Monday, October 15, 2007

It Ain't Easy

Today (oct 15 2007) is Blog Action Day. The theme this year is environmentalism. Hey, I think. as a (somewhat) old lefty who has been involved in environmental issues for years I might have something to contribute ...

One positive side effect of being a little older (and I stress a little - I'm only 37 fergoshsakes) is that I have some experience in stuff to draw upon.

You're probably asking how something titled "It Ain't Easy" could possibly be empowering, or even useful in a positive sense.

If I don't say it someone else is going to. Oh boy are they going to. Advocate for any social issue and folks come out of the woodwork to 'help' you by pointing out any percieved inconsistancy or the futility of baby steps.

The 'help' I get most (too) often is a seemingly deep concern with my shoes. See, I avoid leather. Don't buy it. Don't wear it. When this comes up (I rarely bring it up but don't run from the topic) almost invariably folks say "but your shoes are made of leather."

Umm, no. Not in 17 or so years. These are man-made materials.

"Then those are made of petroleum products! That is inconsistant with living green ..."

These folks must be wearing shoes made of leather from magic cows that consume no resources, do no damage to riparian ecosystems when grazed en mass, and so on.

I think this. Don't say it. My 'magic cows' rant is personally satisfying,but not very useful in real life discussion. You want to educate, to motivate, to explain in such situations, not denigrate the person who has just volunteered to step into the line of fire. Being witty and effectvely discussing the issues are sometimes incompatible.

But the issues here are environmental issues, not shoes.

Although changing the shoes one buys is a nicely effective baby step towards reducing demand for products from intensive animal agriculture - one of the largest human activities with often negative environmental effects.

Would it 'save the earth'? Of course not. I'm not gonna lie to you.

But sometimes doing the little things, acknowledgeing that they AREN'T the big changes, and striving towards those larger things rather than patting ourselves on the back and stopping after a few baby steps is a good thing.

Because, you know that big step?

It ain't easy.

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