Thursday, December 4, 2008

What was that Prius doing in the Burger King drive-thru lane last night?

Dude, what about those carbon footprints you're always talking about?  I mean the Prius is great and all and we know you signed two petitions for cleaner waterways at the open market on Saturday, but that Double Whopper you're ordering, come on, you've read the articles.  You know how the head of the nobel-sharing Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said we can reduce greenhouse emissions by as much as 18% just by eating less meat.  Okay, fine, you're going to pput the double whopper wrappers in the recycling bin instead of the trash.  I guess that makes up for it.  Please drive through.

We love talking about reducing our carbon footprints.  Just not the carbon footprints leading to the meat section of our local Whole Foods.  We shop with canvass shopping bags with cute drawings of earths and catchy recycling slogans on them, but what about the slabs of beef we put in those canvass shopping bags?  If we really and truly care about the environment why not give up meat?  Or if we insist on eating meat, why not stop saying we care about the environment?  Because we like the idea of caring about the future of the planet.  It's cool to have an altruistic mission outside our own selfish pursuits.  Calling ourselves an environmentalist does wonders for our self image.

But that's cynical.  Way too cynical.  A lot of environmentalists really genuinely care about the future of the planet.  But.  There's always this but.  We know eating meat does far more damage to the environment than using non-rechargeable batteries and keeping appliances plugged into their sockets.  So how come we keep eating meat?  How come?  Wait, I can feel a rationalization coming on, here it comes, here it is.  We take lunch breaks from work, right?  So why can't we take a lunch break from our beliefs?  Why can't we take a lunch break from being an environmentalist?  Not a long lunch break.  We'll scarf down our burgers so fast you'll barely notice we're gone.  Then we'll hop back in our Prius and go home where we compost and read with compact flourescent lightbulbs, where we've bookmarked tree hugger and sign every electronic petition that comes our way.  Here, we'll even up the ante.  We'll pee at least five times before we flush.  Five!  But right now we're on our lunch break, so ease up.

Look, seriously, we understand cows and methane gas and all the energy it takes to clear fields for grazing.  We understand all that.  If we stopped eating meat, it would reduce emissions.  But here's the problem.  If we stopped eating meat, we wouldn't get to eat meat and that would suck.  Big time.  Almost finished.  A few more minutes and our lunch break will be over and we'll go back to being an environmentalist.  We'll even make amends for eating this Whopper, okay?  We'll flip off two Hummers on the way home.  Finished.  Lunch break's over.  Let's go find a Hummer and give it a piece of our mind!