I am 3 weeks or so into this experiment and the greatest thing that (I think) stands in the way of everyone being a vegtarian or devoting themselves to a conscoius lifestyle would be - convenience. And obviously a desire to live that way. But I'm going to talk about convenience for a bit.
When it comes to this day and age we want things fast and cheap. I should be able to go and buy milk somehwere at 3am! Shouldn't I? I should be able to get a shirt for $5 from Wal-Mart instead of $20 from some other store. I want it now and I want it cheap! There is something wrong with this ideology. Escpecially when we don't take others into account or even consider the lifestyle we're living.
We had a discussion in Sociology of the Family the other day that dealt with 3rd shift workers and the necesity of convenience. We want it now, but we don't give any thought to who is providing me with now. The workers who are stuck in Wal-Mart from 11pm-7am. What if these individuals have families? We encourage them to work them to lose time with their family in order to encourage our lifestyle. Is it worth it? I know that I wouldn't want to work a shift like that and scarifice time with my family - not if I could help it. But the thing is - not everyone can help it. They need to work that 3rd shift or that 2nd job - in order to survive. Why did we create an economy that never sleeps...? To who does it benefit? The Middle-class and upper classes - America's Majority.
Wal-Mart adds fuels the poverty flame by providing poor wages to their employees and then offers the lowest prices so that the poor and middle class are forced to shop there. They know exactly what they're doing. It's a vicious cycle. How do we get out of it? How do you tell someone not to shop at Wal-Mart - I know a lot of people who would hate on me for hating on Wal-Mart. Why wouldn't I want to have that convenience in my life!? Maybe...because others don't.
Do I really need it...now?
I was also wondering (this has nothing to do with Wal-Mart, but is something I've been thinking about as of late) - is ADD a recent phenomena or has it been around for centuries undiagnosed. I think that children get mixed signals from the world about how to behave. We let them watch TV, do their homework, eat dinner, and talk on the phone all at the same time. No wonder they don't know how to focus on one thing! I was thinking back to a day of Laura Ingle Wilder and Little House in the Big Woods - how they would all sit by the fire at night together: reading or knitting, singing together, or listening to a bible story. One thing at a time. I'm glad that I know how to multi-task, but I've noticed that my focus time is increasingly smaller when listening to music, in front of a computer, and attempting to do my homework. I don't think it would be so bad to do one thing at a time. But in this day and age...do I have time for that? One thing at a time.
1. I have shopped at Wal-Mart three times - all out of convenience. One was a card for my friend, another was for electronics that I wanted (my head phones were dead), and another was for some groceries (milk and peaches) at 11pm.
KT- How do I break this cycle of shopping at Wal-Mart? What does it take? Planning ahead, getting creative, using what resources I have.
2. I have eaten meat 3 times.
KT-I think this has been harder for me than anything - because I like meat. I don't think it's wrong to eat animals, but I do think it's a waste of resources. So, I need to keep remininding myself how much water, grain, oil, carbon emissions all went into this hamburger or chicken that I'm eating. Hmm...doesn't taste so yummy anymore. :/ The greatest struggle has been finding food that I want to eat. I joined a community on Livejournal called Lazy Vegetarians. =) Well, it gives recipes for vegan and vegetarian options. I eat in the KCC most of the time, so I don't have too much control over recipes, but I do need to get more creative.
I am considering this October my trial run or my starting point. It's hard to quit something cold turkey, which I was trying to do. It felt like lent! So, my plan from here is to finish this October with the best of my ability by avoiding meat and Wal-Mart. Then after that I'm going to evaluate some of my success and failures and see where I move from here...after October. I want to start living more in harmony with the Earth and her people and I want to have good reasoning behind all of my actions.