I’m going to try my hardest to not litter this post with the tired cliches about new year, new you. My hope to convey is that it isn’t about you, particularly, and it isn’t about me-it’s about life as we know it and it’s getting f*cking serious. Here’s where you’re going to say “Boooooooooooooo”…no one likes Debbie Downer, and no one likes getting preached at or guilted into doing things that they don’t want to. Here’s the thing though:
I feel that about sums it up. Science unanimously agrees that animal agriculture is our most harmful practice. No matter what way you slice it, it isn’t a sustainable way to eat for the future, and some serious, collective action is needed for any real change to happen. ( Again, sorry this post isn’t up to my usual hilarity-it’s a hard topic to make jokes about-though I did try😥)
I recently watched this video, about the most inspirational and bad ass teenager from Sweden that is the only serious hope for the future I’ve gotten lately. Greta Thunburg is refusing to go to school until climate change is addressed-by her reasoning there is no point in preparing for the future if we are stealing it with our current actions. Years ahead of her time, and a truly brave and incredible human-please take the time to watch this video. I’m not going to lie, it’s stark-but someone has to say it and the people that are in charge of making our decisions aren’t.
I have been reading recently about climate change related anxiety being on a sharp increase among young people. No freakin doubt. Mine started (though I doubt I fall under the “young person” umbrella anymore TBH) the first time I watched “An Inconvenient Truth”, which happened to coincide with the birth of my first child. At that point, I couldn’t have that information and know my choices were going to so profoundly affect his future. The news today is even more dire than it was 12 years ago, unfortunately. His lifetime so far…that’s all we have to make this right, and switching straws and carrying own own grocery bags just isn’t going to cut it.
I know it sucks. I know you don’t want to. I know change is hard and uncomfortable. But we need you because we can’t do it alone. The amount of people that identify as vegan has increased 600% in the past three years. Amazing- but it pretty much needs to be everyone if we have a hope in hell. As someone who has been a practicing vegan for many years-I marvel at how fast change is happening, but realize that we are still on the fringe. Meat is still predominant, easy to get, factory farmed, fetishized, glorified and the norm. Plant based eating is still seen as women’s work, for hippies/hipsters/health nuts and something to make fun of, despite the fact that these efforts are literally for the future of life on earth. Sometimes leading the way is fun and exciting-often it’s exhausting, traumatizing and disheartening.
Listen, I get that there is so much bad news coming at us that it’s easy to shut it all out, and pretend that there’s no difference an individual can make as we enter this death spiral. I’m here to tell you that we have to try, because no one other than passionate individuals working together has ever made change. If the world does go to shit, is “burgers taste sooooo good” (burgers have been perfectly replicated, next) or “I love bacon” really going to cut it? We owe it to our kids to take decisive action, friends, and that action is switching our diets to plant based. We do very little things as often as we eat, so in 2019-let’s start there. I’m going to try to be gentle on you, because before I was a vegan-I wasn’t. You can start slow, lean into it, try a couple things here and there but please start anywhere. The internet is full of amazing resources, and we’re real people that built a business to help you do just this in a fun and judgement free way-reach out any time and we’ll show you where to start.
So at this time, with the dawn of 2019 upon us-let’s work together for this year to be one of radical, joyful and swift global movement. Simply put, moving towards changing that which we have the personal power to control. Rich, white men will not be the ones to save the world, as they have been the ones guiding us to this point. Power to the people!
Warning:Side effects of dietary change may include lightness of body and soul, personal empowerment changes, new friends, a renewed love of cooking and/or animals and hope for the future. Hell, you might even start to like kale. I’ll leave you with this poem…because it’s beautiful and so are you.
Remember the sky that you were born under, know each of the star’s stories. Remember the moon, know who she is. Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the strongest point of time. Remember sundown and the giving away to night. Remember your birth, how your mother struggled to give you form and breath. You are evidence of her life, and her mother’s, and hers.Remember your father. He is your life, also. Remember the earth whose skin you are: red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth, brown earth, we are earth. Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them, listen to them. They are alive poems. Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the origin of this universe. Remember you are all people and all people are you. Remember you are this universe and this universe is you. Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you. Remember language comes from this. Remember the dance language is, that life is. Remember.
— Joy Harjo, Remember