Straight Talk

Corinna - Spartanburg, South Carolina
Entered on September 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

My empathy for animals and nature has always been great. However, when I look back a few years I feel like I have been a hypocrite, because only now I am finally capable of acting out my convictions. Today I believe that as soon as human beings are aware of their consumerist behavior they automatically hold the power of change in their very hands. So in order for me to make a difference among the things that are important to me, I started questioning everything! I believe that if people got that far to even think about the choices we make on a daily basis instead of living their lives narrow-mindedly, they had come a long way. Therefore I had to address my weaknesses and turn my life upside down.

One of these first actions was the purchase of an efficient car. The illusion of “the bigger the better or safer” has long been proven wrong. We consider ourselves satisfied with newly packaged trash from the past, instead of taking over serious progress. I believe we should stay up to date with inventions that improve our coexistence with nature. With my choice of getting an efficient car I contributed immediate effects on the environment by reducing emission. Furthermore, I am showing the automobile industry that other cars are being demanded. Due to this, I am forcing them to cut back on ancient technology and develop even more efficient cars for the future. This results in the fact that we need much less gasoline to feed our cars, which in turn has impact on all the far too powerful oil firms. Thus, I tell them silently that I have enough of their reign which drags a chain of environmental disasters.

However, before I started to change external conditions, my first step toward being “greener” was my own nutrition. I became a vegetarian overnight. The decision to abandon meat has a huge impact on the world hunger crisis and environment in general. I believe that if people would stop or reduce eating anything related to animal products, the man-made suffering of animals would also stop. There is no way that a demand as huge as that of meat can be covered by humane animal husbandry. I don’t want to be part of this cruel fate.

As a consequent of less animal product consumption, we also would have much more farmland that could be used for vegetable cultivation. This in return would lead to much more food that could be used in countries that desperately need it.

But still, the most influential power of consumers is to consider where their money goes, what it supports and if they need to spend it at all. These basic principles can be applied to all areas of life. To be in charge of my money and having a good overview is the trickiest part but the most important one because this can be the main reason for a serious change in a country.