This post has nothing to do with architecture (I’m sure I’ll sneak it in though) and yes, I feel fine. No, I am not hemorrhaging from the eyes and no, I have not turned into a zombie. Yet.
Today marks the start of No Meat March, a month-long event in support of a vegetarian lifestyle and in protest again the inhumane and cruel treatment of animals that we consume daily. And so, for the entire month of March I, my wife, and children will be giving up meat completely. No chicken, no swine, no Daisy the Cow, no fish. As an added challenge for myself this month I’m also giving up cow’s milk. I don’t drink soy or almond milk, so basically I’m giving up all forms of milk – except cheese, I refuse to live without cheese. I’m not a communist. Cause we all know only communists can live without cheese. :-\
Anyone who knows me will immediately think “pfft, yeah right” because I have a profound obsession with cookies and milk. It borders on obscene. I don’t think it’s any coincidence either that No Meat March happens to fall within Lent, which is of course a time when we deprive ourselves of something to honor the sacrifice Christ made for 40 days in the desert.
So, does any of this have anything to do with architecture? Why, yes, it does. A larger issue that this has me thinking about is how we use our land and resources responsibly as stewards of this planet. Whether you believe in a biblical perspective or not, being at the top of the food chain comes with a certain degree of responsibility towards the environments we all inhabit and looking around I’m sure you can agree we’ve done a pretty piss poor job of that as of late.
But, I think there is genuine hope on the horizon. As more and more people are moving back to their urban city centers, the suburbs (hopefully) are shrinking, and mass transit is on the tip of everyone’s tongue due to the out-of-control rise in fuel costs, people, in the larger cultural sense, are thinking more carefully about how they consume. And by consume, I mean everything – food, clothing, bath products, shoes, cars, bicycles, those air-freshener things you put in your car. Hyper-localism is on the rise with more cities creating open air farmer’s markets and arts markets and providing incentives for local artists, craftsmen and the like to open small pop-up shops in vacant storefronts. And this localism is spreading as people are becoming more conscious of not just what they consume but where it comes from. This leads naturally to a larger awareness of how the things we consume are produced, where they are produced and what that means for our economy, our ecology and our community.
So, as I embark on this somewhat crazy trip into vegetarianism (anyone else feel like there are too many “isms out there?), I ask everyone – do you think about the things you consume? Do you think about the impact certain things may have on your environment and community? And if not, why not? After all, we’re all sharing the same rock. We’re all equal stewards of our home, our planet, and the hope for the future.
What say you?