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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Conscientious Living

My conscience dilemma. In the past couple of years I’ve become more and more aware of how the things we eat, use and what we do affect our bodies, health and planet. Being the crazy bleeding heart liberal that I am, I try to use that knowledge to better my life, my families life and everything around us. It can be very overwhelming at times. At times I want to ignore it all. Especially when it comes to money. Let me tell you, living green, eating healthy, these are not cheap options. It’s hard enough to stay under budget with just 2 of us, but when Cade is here, too, and it’s summer time, time to play and have fun, it is next to impossible. I find myself sacrificing my money for a desire to be true to my conscience. I don’t want to use this post as a pedestal to wave my organic flag, I just wanted to share that when you decide to take a step in one direction, you might find that it’s even harder than you thought and it makes me wonder if I should ever have taken that first step. Should I be more responsible with my money? Yes. But can I eat eggs coming from sad, sick, beekless, dirty chickens? Should I spend less on basic food staples like pasta, bread, cheese, etc? Yes. But can I buy food from other countries meaning tons of fuel has to be used to get it to little old me, food from farms where the employees are not paid a fair wage and are exposed to toxins day in and day out? Food provided by animals who are mistreated, abused, neglected and used for “our” purpose and enjoyment? Can I buy soaps that spill chemicals and toxins into the air and water around us? How do I balance these things? How do I try to leave a smaller footprint on the Earth, feed my family healthy choices, do my part to make sure I’m not contributing to the mistreatment of animals, plants or fellow humans while at the same time not throwing money around as if it grows on trees and at the expense of other needs and wants in our lives? I admit, Whole Foods often has great sales and sometimes even their basic brand is as affordable as a regular grocery, but not all the time. Sometimes even their offerings are less than perfect for my conscience. Is doing a little good enough? What are the most important sacrifices? What are the most necessary products/foods? What are the least? If I had more money would it be easier? Or would I then find more and more things to change that cost more and more money? If I had less money would it be easier because then I would just not be able to shop/eat/live according to conscience? Should I then just act as though I don’t have enough money? (at this point it’s not an act, it’s becoming reality!) Can I be less conscious of my conscience?

1 comment:

bass family said...

I really, really appreciate this, Ter. I feel like I'm sort of in "ignorance is bliss" mode - like if I start becoming more informed, I'll get overwhelmed and not be sure of what decisions to make! My mom is getting more and more dedicated to (in particular) eating organic foods, and she's committed enough to shop at the closest "whole foods" type store (which is 1 1/2 hours away). Me - I just buy organic when it's convenient (i.e. it's in our local grocery store right next to the alternative). I love that you keep reminding me that things like this are important and I DO need to think about, whether or not it makes me uncomfortable!