I love animals and I love nature. I abhor consumerism and am very much aware of what our nowadays luxuries cost in terms of damages to the wildlife and to the environment.
The thought that sweet-eyed pigs, innocent lambs, lively chickens, peaceful cows get mercylessly slaughtered and live a life of hell…well, it just makes me sick (see videos on www.peta.org).
Losing weight is no.1 goal on 43thing.com: we are so blind that we keep eating and eating forgetful of the grotesque slaughtering we cause.
Besides, leather: shoes, furniture, wallets, bags, you name it! Leather comes from living beings that are slaughtered so that we can have soft sofas and jackets. That doesn’t feel right.
But it is not only about sweet pigs and funny chickens, it is about nature and all the animals that are being sterminated because of us, and because of this maniac crazyness to buy, buy, buy. As I see it, mostly we are just producers of trash! That’s the one single activity each of us excels at. As a generation, we should be ashamed of ourselves as far as consideration for suffering and nature is concerned.
My wish is that, in due time, we will grow wise enough to put a stop to this craziness. Being developed should mean to be able to tell the difference between right and wrong. I don’t see a problem in killing an animal for survival, for its meat or for its fur, but I cannot justify systematic massacres of innocent lives just to make unnecessary products most of which end up in a trash. It’s just immoral.
So, I have tried to become a vegetarian, and I have considered not buying anything leather. But, willing or not, I am just one member of a greater society that, atm, does not give a damn about animal rights and the environment. Thank God, there are associations like PETA and GreenPeace, but the individual can do very little, especially in the society where I live.
In practical terms, if I stop eating meat and fish and eggs and stop wearing leather, the only real result would be that I would have found new ways to torment myself and to make me feel guilty and responsible for things that are beyond my control.
If I were rich, if I had power, if I COULD actually make a difference, I’d sacrifice everything to save these poor animals from their living hell. But I CAN’T. So, far, all I manage to do is make myself miserable. The amount of guilt I feel every time I use a plastic bag is really disproportionate to the amount of responsibility that I have.
I know it is wrong to exploit nature in this crazy way.
But I also know that punishing myself will do no good whatsoever.
For this reason, even though it is a heavy burden to bear, I have decided to give up my idea of becoming a vegan and I will continue buying leather stuff, and I will continue to use my car (which pollutes the environment, I know…) and to buy new clothes even if the old ones, which I bought 5 or 10 years ago are not totally worn out yet.
I will also keep doing the washing up even if I am fully aware that dish soap is highly polluting to the environment, and I will continue to wash myself trying to focus on the pleasure it gives me, rather than on how precious water is for life on the planet, and trying not to think that a shower a day is a waste of a lot of water.
I am NOT the Saviour, I CANNOT save the world. But I can save me, and I am failing at it. I am not strong and powerful enough to save the world, but I do have a moral duty to make my life a little bit more enjoyable and simply worth living. My guilt chokes me. GUILT, as if I COULD change the world, but simply wouldn’t.
It is so easy to criticize what I cannot change, point my finger at the world’s injustices, when I am not able to treat myself with the due respect.
Global warming: I cannot change.
Worldwide pain and suffering: I cannot change.
My well-being, my health, my happiness, my dignity: that I can change, I can make a difference and I should. I really should. There is no meaning in living a purposeless life, trapped by fear, guilt, and defeat. My living has a price in terms of ecological footprint: if I lead a passive life, when my life will come to an end, I will only have been one more liability to life on Earth.
If I rescue myself from this blinding guilt, this isolation, this continuous self-sabotaging of my resources, in the end my life will have meant something. I don’t know what, but that’s for me to discover. I’ve gotta be brave. IF I am good, I CAN make a difference: in my life and in the lives around me.
‘This I must prize, for unless I am myself, I am nobody’ (Virginia Woolf) 3 years ago