Earth Day

I just realized something…for some reason, I have never really thought very much about Earth Day.  Sure, back in grammar school I made a few vaguely globe-shaped masterpieces out of blue and green finger paint and papier-mâché, and in middle school my Girl Scout troop would head out to Sandy Hook and pick up trash, but it’s not the type of holiday I tend to bookmark on my calendar or make special plans for.

However, today I’m feeling alot of Earth Day spirit.  I’m not sure why exactly it is, but it’s enough that it’s made me feel I want to post about it.   A significant portion of my personal reasons for following a vegan lifestyle have to do with the effects that the human race’s food “preferences” and “tastes” have on our planet.  I don’t usually get on any kind of soap box on this blog, so if anyone is put off by it, I apologize, but I really feel this is worth writing.

Put quite plainly, factory farming is completely and utterly destroying the earth.  It is indisputably one of the top contributing factors to global warming in the world, and this will only worsen as countries like China and India continue to industrialize and expand.  It contributes to world hunger, as the food that could be used to feed starving humans is instead diverted to animals who will themselves be eaten.  It destroys the oceans.  It pollutes available water supplies while simultaneously depleting them.  This article by One Green Planet provides a neat and thoughtful summary of the foregoing facts.

I have never been the kind of person to tell others what they should think or how they should behave.  I do feel strongly, however, that it is every person’s responsibility to at least be educated about and aware of his or her own impact on this planet.  Being in denial doesn’t change what is happening in front of our very eyes.  If we keep treating our earth the way we currently do, it’s not going to be around very long.  And that is really a sad thought.  I want my children and great-great-great-great-grandchildren alike to be able to enjoy this planet as I have throughout my life…to be able to see and appreciate the beautiful cities that mankind’s ingenuity has produced as well as the natural wonders of this world.  Something’s gotta give.

I’ve read a couple of great articles today that give a pretty good summary of some of my feelings about veganism and helping the environment.  One is by a Huffington Post blogger who succinctly discusses the meaning of one’s choice to eat animals, and the other is a really great piece by Kathy Freston about the positive impact that simply decreasing our consumption of animal products could have on the world.  It’s inspiring stuff, and is certainly food for thought (no pun intended!).  On a more upbeat note, I found a cool Boston.com article about Boston area Earth Day events!  I am at work so will probably not get a chance to check any of them out, but it was fun to look through the little slideshow anyway.

And finally, I will leave you with a picture of the flowers I bought for my apartment last week.  They were cheap but pretty, I thought, and they help me remember that spring is actually here, despite that it’s been in the 40’s and brutally windy the last few days here.

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Happy Earth Day!!!

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