I’ve had about enough of the false marketing that is the media messages about climate change and how it can be changed.From so called ‘beauty’ product companies with their shampoo bars or their ‘sustainably sourced’ essences, food companies offering vegan options, cleaning products that are ‘90% plant based’ and, my particular favourite; an advert for an electric car showing the heartbreaking footage of an Orangutan trying to ward off the machinery destroying his/her home. I’m sorry but driving an electric car is not going to stop rain forests being destroyed! Rain forests are destroyed for plantations of products such as palm oil, soya and rubber.
Yes, driving an electric car will reduce your emissions but what about the production process, specifically the batteries?
Yes, there is no doubt that shampoo bars are more ecologically friendly as they are not wrapped in plastic but what about the ingredients and manufacturing processes?
I could go on and on with numerous examples. I am so fed up of the lip service being paid to climate change and the destruction of our planet. We have Sir David Attenborough issuing numerous warnings and the likes of Chris Packham doing the same and everyone feels sad for 5 minutes and then flicks the channel and orders something they don’t need.
As Crowded House said in their song Don’t Dream it’s Over: “…in the paper today, tales of war and of waste but you turn right over to the TV page”
The problem is twofold:
- The large corporations are doing just enough to convince people that they are doing the right thing whilst still putting profit before planet.
- People are too willing to believe the media and too unwilling to make large changes to their lifestyle.
These warnings only go so far. They stop short of telling people what they need to change to help save the planet, i.e stop consuming animal products, stop flying on holidays and just stop CONSUMING EVERYTHING!!
Why? Because of the potential backlash from farmers and other businesses. In other words:
Profit, profit, profit. It comes before everything, even our very survival!
The fact is that most people are not doing enough. They think that changing one thing such as switching to an electric car or recycling is ‘doing their bit’. Not enough!
So, on Ash Wednesday I almost fell into this trap. I’m not religious at all, in fact, when we are engaging the public on our stall, if someone starts going down the religious argument for eating animals I hastily look for Mark or Rebecca; our resident experts on the bible.
However, I always look at Lent as an opportunity to see what else I can live without. Only this year, I thought to myself ‘I’ve already given up animal products, palm oil, caffeine and processed food so why not give myself a break?’Well, it didn’t take me long to have a word with myself! You see, there is always a little bit more we can do. So I decided to give up single use plastic (SUP) for Lent. To be honest, I don’t use much that is wrapped in single use plastic but the vegan cheese I like and the vegan spread I use comes in SUP. Fortunately, the spread also comes as a solid block so I purchased a beautiful ceramic butter dish and now buy the blocks instead of the tubs. The cheese I have just gone without.
So it now is the Easter weekend and, I can honestly say that, through the whole of lent there was only one moment when I actually wanted to buy something wrapped in SUP: a Basil plant!! Solution? Grow my own!
As I write this I have Hot Cross bun dough proving as I love them but don’t want to buy them as they are wrapped in plastic. Will I go back to buying the few products I used to that are wrapped in SUP? Well, tbh, I am going to buy frozen peas until they are in season in the local farm shop when I can buy a bulk load and freeze them myself. I tried tinned peas…not good!
I think I may allow myself one item a month that is encased in plastic, but then again, maybe not.
My point is that even though we think we are doing enough and, as vegans we are certainly doing more than most, there is always just a little bit more we can do….
Just a nod to my Mum here who has sent me a plastic free, vegan Easter egg! Thanks Mum!!
Have a lovely vegan Easter everyone! xxx