Earth Week is nigh, and that means everyone's gonna start paying lip service to the idea of "being green" for 7 days.
Pardon my cynicism, but I hate "trendiness" and unfortunately being "green" has become one of those hip new trends.
And before you give me the smackdown, let me say this: I appreciate those folks who truly make the green effort. Who were doing it BEFORE the term "green" was being bandied about by folks like NBC. To those folks: I love you and appreciate the work you do. I really really do.
But my cynicism rides on the back of the trend-sucking "greensters," the folks who get elbow-deep in earthiness for a week and then go back to eating their McD's sandwiches, the folks who have turned environmentalism into a money-making scheme, the folks who serve sausage at an Earth Week event.
Yeah, you heard me correctly. I was recently invited to an event celebrating Earth Week, an event being held by a "green team," in which they are serving waffles, fruit smoothies, and sausage. SAUSAGE.
I'm sure you, my darling vegan friends, can understand my utter stupification without me even having to say a word.
But yes: sausage.
Because, as a friend of mine stated in response, "Nothing says sustainable like sausage."
Let's dabble in just a couple of stats here...
"Large hog farms emit hydrogen sulfide, a gas that most often causes flu-like symptoms in humans, but at high concentrations can lead to brain damage. In 1998, the National Institute of Health reported that 19 people died as a result of hydrogen sulfide emissions from manure pits."
"Huge open-air waste lagoons, often as big as several football fields, are prone to leaks and spills. In 1995 an eight-acre hog-waste lagoon in North Carolina burst, spilling 25 million gallons of manure into the New River. The spill killed about 10 million fish and closed 364,000 acres of coastal wetlands to shellfishing. "
Hog farms are horrible polluters of both air and water. Horrible.
And yet: no one seems to note the ridiculousness of serving sausage at an Earth Week event.
When I brought this to their attention and suggested they perhaps consider serving veggie sausage instead (since, um, serving sausage contradicts the whole point of Earth Week) I was met with an uncomfortable and brief response in which they agreed to offer veggie sausage AS AN OPTION.
Now, let me put you straight on this: I'm not even arguing from a vegan standpoint in getting annoyed with this. I'm arguing from an "I hate hypocrisy, you dumb fucking idiots" standpoint.
Serving sausage at an Earth Week event is idiotic and oblivious and sends out a contradictory message to everyone in attendance.
It is the same thing as using styrofoam plates at an Earth Week event.
YOU JUST DON'T DO IT.
And having someone point this out to you, and then placating them with the reassurance that you'll have veggie sausage AS AN OPTION? Even MORE idiotic.
If the "green team" had obliviously stated they were using styrofoam plates at their Earth Week event, you KNOW they would immediately receive dozens of WTF responses to their activities. The difference is, there's no way in HELL they would respond by saying, "Well, hey, how 'bout we offer PAPER plates AS AN OPTION? We'll serve on styrofoam, but if you really want a paper plate, we'll have a few dozen there for you to take advantage of." Even the dumbest, least environmentally aware people IN THE WORLD would laugh their asses off if a "green team" were to offer this up as their remedy.
Offering veggie sausage as an option IS THE EXACT SAME THING.
Hey, as a vegan, I'm glad that I got them to offer the veggie sausage option.
But am I going to attend this event?
Hell the fuck no.
I am not reinforcing people's hypocrisy. And I'm not going to go support a group of people that aren't ashamed to be reinforcing the illusion that meat is NOT an environmental issue.
THAT'S why I half hate Earth Week. Because it makes all the hypocrites and dumbasses float to the surface for 7 days.
God bless those of you who really work your asses off in your environmentalism and *gulp* "greenness." Bless your generous, lush, dirty little hearts.
But to the rest of you: have fun doling out exorbitant money on "green" products and patting yourself on the back for how eco-responsible you are while you grill up your hamburgers on the grill next to your $400 composter.
On a more positive note:
May 1 is International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day!
So go grab some seeds and water, and Johnny-Appleseed some of the shitty, barren lots in your neighborhood next Saturday!