I realize there has been a lack of original material on this blog for the past week. I’ve been putting a lot of creative energy into writing a novel (my first ever!) for National Novel Writing Month (a really cool thing that you should definitely try if you’re a writer) and in the process I’ve neglected this blog. It’s my intention to write more original and provocative posts in the near future. But alas, today we continue the trend of picking up from other sources.
This is a re-post from a great blog called “How to Save the World,” authored by Dave Pollard. I’d like to help cultivate a socially engaged dharma that is systemic–recognizing that we live in an interconnected world of nested environmental and social systems–and yet personal at the same time. The suggestions offered below are one way of getting at both those dimensions, in that they offer us as individuals clear actions we can take that may help to alleviate suffering and reduce harm.
How the Rich Can Stop Hurting the Poor: Sharon Astyk adds her own recommendations to the Transition Initiative’s recommendations, in an interview with Vandana Shiva, to help reduce the exploitation of struggling nations:
- Do not buy or eat any industrial meat – period. Grain-fed meat raises the price of commodities in the poor world. Either give up meat or eat only grass-fed meat.
- Do not support biofuel production from foodstuffs or on land that is suitable for growing human crops.
- Purchase high value, dry shipped luxury goods like spices, coffee, tea, etc… *only* when certified fair trade and grown in responsible ways (ie, shade grown coffee, etc…)
- Don’t buy imported produce. Shift your diet to eat what’s available in your locality. Remember, flying produce around the world is using planes to transport water, effectively. That’s nuts on a whole host of levels.
- Begin shifting your “shadow acres” of imported foods, resources and goods to your own locality – buy local when possible, even if it means buying less. If you can’t produce something in your area, look for substitutes and work to establish local manufacture and production.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this list…