I eat healthy. I try to go to the Eastern Market for my produce as often as possible. Most of it’s locally grown by small farmers. Much of it’s organic. I’ve tried to grow my own produce, but I don’t have the skills to do it with any efficiency.
I couldn’t do the 100-mile diet (for those of you too new to remember Z writing about it, it simply means not eating anything produced more than 100 miles away - more info is here). I mean I could - I just don’t want to. I don’t want to give up coffee. Or oysters. Or olives. Or French or Italian wines, or California wines for that matter. There are too many things that I’m simply not willing to give up.
I’m not a vegetarian. I probably could be a vegetarian, I eat vegetarian quite often, and I can cook vegetarian food, I just don’t want to be a vegetarian. I like the occasional bloody rare steak. I like pulled pork, sausage and bacon. I like to occasionally splurge on duck. It wouldn’t take much to become a vegetarian; I just don’t really want to do it.
Also, being strict about being vegetarian would be a royal PITA. Vegetarians have to worry about stuff like, “Is there fish oil in this salad dressing? Is there lard in these beans? Is there beef gelatin in this glass of wine?” (Yep, even that last one is true.) Look, unless it’s going to kill me immediately, I don’t want to have to stress about what I’m eating. And I don’t want to face a day where the fact that beer and wine are made with animal products will force me to give them up.
Sorry, If I’ve opened up a horrible revelation to any vegetarians reading this, but yes, many beers and wines are made with various animal products in them.
So, when it comes to eating, I guess I’m a moderate. I like to eat healthy. I go out of my way to get local produce and to eat organically. I eat more fish than I do red meat, and have no problem going a few days without any meat. I’m OK with this. I could probably leave a smaller footprint on the Earth, and while I do think of that occasionally, right now I’m comfortable with myself.
And I think that’s the important part. But, I will probably frown at everyone who is less committed to healthy and environmentally sound eating habits than I, and pity those who are stricter. It’s the old “anyone driving slower than me is an idiot – and everyone driving faster is a maniac” phenomena. Something in our psychological being forces us to look at everything relative to ourselves. Einstein said something about relativity, but it was only kind of the same thing.
Now that we’ve set the stage, I would like to introduce you to another dietary/lifestyle group – the freegans. In their own words, ”Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources.”
What does that mean? Freegans adopt a vegan lifestyle, but only eat things they don’t have to pay for. I’m not talking about homegrown self-sufficiency either. They dumpster dive for food.
These are the same people who are ”are outraged that people literally freeze to death on the streets while landlords and cities keep buildings boarded up and vacant because they can’t turn a profit on making them available as housing.” OK, we all may be outraged at this, but they take a logic leap and decide that this belief means that they should be squatting rent free in these abandoned buildings.
Am I wrong in thinking that this is simply a way to adopt a political lifestyle to cover up the fact that they’re gross and just a bit underemployed?
I guess I never realized what a capitalist pig I was until now. I like owning property that won’t be taken away (as long as I’m working and paying bills anyway). In fact, I don’t mind working when it allows me to splurge on things like a decent bottle of wine or a plate of raw oysters now and then. And while I guess that may be selfish, I’m not ready to start eating garbage in order to feel better about my impact on the world.
If you want to learn more about Freeganism and becoming a