These days, it seems we have to take a semi-radical stand about most things. Even as someone who only subscribes to the National Geographic, I know that our direction as Earth's human race needs to change, and now. Of course larger groups of people are going to make a larger visible change, but that doesn't stop you and me from trying in our own teeny tiny ways. There are loads things I try to support (or not) via my buying and lifestyle habits. I try to only buy fair trade sugar/coffee/chocolate. I don't use the clothes dryer unless I have to. I try to generate less trash, buy organic dairy products, beans and grains, never go to big-box stores, think conscientiously about supporting only local businesses, craftspeople and farmers. I never buy produce from the produce department, usually. I try not to buy any processed foods, ever (except chips). If I can cook it myself, I might as well. And if I can't...well...guess I shouldn't eat it.
But those are all "tries". I've bought non-fair trade sugar before. Same goes for non-organic dairy products, and conventional produce. I'll eat it if it's offered to me, and sometimes I'll even order it in a restaurant. I've bought apples from the produce department of Whole Foods, even when they're not in season (!). There is nothing that I do that is one hundred percent consistent, except this one thing:
I never, ever, ever eat meat that is from somewhere I don't know, unless it is absolutely and completely too rude to refuse. For much longer and more involved versions regarding "vegetarianism" and other local food choices, each with a different take (and hopefully a little humility mixed in) visit my older posts here or here or...hmm...maybe here.
The reason is, I think CAFO meat is bad, bad, bad (and more bad). It's bad because of: the grainfedforcefedanimals, petroleum dependency, antibiotics, hormones, GMOs, mono cropping, the bees, the ozone, the runoff, the waste, the slaughterhouses, the workers, the land, all the living creatures, and, of course, most of all ME. Because, whether we admit it or not, it all comes down to mememememe! (or you). There are way too many factors to ignore, and it's so so easy to just say "no, I won't support that, ever. No authentic fajita, or pulled pork sandwich, or duck confit will change my mind."
So what good does it do? Maybe a very small amount. But think, I could be eating meat from "those places" every day, and I'm not. I eat meat once every couple weeks, and it's from animals I met, who are helping the land not hurting it. They are happy and healthy, grassfed and sun warmed, and are killed one at a time by men and women who are not risking their lives every time they punch in for work. I believe in supporting good instead of just "boycotting" the bad. And you know what- I don't even care how small my difference is, I'm still not gonna change it.
I have some blanket rules for my life- Low impact as comfortable, Local when possible, Organic when reasonable, and Why buy clothes retail? All things, I'm sure, can be improved on, and some things I should be more diligent about. But I will always have that One Thing I'm not going to back down on, ever. There is no "try" in this rule, and I like it that way. It gives me some stability and also perspective into how hard I actually may or may not be trying with the other rules.
We all need at least one Story to Stick To, one thing that we don't do because we have to, but because we want to. And every day, we should refine our other stories more. Like, maybe I'll try to eat less chips.
So, if'n you wanna, tell me your story, the one that you stick to always and all the time. I really want to hear it; maybe it's something I haven't even thought of yet and maybe sharing it will help grow the story into some small kind of change. Ask Ben Franklin, small change one day makes big change, even if it's just a penny's worth.
Most of you know my email address, or just leave it in the comment box.