When I was 20 years old, I was deployed to Guantanamo Bay in the Army. One night we went out for dinner to celebrate the birthday of a person in our unit. There are a few restaurants in GTMO, and we went to one of the fanciest, the one attached to the Officer’s Club. It was pretty lush compared to the chow hall fare I ate for most meals, so I decided to go all out and order filet mignon, just how I like it, rare. Everyone at the table gasped in surprise. “I thought you were a vegetarian!” one of my fellow Soldiers exclaimed.
If you are concerned with how your diet impacts the environment, there are a lot of things you can do to have a more climate friendly diet. Most of these things are also good for your health, and believe it or not, many of them will actually save you money. Here is a list of what we do to prioritize eating sustainably, in order of most important to least. You might not be able to do it all, but you can do what you can in the moment. This isn’t an all or nothing thing. Everything helps. Reject AllOrNothingism in your dietary choices.
This is part four in a series I’m running about car culture. If you would like, feel free to read part one, part two, and part three, which make the case for why we should move away from car culture and discuss what barriers prevent us from doing so. Subscribe and you’ll be notified by email when the rest of the posts in the series are published, as well as other cool posts about urban homesteading, environmentalism, and feminism!
I’ve been putting a lot of thought into how I would proceed from where I’ve left off with this series. I’ve made the case that a transportation culture built around cars is not pleasant or good for us and that we should be eager to do away with it, and I’ve also laid out a few of the reasons why doing so is unlikely under current conditions. Now I want to discuss the alternatives to cars that we have available right now or expect to have available in the near future, which will then lead us into a discussion of what kind of changes need to be made to make all of these options more practical and viable for daily transportation (that will be the next post in this series). Because this post would otherwise be very, very long, I’m going to break it down into three separate posts, so this series is going to be quite a bit longer than expected. I think it will be worth it, though, because otherwise this one post will be a monster. I’ve been working on it for a month.
I have never been big on Valentines. I don’t know why, I used to claim that it was because of feminism or commercialism, and even that it reminded me of the pain of growing up not being conventionally pretty and not feeling like I had the hope for romance the holiday celebrated, but maybe it’s just that I don’t like this time of year. Its cold and snowy and I just want to start planting stuff so bad. Who’s bright idea was it to put a holiday exclusively about romance in the middle of a season where it’s too cold to wear anything pretty or sexy on a date? (Probably someone who didn’t live in USDA Zone 4-5, I guess) It just seems like a holiday that shouldn’t be that big of a deal, like St. Patricks Day or Groundhog Day, but that people get waaaaay too obsessed over. As an adult, the part of Valentine’s Day that bugs me the most is the school party. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about holiday parties at school, but I just don’t like Valentines Day. The era of Pinterest has only made school parties higher pressure than ever, and I can manage that at Halloween (because I love Halloween), but Valentine’s Day? Blech.
If all goes right, I’ll graduate from my horticulture program at the end of next semester! I’m super excited! Only 11 years, multiple major changes, and an ungodly amount of student loans later, I’m actually going to have a college degree. An associates degree, but hey, it’s something. Well, I’ll also have a few certificates too, so that justifies it, right? Ha ha.
In general, there’s an AllOrNothism idea out there that if conventional animal production produces greenhouse gasses, then all animal husbandry should cease immediately. I respectfully disagree. I understand and respect the choice to eliminate some or all animal products from your diet on moral grounds about the rights of animals or the ethics of killing, although I don’t share the same moral concerns myself. But I am skeptical that we can make any kind of food system that’s intended to feed any kind of industrialized society work without any animal inputs at all.
I recently read this article about poverty appropriation, and it brought up a lot of feelings in me about the rise of trendy simplicity. I grew up fairly poor. Not super poor, probably on the richer end of poor, always hovering just around the poverty line. We also lived in fairly wealthy neighborhoods. My mom worked her ass off (often in multiple jobs) to keep us living in those parts of town, even though we could have likely afforded much more in other parts of town, because the schools were better in the wealthier ends of town, and probably because of some sort of internalized classism my mom felt. Because of this, I always felt I was in some uncomfortable middle area between the middle and lower classes. I was definitely dramatically poor at home, and did not fit in with peers, but in other parts of my city, I felt like the bougiest poser on earth. To this day, I have weird class issues, many of which have only been exacerbated by having married into a more middle class family.
There is a problem in our culture. I have noticed it more times than I can count over the course of my adult life, and I despise it. It’s something I’ve come to refer to as AllOrNothingism. Its the idea that if an action you are taking won’t do much, it is never worth doing. If you can’t do something all the way, then you shouldn’t bother doing it at all. I want to call bullshit on this idea right away.
I’ve been working on figuring out how to make a sourdough rye bread. I like rye bread, and I love sourdough bread, so I figured a sourdough rye would be pretty awesome. I have some experience making bread, both sourdough and traditional, but I wouldn’t consider myself to be an expert. I knew that making this sourdough would probably take some experimentation and involve several failures.