"If conscientious consumption means we avoid contributiong to suffering, palm is clearly problematic." ~ Mark Hawthorne
My vegan lifestyle is a continuous evolution - I'm constantly learning something new about food, nutrition, the environment, ethics, politics, etc. No wonder many people find veganism intimidating - there's a lot to consider! When I first went vegan I looked at it very simply - I didn't eat any products that came from animals and I could verify this by looking at labels, seeking out vegan certifications and avoiding the obvious (meat, dairy, leather, silk, etc). But as I became more passionate about the lifestyle and made it my career to inspire and educate others on the topic, I realized that there's a lot more than meets the eye. Some may find this overwhelming, but I believe that if we take things step by step and strive to be informed, we can each develop a well-rounded perspective on our personal choices. A perfect example is palm oil - in this article I explore this confusing and touchy subject, and offer some suggestions on how you can keep your purchases as ethical as possible
Is it just me, or is this oil spill situation kinda confusing? Maybe I just don't pay enough attention to the media/news, but I barely understand what's going on and how bad it is. Therefore, I figured it would benefit myself and perhaps some readers if I did some research and broke it all down.
- An explosion and and subsequent fire sank the drilling platform Deepwater Horizon (which BP was leasing from its owner, Transocean) and triggered the mile-deep oil gusher that has defied efforts to stem it, taking 11 workers with it. (CNN 1; 2; 3)
I used to love The Simpsons, but these days it's the last thing I want to watch on my Hulu queue (I'm more of a Family Guy gal now). Since I finished watched all my favorite shows, I tuned in and was pleasantly surprised to find that the entire episode was about the environment! It started out about wind power and turned into a sweet story about whales. You can watch it below.
Tonight I had the exciting opportunity to attend the NRDC fundraiser featuring James Cameron and his movie Avatar. Although I knew that there were environmental messages in the movie, they didn't really sink in until I heard him speak. He showed 40 minutes of clips from Avatar at Fox Studios (in 3D!) and I had an entirely different emotional reaction then when I saw it in the theater. (It certainly helped that Cameron was sitting just a few rows in front of me!) The first time I saw the movie I was focused on the incredible special effects and the story, and was very impressed by them. This time, after hearing Cameron give a summary of the environmental message prior to the clips, it all became clear and I got chills. In fact, some scenes were very uncomfortable to watch the second time around (spoiler alert: when the magnificent tree falls down).
These days I buy most of my clothes from consignment shops. This is eco-friendly (reusing clothes others don't want) and inexpensive. One of my favorite places in L.A. is Crossroads Trading Co. They have multiple locations, but I usually go to the one in Santa Monica. Last weekend I found a really cute t-shirt (which you'll eventually see in one of my videos), and I've often found great dresses there too. You can also recycle clothes you don't like there, and either get cash back or credit towards a purchase at the shop - they're picky, so make sure the clothes are in-style, clean, and in good shape.