Friday, June 17, 2011

Its all for the polar bears

I think i'm a little at odds with the reasoning that is generally assumed for alternative ways of living. I find most people often associate abstaining from certain foods or changes in lifestyle as something purely done for holistic reasons or a spiritual self improvement. Whether that's just a result of the last decades upsurgence in new age philosophies and alternative healing, i don't know. But as example, I've found those who would agree with the idea of not eating plastic as a positive thing tend to cite reasons of its harmful effects to the human body, the idea that maybe the food reacts to the plastic and you ingest molecules that mess your chi or whatnot. Now I have no doubts that plastic has some effect on the food we eat and of course we should be absolutely aware of the things we put inside us, but for me such things don't rank high in priority when it comes to these decisions. Food involves such an unquantifiable scope of interaction with the world, its principle characteristics are not its ability to sustain my welbeing and align my chakras.

I find the view with which food is dealt with in society very much focused on self interest, generally focusing on nutrition, personal well-being and economics, when surely it's ecology, environment, animal welfare, land degredation, exploitation of markets, community spirit that suffers most from modern food industries. Even when talking about buying "only irish", the term tends to adopt a more nationalist, economically driven agenda. I personally have no problem supporting foreign labour over irish labour on a moralistic basis. My issues in that subject are more concerned with practical aspects, acquiring food with as little needless energy expenditure as possible, the assurance that the person who is actually doing the work of producing the food is the one getting paid for it and how the market system unfairly favours cheaper imports over local producers. It might be my pessimism, but i tend to suspect the more miles and the more levels of production the more likely someone or something is being exlpoited or misused. I would shy away from using terms like "irish only" or "100% irish". This is an issue that obviously has more to do with semantics than anything else (i tend to asociate the word with states and governments, which are a wholly negative thing, no relation to the people and land), but at the same time, my reason for mentioning it is that i would believe the only way we can do anything to stem the destruction that humans cause to the planet is to recognise that our morality within how we interact with industries should not be defined by our understanding of borders and nations and species.

Anyway, I mean not to take away from the rich culture and food and heritage this country holds, i think it's an amazing place full of beautiful art, incredible musicians and wonderful food. Or to question the motives of others on alternative diets. This rant is really just to address thoughts and comments on why i might be eating an only irish, no plastic diet. My reasons are quite boringly simple. My main hate in all aspects of life, one which i continually struggle to remove from my own, is hipocrisy. And since eating is one thing i know i will be doing every day for the rest of my life, i find it absolutely important to do it as compassionately and as intelligently as possible. I'm sick of seeing seas and lands full of oil and plastic and I want to learn how not to be a part of it.

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