You don't need to be perfect...just a little better than yesterday
With so much going on in the world, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Like the nut is just too big to be cracked and it is hopeless. Every day we learn about some new thing that will surely kill us. Just as soon as we wrap our heads around recycling we find out that the recycling company isn't actually recycling. Or, you try to buy ethically and then learn about the toxic pesticides in your soy milk. Or whatever. t is always something.
Some people put their head in the sand and criticize those who imperfectly advocate for the Earth. Like you are a hypocrite if you advocate for clean air but still drive a car or fly on a plane. I don't know. Maybe it makes them feel better. Or, less bad anyway. Because it is a lot of pressure. Meanwhile, others are crushed by the weight of not being able to solve every problem. As if, you are only good enough if you are perfect and make all of the perfect choices. That just isn't fair or reasonable.
For those who care, a LOT, just to stay sane, there has to be some way to balance what you CAN do with accepting what you can't do. You can't do everything or save everyone. So you set rules and boundaries; pick your battles and be true to YOUR values.
I have chosen a plant-based diet for ethical reasons. It began some 20 years ago when I read a book called "Animal Liberation." I was horrified to learn about the realities of factory farming and relieved to learn that, in fact, humans don't need to eat meat. So I quit and never looked back.
I'm just one person so what impact can I have? And, after 20-something years as a vegetarian, millions - no billions - of animals are still slaughtered every DAY. That's a statistic that can lead to a real sense of hopelessness. So I can't focus on that. I have to focus on my values and sticking to them.
Also, I can look at what HAS changed. There is a much greater awareness for the impact farming animals has on the Earth. Also, as more people realize that a plant-based diet is better for health, the demand for alternatives is growing. And demand drives change. It is WAY easier to eat vegan today than it ever has been and it is only getting easier. Little by little that ship is turning. Even though I suspect that I will not see it fully turned around in my lifetime, that isn't a reason to not TRY.
That's just one issue. I care about a lot of other things too. I am deeply alarmed by the rate at which we are killing the planet - deforestation, pollution of the air and water, plastics in the water, increasing extinction rates, climate change. I'm even more alarmed that so many people aren't alarmed!
I can't fix all of those problems. I can't always make all of the right choices on every count. It is just too overwhelming. BUT I believe that if we all do SOMETHING, even if it isn't EVERYTHING, those somethings add up to change. Bit by bit we're seeing movement. More electric cars. Communities banning single use plastics. All these things keep the pressure on companies to come up with alternatives. There ARE alternatives. We just have to keep asking for them.
Further we can encourage and support those people who are looking for solutions. Let's use these big human brains for good and get this shit figured out!
Sharon Foley - Sharon is co-founder of Kind Healthy Life.