Last year, I posted about my vendetta against New Year’s resolutions on the basis of how trite and easy to abandon they are. Besides, I argued, shouldn’t introspection be a year-round thing?
And now, I’m encouraging them.
Call it personal growth, call it hypocrisy, call it what you will. I think you should raise your glass of champagne, toast the New Year, and then make a change in your life.
A very specific one, actually.
That’s right; I not only want you to make a New Year’s resolution, but I want to tell you what it’s going to be. I know, I know, maybe I’m a little self-important too. But above all, I’m a tree hugger. And I want you to turn your attention outwards in 2019, and pay attention to something that makes people uncomfortable. Think you can guess what it is? I’ll give you a hint; it rhymes with Time It Range.
We’re ripping a hole in the sky, people. And if we continue to absolve blame and dodge the newscasts and articles about climate change, then we’re compliant in this catastrophe. This year, a team of the world’s top scientists met from the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) and had a nice little chat about the progression of climate change, what it would take to stop it, and what it means for all of us. If you want, you can read the whole 32-page report they wrote for this year’s conference. If not, well, here’s the highlight reel:
- No one in the whole world is on track to reduce their carbon emissions enough, and
- This will affect humans if we don’t make immediate overhauls. Namely,
- There will be major food shortages because it will be much harder for a lot of crops to grow, and the first to be affected will be the poor and underprivileged.
- Not to mention that if sea levels keep rising, low-lying areas will be extremely vulnerable to floods, causing them to be uninhabitable. Low-lying islands, meanwhile, might be wiped out for good. Rich people will have to flee their homes, but what about those that can’t afford to? What about island nations?
- Wild fires. Think California. Need I say more?
- We’ve got about five years to figure this all out or we’re in big trouble.
If you didn’t want to read all that, here’s the summary: We will pay for climate change in human lives. And this will happen within your lifetime. We will watch as people lose their farmland, their homes, and their lives, or we will be the people that lose their farmlands, their homes, and their lives. Not to mention that, historically, we know that humans don’t exactly take well to being low on resources, and it’s hard to imagine that this won’t cause any violence. I’m not trying to be an alarmist, but goddamn, somebody’s gotta do it.
I’ve noticed that people can a bit defensive when we talk about the state of our climate, and for good reason: We didn’t start the fire. We were born into a world that used fossil fuel mercilessly, that treated this planet like it was disposable. We were born into this mess. We inherited this problem. We grew up throwing out batteries and Kodak Cameras, eating plates full of methane and bumbling around in mini-vans. We own trash cans the size of five-year olds and we don’t know any different. Blame the Koch brothers, not us.
And to this I say: We didn’t start the fire. But we sure as hell fuel it and we’re sure as hell gonna burn all the same.
I don’t mean that we deserve this. I don’t mean that if you’re not zero-waste or something, that you’re awful and single-handedly hold all the blame for our planet’s demise. I say this not to degrade you, but to empower you. In other words, if I didn’t believe in you and your ability to be a part of the solution, I wouldn’t bother writing this at all.
Anyways, back to resolutions. La-di-dah.
This year, I want you to go green, and I whole-heartedly believe in your power to do so. But that’s easy to say and harder to translate into action. So I’ll tell you (because I’m still, you know, self-important) the most easy and effective way to do that, but only if you promise not to scream, flinch, do a spit take onto your electronic device, swear out loud, or close your browser before you finish reading.
Just take a deep breath and hear me out, okay?
Are you ready?
Are you sure?
Here we go…
I know, I know, it’s terrible advice and it explains why I’m so overconfident and self-righteous and I probably also go around telling every single person I know that I’m vegan and carry on and on about the climate and the poor baby cows and dear god, I bet you have a headache just thinking about it. But here’s the truth:
I am a college student that wants to go into research. I love science, and I hate nonsense. And veganism isn’t nonsense. I admit, it took me a long time to get to this point. When I was fourteen, I declared myself vegetarian. And then, slowly, over the course of six years, I gave up dairy. Then eggs. And slowly, I transitioned into a completely plant-based diet. And it’s not half as bad as I thought. Hell, I had four cinnamon rolls for breakfast this morning. Beat that.
And so, if I were an all-powerful being, I would suggest that you make your New Year’s Resolution to go vegan… this January. That’s it; just one month. There’s a really cool movement called Veganuary that you can participate in. It’s a pledge where you commit to going vegan during January.
You know, it’s like January, except Veganuary…
(I’ll see myself out.)
But here’s the best part: it’s just one month. That’s it. No lifetime commitments, no big deal. Just one little month. Veganuary is actually, like, a thing now, and more people have signed on for 2019 than ever before. You can check it out, sign up, and be hip at the link below:
Granted, you might say, okay, this is all good and fine, but instead of going vegan, I’m just going to focus on eating less meat and animal products. But there’s a reason I advocate for veganism, and it’s rooted in personal experience and human behavior: telling a human to eat less meat is sort of like telling yourself you’ll just eat one potato chip or one Oreo: it’s not gonna happen. You’ll either eat none or the whole container. (Or is that just me?) If you truly have the habit-forming powers that I and most others lack, and you truly cut down on meat and animal product consumption, good on you. I’m serious; every bit helps. But for the rest of us, we need a more realistic option. And that is veganism.
For brevity’s sake, I’m going to end my little tirade here. But for now until January, I’m going to post some articles about my vegan journey. Go ahead and subscribe to my lovely blog for more crass writing and fun. Tell me about your New Year’s resolutions and plant-based diets in the comments down below. Or don’t. I’m not your mom or whatever.