As if I don’t talk about my dietary habits enough over here, I’m going to have a rant in this arena too.
Being vegan isn’t hard and it isn’t difficult. One thing it is though, is fucking inconvenient. I have to check the labels on anything I want to eat, ask ‘Does this have dairy in?’ when eating out at restaurants and, uh, turn down food people offer me. (Oh my gosh, what hardships!) I’m often hungrier than I’d like to be, especially when I’m out and about without an apple or pasta salad or other pre-prepared dairy-free snack. Cuz, y’know, you can’t just grab a sausage roll or chocolate bar.
We’ve created a society where convenience is king. Everything we do is tailored to our ease. All this convenience costs, however. Machines to take us places further away and faster pump gases into the air, running lights so we can see at night, toilets inside the house which use water to flush away the waste…convenient. All these things make our lives that little bit easier. All these things put a little more pressure on the environment which sustains us.
For me, eating vegan is akin to not driving a car. The livestock industry contributes 18% to greenhouses gases and since I choose to limit my contribution to climate change as much as possible, then I’m going to limit my contribution to the livestock industry. As with driving a car, I’m not reducing the current impact, but I’m doing my best not to add to it. I do most of the other little things ‘they’ (the wizards?) advise as well – turning lights off when leaving a room, not leaving appliances on when you’re not using them, not washing every day, washing my clothes at 40 and only doing a clothes wash every couple of weeks. I also don’t flush the loo if it’s only for a pee. (TMI?)
To some people, these actions would be inconvenient or just something they wouldn’t do. Personally, I try to rate a reduction in the pressure I put on the environment over me getting somewhere faster or eating meat because I need to…because it’s important that…Sorry, I can’t come up with a good reason for eating meat right now. If I followed this through to its logical conclusion, that would mean killing myself. Seriously no-impact woman. (Except for the emotional fall-out. I would have a ‘green’ funeral though. Y’know. Cardboard box and turn me into a tree.) Well, it’s an option. For now I’m hoping that I’m more use alive, providing information on how to live a more low-impact life.
I don’t think I do a lot (and I really don’t think I do enough) and I’m not saying I’m any kind of expert. I’m just one person, doing what I feel I can to make whatever difference it makes. Reversing progress and the concept of consumption that current Western society has is going to be fucking inconvenient, no matter which area you choose and in what manner. Going vegan is only so inconvenient because ‘they’ (the sorcerers) haven’t cottoned on to the dairy free lifestyle and tend to put lactose and milk proteins in crisps and other assorted foods. (Crisps? Really? What does it even do?!) Meanwhile, it’s less effort on my part than badgering people to sign petitions or attending demonstrations. (I really wanted to go to Climate Rush in Bristol next weekend, but I have work. Damn damn, buggrit.) Someone else might be all about canvassing in the street to raise awareness or designing a hybrid car, but couldn’t give up cheese.
Anything which requires effort is deemed ‘inconvenient’ thanks to our current climate of ease and convenience. I have found that usually the hardest action to take is the one which benefits most, and you can read that either way around. It’s inconvenient to give up dairy (meat is fucking easy to give up, they tend not to hide ground up cow’s hooves in sweets anymore), to walk to work instead of drive, to put on an extra jumper instead of turning the heating up. But if we don’t make our lives that little bit more inconvenient now, think how fucking inconvenient it’s going to be for the generations after us with no resources whatsoever.