Sunday, September 04, 2005

This Comune Has Decided Not to Cook Meat

Just watching 30 Days 1x05, where two city dwellers get to live in the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, an entirely self-sustaining community.

The inhabitants of which have agreed to live a completely vegetarian life, their reason being "meat is very inefficient".

Come on, guys. That is the way to go only if you want to alienate 90% of the rest of the world.

I have great respect for eco-nerds, not the least of my resons being that forsaking modern comforts is something that takes a lot of nerve. But why oh why, why dear god, madonna mia, heavens above, do they always have to be fucking vegetarians? All right, I have nothing against vegatarians, two of my best buddies from university are a quasi-vegetarian[1] and a semi-vegetarian[2]. But why does meat always have to be the dividing line? I think it is unwise, if you advocate an ecologically sensible lifestyle, to include vegetarianism. Vegetarianity. Whatever.

Why? Two reasons.

One, it so makes for bad publicity. "Oh, so they won't let me eat meat. I guess I'm out then." (As the male 30-days participant so brilliantly puts it "I guess I'll be part of the problem"). And the entire package is rejected wholesale, for the insignificant fact that no meat is included.

Second, and more importantly, I do not believe that a vegetarian lifestyle is necessary for advocating ecologically sensible living, or reasonable. The nutrition arguments have been made many times over, by both sides, so I will skip them. But think about this: why does it have to be an all-or-nothing choice? Why not limit meat consumption to once or twice a week? Sure, meat is more inefficient. It's a luxury, for christ's sake! Luxuries are by their very definition inefficient. That, everyone could live with.

[1] no meat most of the time
[2] fish, but no meat


Blogger map said...

I guess one of the problems these fundamentalists have is indeed that meat is no luxury anymore. 50 years ago a german household ate meat once a week on sunday if even that.

I'm not advocating a usage that sparse, but most people in developed countires eat too much meat and products containing meat to really call it a luxury or even something special imho.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Dominik Wagner said...

[1] speaking:

You don't have to be vegetarian to be economy friendly. But what the dancing rabbit community tries to to, is as economy friendly as possible. And for this not eating meat is the same as not flushing water down the toilet. This community is extreme in every aspect. Which I respect by the way. Being a vegetarian certainly reduces your environmental footprint. I think it's hard to argue about that.

I myself would call me a lazy environmentalist. I'm aware of the ecological problems, and try to make room for the concernes in my daily living. But sometimes I just don't care. I'm not all or nothing, I'm more for good middle way.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Tobias Klüpfel said...

map: I agree. In my opinion, meat has taken too big a place in our daily diet.

dom: It's true, being a vegetarian reduces your environmental impact. What I meant was, it's bad publicity for Dancing Rabbit to enforce it.

I guess that would be the final reason for me not to join - I could put up with everything else they do. So, my view is subjective. Maybe someone else would accept forgoing meat, and would instead draw the line at water toilets. I don't know.

Oh well, it looks like their model is to show us everything that can be done, and our job is to pick and choose what part of their lifestyle seems OK for us. So we are once more not saved from thinking for ourselves. Damn.

10:03 AM  
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2:55 PM  

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