You see them on campus or on the streets. They say follow them and they will lead you to a better life. They claim that they know the truth and ‘the way’ and they can help you be better. They sometimes can be forceful by throwing pamphlets in your face, making you feel less like a person each time. They even have books and mantras they hold sacred and congregate together so they are not influenced by the others.
Yes, I am talking about the eco-friendly people.
Now, most of us do not want the polar bears to drown, or every species go extinct because of us humans. However, this whole earth conscious idea has spun out of control.
It is no longer about the environment; it is about themselves.
Let’s take a look, for example at the organic eaters; I shall call them the “organic manics.” These do-gooders are the ones you see carrying their cloth bags into Whole Foods and using almost their entire pay check to support the non-pesticide farms and the Local Grower. Not only could they be using their paycheck for more environmental friendly projects, but they are not even supporting local farmers most of the time. Food is seasonal, and it is impossible for Whole Foods or similar markets to carry local products year round. So the person spends the same amount of money to get the organic stuff from let’s say, Chile, which uses tons of fuel from the airplane and delivery trucks to get here.
Then there are the Prius owners. They like to tell themselves they are doing so well by using a car that’s both electric and fuel dependent. But when we break it down, the whole market for electric cars is flawed. Not only does it still require manufacturers to make the car in a non-friendly car manufacturing plant, but what do you think electric cars run off of? Good deeds? Batteries, more specifically large batteries, are filled with chemicals most detrimental to the environment, and to make just one of those batteries ruins the ecological footprint the consumer is bragging about at the block party.
What it is really all about is elitism. There is a reason why you see the same type of people shopping at Whole Foods every day. It is the new religious dogma. It is almost impossible to have a conversation with a person like this without them mentioning their organic manic tendencies. Instead of having a normal conversation about chicken soup, you’re instead faced with them reading off their memorized recipe like “you start with free range chicken, then follow up with organic carrots, organic celery and mountain spring water and…” They cannot even have a normal conversation without mentioning the word ‘organic’.
To buy a typical week’s worth of produce at organic markets will cost you double if not triple what it costs at a supermarket. And you can bark all you want about how much healthier it is for you then the pesticide riddled food most of us still consume, but here is your bubble-burster: there is still not enough evidence to prove that it is one way or another.
But most of these people can afford to shop this way, so they do. So while they are browsing the aisles looking for the new flavor of Kombucha, they are reading their shopping list off of their iPhone, and are going to be loading their groceries into their Suburban.
If eco-friendly people want to be truly living the way they preach, then they are doing it all backwards and need to stop taking credit as the earth’s number one fans. There is already a group in existence that is completely earth conscious, uses the least amount of fossil fuels and technology, and grows completely locally.
That is the Amish.
They have been living this way for hundreds of years, and you do not see them on a street corner making you feel bad about yourself for eating corn-fed beef. They are truly humbling people and believe that they are doing what is best for themselves without their noses in the polluted air, looking down at us non-organic folks.
Some of the people who think they are doing good, really believe they are by living this way. But before you hop onto the most recent trend. Do a bit of research from both sides of the argument before you give up your paycheck or buy a car based on what a few people told you.
Holly Mayer is a junior English major and ethnic studies minor. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.