A good friend of mine recently brought to my attention a recent episode of The Simpsons where Lisa Simpson develops "Environment-Related Despair." The only cure? A drug called Ignorital. The episode is a little over twenty minutes and a good watch.
I'm sure you all can see the humor in this episode, but there is a part of this anecdote that rings true for those of us in the crunchy battle. Research can get overwhelming because the truth isn't pretty. It's like peeling layers off an onion until you get to the core of the problem and the whole way through your eyes tear (partially from the stress of knowing all the evils that be and partially from reading through piles of junk to find the truth). There is a lot to learn and the most common knee-jerk response following the despair in this syndrome is anger. You see someone not recycling or eating a Big Mac and either you get internal rage or you actually confront the person.
I want to take this post and just ask that you treat folks who are seemingly uncrunchy with kindness. Most of these folks fall into one of two groups:
1.) The "they-don't-know-any-better" group: At some point in our lives, we all were THAT person that ate farm-raised fish without understanding what it meant or threw cardboard out with the rest of the garbage not knowing any better. There are ways to educate folks without spewing anger and random facts at them. You never know what is going on in a person's life. Are they eating from the dollar menu at McDonalds because they think they can't afford anything else? Help them understand that they can. Protein can come from lots of cheaper sources than animals. In fact, go ahead and cook them a meal.
2.) The "they-don't-care" group: This group is harder to deal with because obviously, they know the deal and still don't care. They're ones that claim global warming doesn't exist. They roll their eyes at the mention of organic. It's okay. Stay calm, crunchers. You don't attract bees without some honey. Be strong and happy in your choices. Stay firm to your beliefs. Usually the don't-care group is also the unhappy group. By simply living your life with kindness towards animals, farmers, the environment, etc. and doing it with a smile on your face, you're far more likely to draw some attention to your cause rather than battling it out with a non-believer. Everyone wants to be next the happy person; no one wants to sit next to the chronic complainer. So readers, be that happy person and go catch some bees!
Until next time...