Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why I Kind of Hate Being "Green"

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."[1]

"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. "[1]

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.


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.

Props. Douchebags.

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!





lena.m said...

just wanted to finally get around to saying hi and thx for reading my blog (, i remember seeing it mentione don your per-blog a while ago and i never got aroudn to commenting. i really really really like your blog. this one. and this rant is great, awesome even. it'll be nice to be in communications with you and to keep track of your blog, seeing as its sometimes not so foody and sometimes more just OMG CAN EVERYONE PLZ CALM DOWN ABOUT HOW GREEN THEIR MEAT IS? they're still killing things. death is black, not green.

Marla said...

I'm totally with you, L. I used to work at a natural foods coop where Earth Day gave me fits. There seems to be such a disconnect between popular sentiment about things like "being green" and lifestyle politics. Solidarity, sister.

Jade said...

I feel the same way about being green. I hate it when something becomes the trendy thing to do, because eventually that trend is going to fade away.

dreaminitvegan said...

It's like Al Gore with the whole environmental issue, he still eats animals and dairy!!!! It makes no sense. When you believe in something you go all the way not half!

L2baker said...

I feel the same way. Hopefully, people will someday realize Earth Day is everyday.

Anonymous said...

Hate it all for the same reason -- I was driving my tiny, 40mpg car and recycling everything years before Al Gore was waving his laser pointer around and using Powerpoint.

That being said, at least it's pork and not beef. Beef is horrible for the environment, and I'm sure pork doesn't take up near as much arable land that could be used for crops.

People who are like this have their hearts in the right place -- I'd go to the meal, skip the meat, and inform them -- they'll probably listen.

Alex said...

like that meatloaf song, you took the words right out of my mouth...*cue epic background music*
i live in louisiana so you can imagine how "green" the earth day festivals i've attended are. the bulk of food available is meat. fried. on a stick. (wtf?!) and booths giving away locally produced toilet paper made in a factory that pollutes the area's waterways. oh, that's great!
it's pretty depressing how all these earth day festivals have become is a way to push more consumerism (at least that's how it is here). so i've just opted out the past few years. thanks guys!
every day is earth day, btw.

Lisa is Raw on $10 a Day (or less!) said...

amen sister

The Blissful Chef said...

Being in LA I'm surrounded by all the "green" divas. They are always pushing their "humane" meat. I'm sorry but humane meat is still murder. Love your blog!

Suz said...

I so feel you, Lindy Loo.

My own peeve about the "green" movement is that the trendiness of being "green" means that anything "safe" for the environment now costs twice as much as it used to.

For example, a few months ago I had to lay out $17 PER DIAPER for cloth diapers that would fit my Bear until he's potty trained (you need at least two dozen, btw). And the special, "green," non-polluting laundry detergent that I need to wash them in? $40/gallon. Who can afford that shit anyway?! Green effing yupsters, that's who.

I hate the shit out of it, but I guess it's better than the alternative.

Free to be me: Danielle said...

Hahaha.... I was rolling while I read this... your sarcasm is awesome! Couldn't agree more with everything you said... it's really unfortunate that there are so many people that use Earth Week as the week to make themselves feel all warm and fuzzy... then go back to their old ways. Your analogy of stryofoam and paper plates is freakin hilarious... but so darn true! Can't tell you how many "green team" events I participated in and they do stupid shit like that. I'm all for people doing their part... but geez... put a little more thought into it for more than a week and stop trying to "BUY" into green.

On a good note, our Earth Day festival is really great. Sure there people trying to sell their crap... what festival would be complete without them?? But...for the most part the vendors are really great AND the food is provided by our local cooperative food market which is all organic and locally grown (yes, they even serve veggie burgers!), Mellow Mushroom pizza, Luna Pops (they're local... organic and now VEGAN handmade pops)... shoot... the beer is even local!!

Btw... I like to call myself environmentally conscious.... it's so much less trendy than "green" ;)

plasmid203 said...

What if the sausage was produced on a sustainable, humanely certified farm? (Of course, there's not enough land on the planet to produce meat this way at our current consumption levels, but it something!)

Check out how Polyface Farms does it:

Krista said...

I know how you feel! I was planning on using cloth diapers since I was ten, so for 16 years. Just so happens that I started my family during a time when it's super trendy to do so.

But I've noticed to have to be "green" in a certain way to make it acceptable. Me? I made my own prefolds from thrifted flannel sheets and some wool diaper covers from secondhand sweaters. Somehow, however, that's not exactly "perfect". I should have bought one-size all-in-ones from a WAHM. But whatever.

I also hate how my religion's gospel supports being conscious of the environment but all around me my fellow church mates will PURPOSELY waste because they don't believe in global warming. *headdesk*

So I hope that was coherent and carry on!

Tampons and Ramen said...

Lindy Loo, i've never commented on your blog, although I've been checking it out for years. I found it while surfing for vegan recipes.

I love your writing, and I really enjoy your blog. The sausage/green post was excellent. Guerilla gardening...never heard of it, loved the concept.

Thanks for your awesomeness, and best wishes to you.

She woke up FAT said...

Girl I hear ya. My husband went to a huge event called Earthday Birthday.
Your locked into this venue for 12 hours with nothing to eat but what they offer you. What did they have? Almost nothing my husband could eat. He was fortunate enough to find a baked potato. It was ridiculous and entirely counter productive to the purpose of the event.

Nerdiah said...

Well, sausage _does_ utilise materials that would otherwise be wasted in the meat manufacturing process ...

The Cooking Lady said...

You want to know the sadder part? Is that most folks out there really have no lcue what these factory farms are doing to our environment. Truly they do not. they live in their comfortable little bubble, going about their daily lives and could give a rats backside what is going on out there.

Trust me, I see it all the time where I work. When I tell people do not pack 'ANYTHING' in plastic bags, they scrunch their nose up at me like I am some weirdo. And when I drink a bottled beverage and tell them to give me the bottle because I recycle it when I get home...same look.

People really do not get it. And some how we are the freaks for wanting to what...I don't Mother Earth. And I could care less about your religious stand on this matter and if you think so-and-so will heal thee Earth in his own time. Is it not your obligation as stewards of this Earth to do the very best while you are here?

So suck it up and do the right thing.

Ana said...

I would love to harness your sarcasm as I too hate hypocracy! What I find most horrible in the hypocracy department is how animal shelters and rescue groups purchase cleaning products or even toilet paper from companies that TEST ON ANIMALS. How stupid! How lame! Hasn't anyone read what IAMS is doing? Isn't anyone aware that Febreze is tested on animals? What about our lovely Ellen Degeneres, spokesperson for HSUS, hocking Cover Girl (also a product tested on animals).

Geez people. Wake the F up!