All posts by hustona

If you didn’t kill it, you shouldn’t eat it… but did you kill those vegetables?

The freedom to choose what I eat is awesome. I can eat foods I like, avoid the foods I don’t, and try new things at any time. If I’m worried about my money or my health, I can even plan my food intake to meet my daily needs. What if I didn’t have this freedom? What if someone else was in charge of what I ate? Would I be better off? If the person controlling my eating habits had my best interests in mind, there probably wouldn’t be any issues. However, who is the judge of what my best interests truly are? I personally wouldn’t trust anyone to dictate what food I consumed. I am always open to suggestions, but at the end of the day, what I eat is my decision and no one else’s. That’s how a free society ought to be.

The concept of “killing at a distance” does catch my attention in this paper. As a meat eater myself, I understand that while I’m not the guy who kills the animals on my plate, I am held just as responsible from a capitalistic perspective. I, the consumer, drive the production of goods, which is meat in this scenario. If I had to personally go out and kill all the meat I wanted to eat, chances are I would change my diet a bit. This isn’t because of a new sense of guilt or shame, but rather a result of my laziness. I’ve never been interested in hunting big game animals as I prefer everything I eat to be in moderation. I have friends who hunt elk and deer, and can you guess what they have to eat for months on end? I would rather eat no meat at all than have to eat the same thing for three months strait as to not waste the meat.

In the end, I think people should eat less meat in general. It’s better for their health and its better for the environment. A dinner plate balanced with fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, dairy, and fats sounds perfect. However, I don’t think anyone has the right to tell someone else what they can or cannot eat. Unless it’s medically required or cannibalism, I think people should just mind their own business. You never know what people are going through. Chances are, they might not be able to afford the utopian diet nutritionists agree on. So while it’s important to keep an open mind on better eating habits, don’t forget that your right to eat vegetarian does not infringe on my right to eat meats, and visa versa.

It’s human nature to think we are unnatural

The 22 theses of nature revolve around the concept of how human beings perceive themselves as a product of the natural world. Some teachings believe humans are separate from nature since our conscious thinking and ability is far above anything else. Logically, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard than any other creatures due to our influence and impact around the globe. I side with the author, however, who declares that humans are a part of nature. We are bound by the same natural laws and carry the same physical limits a natural being would have. Humans are certainly unique and have a special origin, but they belong on this Earth just as much as the grass beneath them. That doesn’t mean people should act entitled to the environment and abuse it however they see fit. Overall, people should act with conservationist mindsets, using the environment as a tool for survival and well-being, while at the same time respecting its longevity. I don’t think people should feel guilty that we have taken ownership of the planet as a species; only that we have been very irresponsible in taking care of our “kingdom”.

The second half of the paper discusses the idea of thinking of natural life as information or energy. It is a very interesting debate, especially as we advance further and further with our scientific knowledge. While science has certainly taught people immense truth, I still believe there is much we do not, and may never understand. This “energy”, as the author names it, represents the miraculous odds life had to overcome to even be possible. It is hard to believe the stars aligned perfectly, merely on accident, so things could be the way they are today. So as society continues to advance in its technological strength, it is important to keep a sense of humility when uncovering the mysteries of our amazing universe.

A Great Economy – If you can keep it

My title is a spinoff of a well-known quote by Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s founding fathers. After the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a woman walked up to Mr. Franklin and asked if they had established a republic government or a monarchy. Franklin then wisely said, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

One of the blessings of this new Republic, one of which the World had never witnessed before, was the incredible amount of freedom ordinary citizens had. Now, it took many years before EVERYONE enjoyed those freedoms, and there are still those who face challenges with injustice today, but the foundation for those freedoms remains. That could change if our economy, and its capitalistic ideals, were altered.

The concept of Degrowth, in an ideal setting, is very convincing. Our current economy is consuming products that will eventually run out and will be very difficult to replace when they are gone. Additionally, the impact an expanding human population has had on the environment will continue to be traumatic if we don’t change many of our polluting habits. It is not surprising for people to conclude that the problem is our way of business.

However, the capitalistic “problem” is actually the solution. Instead of taking the free market away from the people (which doesn’t usually work out – see Soviet Union), we should let the market fix itself like it always has. When coal became too inefficient, we as a society turned to gas. Now, oil is the resource that is becoming scarce and costly. When there becomes a better option, like solar, wind, or electric energy, the market will follow accordingly.

Leaning towards a government regulated economy that sabotages its own growth and dictates what you can and cannot consume based on what a group of people thinks is “good” or “bad” is very dangerous. Ever since becoming the lone superpower on this Earth, American has inherited a responsibility to help and defend its allies. How can we do that if we limit our own abilities?

Only a free capitalist economy can ensure a fair and successful marketplace. Implementing Degrowth would certainly help preserve selected resources and limit the damage to certain ecosystems, but we would no longer be “keeping” the freedoms our first leaders established.

It’s not my fault I litter. Blame God!

“Christianity bears a huge burden of guilt.” – Lynn White

Lynn White states throughout his essay that blaming technological growth or using Band-Aid policies alone won’t stop our current ecological crisis, but he does a pretty good job at throwing Christianity under the bus for an acceptable solution anyway. Not only is this way of thinking unproductive, but it really disregards all of the good environmental missions Christian groups or anyone else with the same Judeo-Christian values take part in on a daily basis. Have people, including Christians, hurt the Earth more ways than we can keep track of? Of Course! To say that is simply a product of Christianity or even scientific advancement, however, is very lazy. I would guarantee a pagan dominate modern civilization would exploit the Earth’s riches just as much as we do now for its own personal benefit and security. My reasoning has nothing to do with ideologies either. No matter the belief system, humans will do whatever it takes to ensure their well-being. That’s what makes us apart of nature; our never-ending drive for survival and success. I’m not saying humans are completely innocent of their actions like a litter of golden retriever puppies, but people certainly have an edge in acting as conservationists. Does any other animal on the planet go out of its way to aid an ecosystem on the other side of the planet simply because it’s the right thing to do? Humans can cause a whole lot of damage, but their ability to consciously act in good stewardship without any personal gain is unparalleled. At the end of the day, I believe that, like all species on this planet, humans will do whatever is necessary to keep their ecosystem intact. In my opinion, that natural instinct is there, but pointing fingers and blaming faiths will only slow down the process. I’ve never read the Bible front to back before, but I’m pretty sure God isn’t to blame for that stray candy bar wrapper wondering the grocery store parking lot. With that being said, I certainly don’t have an alternative solution or answer to the world’s environmental mess. I just know that nature will run its course, even if people continue to back seat drive.