Monday, October 20, 2014

Aside from veganism

Connect with your trashy ways (Public domain photo)
Since going vegan, I've started reconnecting with other things that help everyone (human and other creatures) and everything on this planet. I'm in this weird stage where, while I try not to pry, I can't help but notice that the human conscience or sense of awareness and injustice has gone on vacation. Aside from veganism, here's a few examples to illustrate my point.

Stop being a glutton – People are starving.

Whether you are vegan or not, please be aware that while you're wolfing down that second helping or running to the store for dessert when you're already stuffed to the gills, there are little children (and adults) dying of starvation. Why not take that extra money you spend getting fat and help someone who truly needs it buy food or water? Use portion control for a good cause!

Stop buying crap you don't need – It's a waste of resources.

Advertisers work really hard to make us think we need things that we really only want. I just recently had to buy a smart phone because the company I get service from is switching to a new platform. The old dinosaur phone I've had for 6 years is not compatible with it. However, if they hadn't decide to do that, I would have kept the old one until it went to cell phone heaven.

Why? Because the more we buy, the more they make and therefore, the more resources are used up. As far as I know, there is no such thing as unlimited resource on this planet. Once everything is gone, we're gone too. So, stop bragging about your shop-a-holic habits, collections, doo-dads, gizmos and gadgets. Start caring about something besides your own selfish “needs.” You're better than that. Be responsible. Save something for future generations. As it is right now, they may not even have a future at all.

Be kind to people – even those you don't care for.

We vegans are constantly preaching about being kind to other animals. That's important. It's absolutely vital for our own survival. However, I have noticed that some vegans are not as kind to other human beings. Yes, it's true, humans can take care of themselves, whereas, other animals have no choice in the way they're treated. I also get that non-vegans can be quite abrasive toward vegans. Boy, do I ever! That doesn't give us an excuse to be rude, sarcastic and just plain mean to other people. So, let's practice what we preach and direct kindness and compassion toward all.

Be good for goodness sake.

I'm going to tell you I'm an atheist here. However, it's not because I wish to prove I'm smarter or better or superior to those with opposing beliefs. It's just to illustrate a point. It seems that we have gotten into the habit of thinking that we have to be good people, because if we don't, we'll go to hell. That's all well and good, except for one thing.

We shouldn't have to be threatened into good behavior. In fact, I'm actually slightly more motivated to be good, because, as an atheist, I feel this life is all we get. I have no second chances. This is my one and only chance to do right by everyone and I'm going to make the most of it. I won't be meeting anyone on the other side to apologize for my behavior, so I have to make things right now.

Use proper disposal methods.

Is anyone else tired of seeing trash everywhere? What ever happened to waiting for a trash can? What ever happened to recycling? In my experience, most people don't actually make an effort to keep trash out of landfills, either. If they have no easy way to recycle something, into the trash can it goes. I've done it myself, but I'm stopping all that right now.

If I don't have a way to recycle what I use, or I don't use enough to be worth a trip to the recyclers, I'm still going to save it for someone who does to take. It's just sad to throw away items that can be reused or recycled when the earth is absolutely being raped and ravaged to create more. It's not just wasteful, it's completely counter-productive.

Quit buying into shows like “House Hunters”

It makes me nauseous when I see people touring million dollar homes and picking apart every little cosmetic detail. “Oh gosh, honey, the kitchen is soooo outdated. Why, we'll have to gut the whole thing. Did you see that old fireplace? It's totally 1960's.” So what? Are you are aware that there are people who would give up their last meal for an 8x10 shed with a mattress to sleep on?

Stop being so darn picky. Caring means not acting like a spoiled brat. It means realizing that the extra money you spend on pointless renovations could help someone who has true need of shelter from the storms. Sure, you can do a little painting here and there. No one is begrudging you that. But do you really need a $50,000. kitchen? No. You WANT it. You don't NEED it. Living without it means that spare 50 grand you have in your hip pocket could buy several tiny homes for several homeless families.

I keep hearing people say they feel powerless.

As vegans, we know that's simply not true. Every person we convince to go vegan creates less demand for the animal products that are killing us, other creatures and the entire planet at alarming rates. The issues caused by human greed and wastefulness are not limited to meat and dairy based diets. They are absolutely overwhelming. It's true. However, there is something we can all do on a personal level to change things for the better or at least slow down the clock. We can apply that same vegan conviction (that all life matters and one person can make a difference when combined with the effort of many such persons) to other kind causes, like the ones above. Veganism aside, it's just the right thing to do.

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