Thursday, June 30, 2011

Last day rant

I feel obliged to finish my month of plastic-free, irish-only eating with some form of profound revelation that the process has led me to. But I am somewhat devoid of any great learnings. I mean, I've learned some practical things, like how to make coffee out of dandelion roots and how to make pastry and where to get the best honey (Eamon Magee's honey from Supernatural, tastiest honey i've tried by far) and how biscuits are a bit useless without sugar and too much fennel gives me stomach cramps. But my thoughts on the issue of plastic or the food industry have changed little, its something I've long had issues with and an area I feel there is little progress being made in the places it matters, in terms of the consumer's and companies' relation with the environment. There are great changes that have come about, no doubt, and people doing really interesting things. There's the wonderful revival of farmers markets and an increasing awareness of the importance of buying local produce. And while this is obviously a good thing, it seems to me to come more as a response to the country's economic climate, a sort of "get behind your own", supporting economic growth amongst your community. While not a negative thing in any sense, I fear it neglects a much more serious issue that has far out-reaching consequences, both beyond our borders and our generation. It's becoming more and more evident that the real cost of the food industries practices and those of us consumers has little to do with finances, but its one the majority of us may never have to pay. Which is why it's an issue that should be looked at through a compassion that extends past notions of economy or states or even species and matter.

Being the cynic that I am, I would generally think that the damage we've done to the environment and to other life is unfixable and there is no stemming the tide of whatever adverse consequence modern humanity has brought to the world. And I'm not one that thinks we should all go back to the stoneage, throwing rocks at potatoes. Technology and the amazing communications system that we have is always going to be absolutely vital for any sort of positive intellectual growth we might hope for as a species. I just think it's a matter of educating ourselves and understanding our own actions. Our society has become far too obsessed with self-fulfilling rights and wants, that it neglects the indivuals personal responsibilities. The demand for people to be special and important and revered blinds from the fact that no human is special or important more so than any other living thing. I think its that mentality that allows us a moral superiority that justifies actions that betray our own sense of ethics; The idea that my own actions are an exception, my life serves a "greater good", this is ridiculous, there is no greater good. To act with the ideology of "the ends jusities the means" is to ignore that absolute impossibility of predicting the infinite potential of future consequence. Nothing I do ever has an End. And I will never know the whole universe of consequence a single action of mine will have beyond my own perspective. For me it's simply a matter of doing what I think is right at present. And trying to fit as much of that universe into my understanding of what "present" is. Or to put it more simply, "by non participation in anything you believe is evil". Obviously Einstein was talking about wars and the violence of Imperial powers, but I think it holds true for buying Snickers bars and Coca-Cola bottles.

Anyway, enough moralising, tomorrow I'm going to have coffee, a cake and a beer.

Did I mention this is for sale on Etsy?

And I need money to buy coffee, cake and beer.

Also, I think you are a special fuzzy star shine and the universe has extra squishy feelings for you.

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