I will readily admit that I’m hypocritical.
As I transition to consuming less meat/going vegan (which I guess I have for the past 2 years), I’ve had quite a few ‘conceptual’/mental/idea challenges. ‘Is veganism really going to help the environment?’ Issues of mono-cropping, flaws in it (plastic over biodegradable things, food miles vs consuming local food). Should I spread the message about this; should I make more people eat less/no meat? That answer is an important one: if I believe that it is important for the environment, I should advocate it to more people. But then again other questions like ‘how much should I enforce this/persuade people to do it?’
I’ve been asked before, why do I do this. There are plenty of good reasons out there; I’ve attached videos before (honestly, we all know that this is the right thing –this video again, ‘Why Vegetarians are Annoying’) popular words like ‘ethical, environmental’, and very importantly which we don’t usually think about, but for ‘other humans’ too (yes, while consuming vegetables puts those who rely on meat for income at risk, we too need to remember those exploited by the meat industry. Think about the very exploitative fishing industry – this article on slavery being one out of many).
But I have this very important tenet: I live this way because it is easy for me to do so. Not easy as in ‘I’m never tempted by the smell of meat’ and ‘I hate the taste of meat’, but rather I don’t see it as a HUGE sacrifice compared to people who may be way more attached to their meat.
I was considering about my own personal ‘sins’/hypocrisies regarding my purported care and concern for the environment. A huge one would be electricity usage. I’m on my computer and phone quite a bit, something I think I’m unwilling to give up. Energy usage in general: I take public transport freely without concerning myself too much about the emissions – while some argue that the buses will still run with or without me taking them, it does send a signal and feeds into data collection. If everyone thought like me and took public transport freely, there is the cumulative effect, transport authorities would put even more buses on streets and trains to run more frequently.
So perhaps my conclusion is 1) obviously, not to judge. 2) I think it’s important for each and every individual to question ‘what can (I) do to make my world a better place’? In particular, my ‘environment’, the world. As stated above, it’s not just about nature, but if you cared for people, you’ll be concerned for the environment too. You have to do something; give something up that ‘doesn’t mean a lot to you’.
(Of course, there are lots of other questions. Even if we are completely self-focused and take people out of the equation, consider how many things can you give up? New habits can be made; when you deny yourself something you’ll learn to let go of it more easily in time? How much responsibility do you have in giving things up?)