Buy A Hummer: Save The World!

Via Kristoffer Nelson
on Nov 30, 2010
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I find it sad that vegans are more obnoxious than fundamental Christians, and having a conversation with most is more underwhelming than having a nonversation with a Buddhist.

I can, however, identify with both vegans (having been one) and fundamentalists.  In a recent Fast Company feature about Apple (July, 2010), the author said research shows that committed Apple consumers have the same neurological make-up of religious fundamentalists.

This makes sense.  Despite horrible coverage, a strategic product roll out launch that has me purchasing a new phone with each iteration, and massive pressure from everyone in the business world to own a Blackberry, I maintain unquestioning loyalty to my ideals and identity as an Apple user.  I can identify with fundamental Christians, terrorists, and vegans.  I am, in fact, one of them.

There is a slight difference though.  I don’t care what kind of phone you have, I am not interested in you having a different one, and I am not going to try and convert you to the iPhone, blow you up for owning a Blackberry, or engage you in endless and condescending conversation because you just don’t somehow get it.

Perhaps the terrorists analogy went too far?  I think so.  Vegans aren’t blowing people up or crashing airplanes into dairy farms (mostly).  The fundamentalist Christian analogy is more on par: die hard beliefs without questioning the implications of the beliefs or their measurement in the context of reality.

Don’t balk.  Remember, I am one of you. I am a fundamentalist.  I also used to be a vegan, and I was a professional spiritualist featuring a chiseled-sharp edge of activism (I have the tattoos and tee-shirts to prove it).  During my spiritually profound glory days of veganism and ramped narcissistic judgment, I recall watching an episode of Newlyweds, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson’s reality show.  During this episode Nick expressed interest in buying a Hummer.  I thought, I must confess: “What an asshole—ignorant douche bags like him are destroying our planet…”

Times are different now. I have matured. Slightly. Or perhaps I just care less. Either way, the universe is a big place, and my ego-driven ideas about what is right and wrong, and what others should and shouldn’t do aren’t that relevant (except to this post, perhaps).

It takes 100,000 gallons of gasoline to produce and ship a Prius to the United States (and even more to get it to Boulder, which is a well loved vegan and green lifestyle hot spot). Buying a used locally-owned Hummer would be better, one could argue, for the environment than buying a new Prius.  Though, this of course wouldn’t accentuate your spiritual vegan ego, which might be hard for us.  But it might be the right choice for the planet. (Full disclosure: I own a Prius).

Point being, there is nothing wrong with being a Christian, vegan, iPhone user, Hummer driver or Prius owner…but there is nothing holy or right about it either.  The universe is full of give and takes and it’s a much bigger place than any of us can imagine.

And, point further being, if we blow people up in the name of God or Allah or vandalize dairy farms under the pretense of compassion, you, not Nick Lachey, are the d-bag.


About Kristoffer Nelson

Kris Nelson works to development business, culture, and consciousness. He is a consultant, entrepreneur, and a corporate executive. He is also certified Anusara Teacher and well established meditation teacher. After teaching in Los Angeles for many years, Kris spent several years touring Asian, Europe and the United States teaching Anusara Yoga, meditation, and perspectives on awakening in the modern world. When Kris approached the age of 30 he decided that it was time to get an real job and now assists organizations and businesses in both evolutionary and financial growth. Kris currently resides in Raleigh, NC working his first corporate job in a very long time. You can find Kris on twitter at @toffernelson or on his website


35 Responses to “Buy A Hummer: Save The World!”

  1. bocobuff says:

    I like this article very much. Thank you for showing this perspective!

  2. Laurie says:

    Delightful article! I am trying hard not to be a fundamentalist vegan. It helps that I live with some fundamentalist omnivores and we have sooooo much fun trying to convert each other! Now if some missionaries would show up at my door……….

  3. Dominique says:

    Vegans are annoying? This article is annoying. At least with the other groups you identified – christian fundamentalists and terrorists (of any stripe) – they are trying to do something to improve the quality of life for others while you just want to gratify yourself with your vacuous materialistic greed. You do more harm than those you are against and you wasted my time with your vacillating self-justification. You are the douche bag.

  4. NotSoSure says:

    100,000 gallons to ship a Prius to the US. Reference please.

    According to wikipedia, 917,500 Prius units have been sold in the US since its introduction in 2000.

    917,500 X 100,000 gallons = 91,750,000,000

    91.7 Trillion. Err? The 100K number looks like B.S. when a calculator is used.

  5. ARCreated says:

    point taken…as a vegan I am also dismayed by some of the self righteousness displayed by other vegans and the idea that our way is the only way 🙁 no such thing. I have met more conscientious omnivores (and vice versa of course) give me an omnivore that buys local over a preachy vegan swilling gallons of imported coconut water (I love it I do…but I try to be reasonable) and exoctic fruit.
    Hummer, prius whatever the point is to be aware of your impact and do the least harm you can. To be part of the solution. When we adopt an us vs them attitude whatever side you are on you are wrong. The only thing I hope for is compassion on all sides, understanding and awareness. You can be a meat eating hummer driving hippy, just as easily as you can be a vegan, prius driving "douche bag"… it's all in the awareness and the intention.

  6. Derek says:

    “vegans are more obnoxious than fundamental Christians”?

    Seriously? Perhaps you meant “fundamentalist vegans”?

    Both the title and lede of this “non-post” are inflammatory, and I’m wondering why. To get more pageviews?

    “Remember, I am one of you.”

    Nope, you aren’t. You’ve just put us all in one of your stereotyped little boxes, and then called us douche bags. Thanks.

  7. Just says:

    It's hard to write something that encourages non-judgement while referring to people by contentious labels or insults, but I get what you are saying and I appreciate it. The idea that everyone else is a bigot, ignoramus or extremist seems common.

    I could be wrong, but the amount of gallons to ship a Pruis to the US might include everything that went into making the Prius, not just the shipment. There's a lot of oil involved in just about everything we consume. Just a thought.

  8. David says:

    Page view desperation, plain and simple. Awful. I expect more from EJ.

  9. Just like not all Christians or Muslims are extremists, neither are all vegans. I'm a vegan, and I don't vandalize dairy farms. My husband and many of my friends eat meat, yet we manage to get along just fine.

    This post was really disappointing. I've always respected Elephant Journal, and I'm feeling a little bummed to see something so judgmental and flip posted here. I almost wish I'd gone with my first instinct and not clicked the link when I saw it on Twitter.

  10. Toyoda says:

    It takes less than 100,000 gallons of gas to ship a Prius to your hometown from one of the 5 major Toyota manufacturing facilities located in the U.S.

  11. Kris Nelson says:

    Hey, thanks, Laurie.

  12. Kris Nelson says:

    Sure thing, bocobuff.

  13. Kris Nelson says:

    You're right, I am a douche bag – admittedly. (Didn't you read the post?).

  14. Kris Nelson says:

    Source: Fast Company article, Sept. 2010 (or maybe it was October?)

  15. Kris Nelson says:

    Thank you, ARCreated, in certain terms, you got the point, and thank you for the most thoughtful and self-reflective response I've read so far.

  16. Kris Nelson says:

    "It's hard to write something that encourages non-judgement while referring to people by contentious labels or insults, but I get what you are saying and I appreciate it." You're right about that!

  17. Kris Nelson says:

    You must be a vegan because you're pretty obnoxious. : )

    I thought from your twitter response that you wanted to have an actual conversation.

    This clearly strikes a cord with you – perhaps you want to talk about that?

    And, be fair Derek, I said that vandals and murder-terrorists were douche bags, not vegans.

  18. Kris Nelson says:

    Well, Senior Good Human, you could take that perspective. Sure. There's probably others too.

  19. Kristoffer Nelson says:

    Good to know. I feel better about owning one. Oh, out of curiosity, where do the parts come from? And how much energy does it take to produce the machine?

  20. Kris Nelson says:

    You're right, Becky. Not all vegans are extremists and this post is disappointing. In the initial draft, I originally said "fundamental vegans", but changing it to all vegans was, personally, much more entertaining, which is my main purpose in writing. I also enjoy expressing cultural and social observations, using curse words, and making strange non-linear comparisons.

    If anyone takes this post seriously, I would strongly advise 1) relaxing, 2) taking a serious look at their identity around lifestyle, eating habits, and self-perception, and 3) generally lightening up.

  21. I seriously want to marry this article. Thank you Kris!

  22. David says:

    What an odd way to title an article. Apples to apples is a new vs new car. New vs. used is so skewed that it provides absolutely no meaning.

  23. Kris Nelson says:

    Thanks, Joslyn. Y'all are next: first draft tonight. The New York Times just reported some excellent news for the new age world!

  24. a guest says:

    Cargo ships don't burn gasoline. They burn diesel. But yes, buying a new "green" anything rather than a used "not green" anything might not always be the "greenest" thing to do.

  25. Kris Nelson says:

    Check out my response to ThisIsWhatYogaLooksLike for more info on the factual relevance of the discussed.

  26. Kris Nelson says:

    Good point. Dually noted.

  27. vanessa says:

    I almost want to post an incendiary and illogical comment just so I can get one of your awesome replies.

  28. Nick Lachey says:

    Really cool Kris. You are calling me a douche bag for wanting some overhyped material piece of crap? Check your shadow dude.



    PS – Nick and Jessica is soooo 2004

  29. Kris Nelson says:

    It would have to wait. I am a bit distracted by the VS show right now.

  30. Kris Nelson says:

    That's a good point. Dually noted.

  31. RemyC says:

    That 100K figure has got to be bogus. How many cars on a tanker? How many gallons of kerosene does that tanker use to cross the Pacific? Divide one by the other

  32. RemyC says:

    That's cargo ship and diesel… check this out!
    Sadly it doesn't say how many gallons of diesel the crossing burns. Anybody?

  33. RemyC says:

    Cargo ships use around 1,500 gallons of heavy fuel oil per hour.
    The crossing takes 7 days x 24 = 168 hours.
    252,000 gallons per trip divided by 6000 cars on board =
    42… it takes 42 gallons of diesel to bring a Prius to America from Japan!!!!

  34. Kris Nelson says:

    I'm pretty sure it's based on parts and production too. Good work with the arithmetic though.

  35. […] snow. The wind snakes flurries toward the truck. The wind eats at my fingers. I am in the back of a Hummer truck-bed with Waylon Lewis. We’re standing above several crates filled with pheasants. […]