Do you know how hard it was to admit to the tree hugging hippy cohort at university that I work at a butcher shop? Believe me, it was difficult. I am in the Environment Collective for goodness sakes.
So, here I am, at uni, making friends with a bunch of vegetarians who care that much about the environment that they have given up something that I just never could. It's not that I don't care about the environment, I do! I love nature, although I hate bushwalking.
My dad used to be an outdoor ed. teacher and he would take my brother and my two sisters and I out hiking, a couple of nights under the stars. Sounds lovely right. Wrong, it's hell; carrying that heavy pack, smelling of sweat, leach and ticks stuck to your legs and scratches from poison ivy and blackberries, just to name some of the horror that is bushwalking. The worst thing of all is that you can't do a poo unless you wan't to take a walk with Dug (the spade necessary to bury your excriment).
I have gone of track though, I do care about the environment and I am all for renewable energy and cutting down on water usuage and don't waste paper, but I love food. I particularly like a juicy steak, or some lovely fresh seafood, and yes I know the cost that these things come at. Well, actually I don't think nearly enough research has gone into the cost of eating seafood. I've heard that all species of fish have become extinct, due to overfishing, that we don't even know about and now never will. But, the cows, I know about the impact of cattle. Their hooves are too hard for the Australian soil and cattle and sheep farming has destroyed, irreversably a lot of land in our dry and fragile country. Australian's high intake of cattle contributes to food shortages in Africa. There are large plantations of crops grown in Africa just to feed the cattle that we wealthy people in the West eat, while so many African's are starving. If those feed crops weren't needed more people could eat. I know this and yet I still eat meat.
One reason why I can't stop is because I work in a butchers shop and so that would be just a bit hypocritical of me, that I can profit from the death of these animals, but I won't eat them. And another is because there is nothing better than a juicy tender scotch fillet. And fish, I ate the most amazing grilled seafood at a Cafe in Bowral the other day, the octopus were crisp on the outside and smooth on the inside, drizzled with lemon juice and a little bit of chilli.
So of course it was difficult to admit to my new university friends that I eat meat and worse I work with dead animals, but of course they took it well. No judgement was passed, at least not publically and I still feel like a valuable member of the group. That is the great thing about greenies is that the ones who are really into taking action, and making a difference, the mostly aren't the judgemental type. They are happy with what ever you are willing to offer to help their cause and don't mind if you aren't going to support all of their provoking protests. They are happy just to talk about things, because really dialogue and openness about the issues is half the battle.