry, it was awhile ago) and decided I was thirsty, and opted for a bottle of water, only to discover seconds later that I could have gotten 100% free, local water, from the pop (soda) machine. Already upset at the money I lost, I looked at my bottle. The water came from New Jersey somewhere, and was trucked to Atlanta to be bottled, to finally be shipped to Boston for me to not enjoy (still bitter about the money lost). That's absurd. If New Jersey weren't known for their exquisite potable water, I would say this isn't worth it (a joke outside of parentheses?? wait, I'm confused...). So, I urge you all to look for the free water next time you are thirsty - your wallet and planet will thank you (wallets don't send gift baskets).

Above all, one thing I think I will publicly castigate people for (just this one thing, I promise...and maybe eating meat.. wait no, I just said I wouldn't do that! ok just this, read on to see what it is..if i ever closed this parenthesis you'd find out..I have a lot of control here..mwahaha) is not bottled water, but Fiji water. Shipping water from Fiji is the most absurd thing ever. Hands down. I propose a competition. If you can think of anything more absurd than shipping "the purest spring water on Earth!" from Fiji to your local store here in the U.S., post it in a comment. I defy you.

So where am I going will all these angry rants? (When is he going to tie it back to his title?!) Thank you concerned reader. My point is, while I will probably eat meat again in the future (probably=definitely.. its like those criptoquips. Just substitute all instances of probably with definitely, and you'll find the hidden message! Go ahead.), I will forever and always be aware of what it means to order one of the 200 options for meat on the menu. And when I buy produce or milk or any other product for that matter, I will try to be aware of where it comes from.

What I mean is, while vegetarianism is a personal choice, we all have a collective responsiblity to be aware of the products we buy, and what it really means to ship water from Fiji. (ahhhhh, sweet relief, the title finally makes sense!)

1 comment:

Ian McC said...

Red Apples suck almost as much as people who import bottled water from Fiji.

Also, cats. Cats suck.