The whole plastic conundrum makes me crazy.
I have been an avid, and admittedly at times even rabid, hater of plastic. And yet even I, who gets the heebie jeebies thinking about the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, cannot quite divorce myself from the necessity of using plastic. I absolutely love those who throw themselves into the effort, but even the most plastic-vegan, or as I like to call them plastigan, among us will come into contact with an array of plastic products with frightening regularity.
If you were to pretend that you had a raging plastic allergy, you would be, by necessity, living in a bubble. Although truth be told even that bubble is made from plastic now too, isn’t it?
Hmmmm, the conundrum deepens.Plastic crochet rug via drinkerthinker, flickr.
It is simply unavoidable, which is why I think that culturally there has evolved a whole sense of malaise around the topic of plastic. We sit in our cars surrounded by protective, high-impact plastic, we purchase products wrapped in plastic that we then deposit into enormous plastic bags for the purpose of carrying it for 15 feet. We even eat food imbued with plastic—which is pretty horrific if you think about it. Which of course, is why we don’t. Even the Earth friendly, Vegan community regularly looks to plastic as a way to avoid the perversely and irritatingly sustainable options of leather and wood. Granted most of this is grown in the less-than-sustainable style, but it can be and I argue that it should be.
We all know that real wood and leather is beautiful and luxurious. One reason why Jaguar and Bentley chose to use them, of course. Which speaks to the point as to why it is now mass produced with alacrity and on the cheap. That soft leather coat from the Far East? Could be dog, could be cat? We don’t know. It’s kind of creepy.
I am a Kundalini yogi. We try to wear cotton and natural fibers as much as possible. Which, thankfully, also gratifies my silk and cashmere desires. We practice on sheepskins because honestly there is nothing nicer than practicing yoga on a sheepskin. I have stacks of them. I know that there was an animal who died that I am now gratefully honoring by having it’s energy inform and ground my practice. I know that the meat from this wooly sheep was consumed by a family, most likely not yours, who was also grateful for it’s food.
I am raising chickens with names and personalities who will soon give me eggs. I purchase free range, happy poultry for my table and attempt to purchase the wild caught fish for my kids exclusively. That said, they go to birthday parties and outings with friends where this is not the norm. I cannot panic. I do not harass these moms about it, mostly because they are doing my kids a service by taking them somewhere fun for the day. I do what I can in my home with my dollar’s vote and have to be as sanguine as I can about it. Otherwise, I will not sleep over the thought of the plastic buttons on my shirt and that straw in my kid’s cup.
Because the thought of the plastic in the cheese and in the fish is actually so much worse.
~Edited by Jill Barth.
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