I return, time and again, to environmental concerns. It makes sense — I met Poseidon during a mental break that was at least in part triggered by hopelessness over the negative impact humans have upon the planet and our callous treatment of other creatures. I struggle with our disposable society, with our plastic usage, with animal cruelty in the farming and cosmetic industries. We have tried, in our household, to make shopping and eating locally and seasonally a priority. We started — or I started — being pretty do or die about it, and tearing myself down whenever I faltered. I dragged Beth along, but she’s never been much of a “and I suck as a human if I can’t do X or Y,” like I am. And we discovered some things.
Like, it takes time to cook from scratch, to cut plastic out of our lives, and that time is hard to come by, at times. Eating seasonally works pretty well, if you can eat and then digest the seasonal foods that are largely available. That eating seasonally and buying locally is great . . . when you can afford to do so — when you can afford the time and strain that going to the Farmer’s Market will take on you — and it does take a toll on Beth. I can’t go, because I work Saturdays, and her going has wound up needing to have her rest the whole next day, and when she’s already so depleted, that’s viciously unfair.
We’ve considered CSAs, but they’re expensive, and here there are a ton of leafy greens, which . . . we can’t use. Well, half of us can use. And time is a factor.
We are a household wherein one of us works full time. We are a household with members on medication and expensive allergy avoiding food. At this point, eating seasonally and buying locally is being relaxed, with compassion and without guilt. (See? BAD GUILT!) The food ideals I hold for myself are being relaxed, and I’m not going to beat myself up about it. It does not make me a bad pagan, or a bad human. I like my food source ideals, and there is much much wrong with the food industry . . . but we can also only do what we can, as we can, and feeling badly when we can’t do a particular thing serves no purpose.
And, it’s been good, too. It’s reminding me not to judge others. We have the choices that we have to make, only we can make the choices for ourselves, and every day brings new choices. I don’t believe that one cannot care deeply about the plight of the planet and still remained confined to bad and less bad choices. I don’t think one is a hypocrite for saying one loves animals, and for then buying factor-farmed chicken to keep their family fed. I don’t think that we have to always live up to our ideals and our goals to count ourselves as decent humans. And I do think we should talk about it, when we fall short of where we want to be, whether for ourselves or for others.
I am exhausted this year. It’s been a good year, in many ways, but it’s been a hard year, one of recovery as I’ve mentioned, and really, right now, I’m simply tired of struggling. So, in various places, I’m stopping.