When it comes to climate change, I am a hypocrite, and so are you. It’s impossible for us not to be in some way or another.
We live in a complex world where a person can say they love animals, and also be completely okay with eating meat. In fact, I’ve been that person. I have always loved animals, perhaps even more than people. But eating meat has been a normal thing for me growing up. My extended family are dairy farmers, so I hadn’t really thought so much about it.
Some people might say, “How can you not think about it? How can you not see it?” The truth is, in this world and society, there are SO many issues that we are up against, so many things we can be passionate about. And climate change and eating meat, albeit a big one, is just one of many. I myself am passionate about a lot of things, including racism, mental health, domestic violence, cancer, dog rescue and so on.
It’s very easy for a person to get care fatigue trying to fight all of these issues at once. Perhaps the answer is to pick one issue and focus on that. For myself, I’m just trying to be the best person I can be, stand up for what I believe in, and not to let anything completely take over my life and overwhelm me.
Unfortunately, for those of us born in the last 30 years or so, basically every part of our normal everyday lives is bad for the environment, so it’s very easy for us to be doing something that someone else might see as hypocritical. In fact, there’s times where we think we’re doing good for the environment by switching to something else, and that thing turns out to be even worse for the environment.
Something I see on the internet a lot is people ignoring everything good a person is doing and honing in on the ONE thing they’re doing that conflicts with what they stand for, or ONE thing they should be doing that they’re not. Why not encourage the good instead of focusing on the negative? Especially if we’re all trying to get to the same goal and make the world a better place.
After wanting to stop eating meat, my partner and I walked around for ages trying to find a non-meat dish. Finally, we were so hungry, we stopped and asked a local Vietnamese lady to make us a dish with only vegetables. We pointed to the ingredients we wanted and she nodded, so we figured she got the message. But then we got served meat anyway. The language barrier made it very difficult. And in case you were wondering, we had to eat the meat because because wasting food is terrible for the environment too.
In this day and age, it’s basically impossible not to be a hypocrite because there’s so much complexity in our lives. I’d like to suggest that just because someone isn’t living the way you think they should or caring passionately about the issues you care about, doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. They simply might not be educated on the things that you know, or they might be busy passionately fighting for the same cause in a different way.
For example, eating meat, like smoking or drinking alcohol, is not illegal in a lot of countries. Sure, all of them are harmful, but it’s an individual’s choice whether they do it or not, and everyone is free to choose what they do within the law. We cannot discriminate against or treat people badly for living legally. All we can do is have discussions and educate. And if we believe these things violate basic fundamental rights, then we need to try to get people together to protest, vote, and change the laws.
Let’s educate each other kindly and let’s not alienate each other if we disagree with certain life choices that someone else makes.
Recognize the efforts people make to do better. And as always, be kind to each other! 🙂