Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Your unethical life, or your New Year's resolution

First written 15/01/2006 (Actually, it's not so unusual. I have a lot of entries that I've written, but haven't yet shared)

I know you don't want to hear this, but it must be said. Seriously, you have to know this: you are an evil person. Really. Truly terrible. I would call you a bad word, but my mother might read this and she doesn't know I use the word bastard. But really, you are awful. Why? Because you drink orange juice.

Indeed, this is why you are the scum of the earth. According to Leo Hickman (read the article here), if you're asked "Is it OK to drink orange juice?", the answer is not just no, it's hell no. This is the case for many reasons (of which I will only briefly say; if you're more interested in this, click the link you lazy bones, instead having me do all the reading and paraphrasing): it takes an extraordinary amount of water and pesticides to make orange juice; child labour goes to produce it in some countries; illegal immigrant pickers in the US are paid pitifully; the airmiles it takes for the orange juice to get from Brazil.

But you're unethical for many other things you do: drinking bottled water, drying cleaning your clothes, using a patio heater, going skiing (which y'all love to do), buying a diamond ring, getting a Christmas tree (all according to Hickman -- and more -- read the other articles here.)

Don't worry if you realise you're an unethical person. I have enough guilt for the rest of us. Orange juice (after the last lot is dranked, as they say) is banned from the house and we will only be drinking organic, British apple juice, if juice is drunk. We now drink organic skimmed milk and I eat organic bacon. Boy won't eat farmed salmon and only eat free range eggs. We have just signed up to get "green" electricity, provided from renewable sources (i.e., wind power)

But the whole thing is a pain. I mean, if I was really living ethically, the Boy and I wouldn't have flown to Rome, as pollution from the plane is awful for the environment. We would fix the bathroom light so that it wouldn't be on 24/7. I wouldn't have a tumble dryer. I'd have those damn energy saving light bulbs in all fixtures. I guess the thing I've realised is that I should do my best, but I won't be perfect. Look, just change one thing to be more ethical -- think of it as a New Year's resolution -- and I'll take you off my Wretched Person Ever list.


Since first writing this entry, I've been on the fence about including it in the blog. But I feel I must now because the guilt is now bubbling over inside of me. I looked at a lot of websites about ethical living in research for the original blog entry and one particularly struck a cord. If you want to be grossed out for the rest of your life, I don't suggest you click the link. Suffice to say, I now drink soya milk and if I eat other dairy, I will only eat organic products because of it. I've actually gone all the way organic for home foodstuffs, which, I think annoys the Boy. Organic milk and meat, he sees the point, but veg and fruit? Organic pasta? Organic jam and organic chocolate? Organic ketchup? Well, I've done it. I'm probably off my rocker, but I just feel like I can't be lukewarm about this thing, you know? I guess what I'm trying to say it for all of us to take a look at our actions. It's incredibly easy to ignore the effect we have in our world. For anything to be around for the next generation, we are going to have to be better people, right?


Here's the first thing you can do to make a stand to be better people: get rid of your Yahoo accounts and refuse to use Yahoo. According to the Guardian, Yahoo has turned in Chinese dissidents who have used their accounts to post essays critical of China. These dissidents have now been jailed for speaking out.


Blogger Zandra Towns said...

While I applaud your efort to be "greener", you will have to keep me on your wretched persons list cuse I ain't (that's right AIN'T) given up my Tropicana Grovestand OJ with lots a pulp for nothing in this world, NOTHIN' IN THIS WORLD!!!!! And I think it is easier to go so called organic in Europe than in the US. The movement is slowing taking hold here but not very strong except in large urban areas like on the coasts and in places like Chicago.

Friday, 17 February 2006 at 00:42:00 GMT  
Blogger Autumn said...

Really? I bet you have some small, independent green (or organic) grocers. Also, being "greener" is not only about eating organic foods. I mean, which is better, eating some organic apples from New Zealand or regular apples from Wisconsin (or some other reasonable place in the US)? Obviously, the latter, as they have not been flown halfway across the world, leaving enormous amounts of CO2 emissions. Maybe you can buy your own oranges and squeeze the juice yourself. I bet there are lots of unnatural things and chemicals in your orange juice.

Friday, 17 February 2006 at 09:37:00 GMT  

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