Sunday, June 3, 2012

Harmful by Degrees

I recently attended a big vegan event. Yeah, I know, call it a momentary lapse of reason. (Just kidding.) (Mostly.) It's amazing how I'm not good enough as an eco-warrior because I am not "one of them". (It should be "all of us.")

It was a really hot day. We were in a hot tent. We were screening a really great movie, "The Big Fix", about BP's Deepwater Horizon, a movie that is not readily available to see yet. And yet, there was very little interest by the festival attendees to come in to see it. I get it; I avoid a lot of documentaries because they bring me down, man. Was that it, it was too a heavy topic for a day that was more about being kind to animals? That can't be it, many of the booths were heavy in topic. And this affected a LOT of animals. Those other booths were about animals. Could it be that, at this event, it's more about animals than the planet? Could that be true? Dare I make a generalization that the people at that event cared more about animals and themselves and showing how noble and *sacrificy* they are, and being seen as "oh look how much I care about dogs!"? Am I being unfair? These are the random thoughts that I had.

But still affecting them
More thoughts came later. It was a weekend of events where I was sure to come up with products aimed at vegans and vegetarians. I'm all for them, really I am. I don't want products to be tested on animals. I don't have to be a vegan to want that. They don't have the corner market on love for animals, just because they don't eat them. These products seem all well and fine by people. They are good products, I surely am taking nothing away from the intention. Um. Anyway. I get to wondering.

Not tested on animals. Great. Good for you. Nice start. Then... then what? What does your product do now? Does it have chemicals in it? If so, are they safe for the planet, or are they harmful? If they aren't all natural, how can you say they aren't harmful? Are there chemicals in this product that were made in a lab and not by Nature? And what about the packaging? Are you putting your wonderful expensive lotions and shampoos and creams in glass? Hmm, I see you are using plastic. How does that figure into this world of not harming animals? Plastic harms us all. Is it OK to start out not harming them, but then harm them once you throw away the container? Oh, yes yes I know I know, you're RECYCLING it. Mm hmm. We know how effective THAT is. Do we absolve the plastic waste because we cared SO much up front? Or, so long as we aren't testing on animals, it's OK to be bad to human-kind. Cute bunnies shouldn't get testing, but fish can swim in a plastic soup, no worries?

Where's the line? Are you better than am I because you are soooo careful about what you use, but then you don't think about it afterwards, and I do?

Look, just sayin', don't get all high and mighty on me unless you are PERFECT. I know I'm not. I got miles and miles to go. You may think you're ahead of me. You are not. So please walk beside me. We'll talk awhile, shall we?

Stewards of the Earth...