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Sacrifice is the New Black

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Nice story, Sami, but you had me worried for a moment when you almost gave in to your craving for a convenient – but unsustainable – meal!

Call it another of my eco-peeves, but I do strongly believe that it IS time for all of us living convenient lives to think in terms of “sacrifice”. And why not? According to Merriam-Webster, sacrifice is simply “the surrender of something for the sake of something else”. And isn’t that EXACTLY what we have to do to bring back a way of living in harmony with the earth and our resources?

We need to surrender our polluting cars for the sake of our air and climate. We need to surrender hot tubs, long showers and/or washing our cars for the sake of a dwindling water supply. We need to surrender a cheap burger for the sake of our small, local farmers who provide us with healthy food in a sustainable way. But don’t all of these things provide a bounty of rewards on the other side – both for the present and future? In actuality, it’s really only extreme convenience that we need to sacrifice and somehow, this kind of convenience always, but always, has a downside.

For many people, there are times when local and/or organic food just isn’t available and some compromise needs to be made. But even then, there are lesser ways of giving in than to jump on the ‘just give me a burger’ wagon. After all, the factory-farms of agriculture are some of the most horrifically NON-sustainable things happening in the U.S. today and one that threatens the health of our bodies as well as the planet. The use and misuse of water, land, hormones, antibiotics and pesticides are huge in this industry, along with the abusive situations for animals. Mad Cow Disease – need I say more?

I’m happy your ‘gotta find dinner’ story had a happy ending, Sami, and it sounds like it brought about a new level of awareness for you. After all, you don’t just “get what you pay for”, but you get what you plan – and sometimes sacrifice – for. Bon Appetit!

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One Response to “Sacrifice is the New Black”

  1. Casey Says:

    And to elaborate on your comment about factory-farms of agriculture as to being one of the most UNSUSTAINABLE things happening in the US (I would add World as China and parts of western europe are just as bad if not worse) and then proceeding to talk about the misuse of water, land, hormones, antibiotics and pesticides is great. In addition what needs to be noted is that whether or not that burger is free to roam before patty and free of injections, “fair” conditions to live, etc., the most important discussion and a larger reason not to eat meat is that it is not environmentally friendly. The bottom line is you can’t be eating any meat (factory farm or backyard) and call oneself an environmentalist. According to the U.N. the meat industry alone generates more greenhouse gases than all cars, ships, and planes in the world COMBINED. What a simple idea. Even eating less meat lessens demand for a product that is very inefficient in terms of resources and cost-benefit. The U.N. also has figured that a meat eater versus a vegan is responsible for 1.5 tons of greenhouse gases a year (that is more than driving a hybrid alone!) A large steak is the equivalent of driving a mid-sized car for 3 hours straight, in terms of energy and emissions used to produce the meat to plate and operate the vehicle. It all boils down to the inefficiency of water, feed and land use: on average it takes 14 pounds of grain and meal feed, coupled with 125 gallons of water to produce ONE double breast of chicken. Talk about misuse of resources and inefficiencies! I am a vegan and gently help show people that even modest meat cuts in their diet over a few months can not only give them much better health but also help to offset water usage in their house and yard for a year. Let’s not forget about the measurable and real methane gases released at these slaughterhouses too. Factory farms, traditional farms with animals and animals raised in a backyard are all inefficient means of the resources we have on earth (diminishing I should add). Save the earth, become vegan, and let the animals life the lives for the reasons they were put here, for the same reasons we all are here for: to be content, happy and find peace.

    Don’t know how that relates to your message, but I like to talk about issues that are important to me. Thanks for letting me share. I love this forum and “The Change”. Keep it up.

    Thanks~Casey from Arcadiaville

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