I got a very thoughtful comment this morning on my “Involuntary Simplicity” article from March. I think my commentor had a few things worth saying, so the link.
A few more thoughts.
- I am not a vegetarian, but a lot of Universalist Christians are, and they get there from a moral direction. I just can’t imagine never having ham again, or declining interesting cultural tidbit. So, as a step, I’m giving a “preferential option” towards vegetarian food. I make or order it when I can. I’ll eat meat when I want it, but not as a default and not in large amounts setting. I also avoid meat that is simply the animal version of tofu: pale and very mild tasting, or needs a lot of seasoning to be savory. The ethically dubious boneless chicken breast is at the top of the list; I’ll avoid it, but eat, say fried chicken livers.
- I try to eat locally and fairly produced food. Given the transportation costs of, say, bringing organically grown produce from Holland or Chile, I can hardly think of them as enviromentally responsible. Better a little chemical fertilizer on vegetables from Pennsylvania.
- Never shop Wal-Mart. Do you need the full list why?
- Ask your friends for help making ethical buying decisions.
I like your point about chicken breasts, but I’m biased because I’ve never cared much for chicken. I’d rather have tofu, by far.
I never, ever shop at Wal-Mart.
Fortunately, simply making the decision to cook at home frequently despite my pygmy kitchen (rather than engaging in the Atlanta lifestyle of dinner out more often than not), helps reduce being a conspicuous consumer, and makes restaurants more of a treat than a routine.
I felt proud that, for Thanksgiving this year, I was able to give my mother the gift of time in the form of a week’s worth of frozen meals: I’d made bison chili, vegetarian split pea soup, turkey meatloaf and the like, and took them all to her over the holiday visit. Now she has some convenient and good things that she didn’t have to create after a tiring day at work. *smiles* Just wish we lived closer so I could do that for her a bit more often.