One of the main tenets of ecofeminism is the burden which society puts on the earth. Humans essentially insist that animals and nature are there for the taking, and can be used an oppressed to enrich or assist their lives. The main concept of which is closely linked to the treatment of women through the ages. Many animals are raised for the sole purpose of providing food and meat to their communities. While this may be a good thing on this small scale, it gets much worse when animals are used for mass consumption. They are confined in unhealthy and sometimes painful environments, being fed hormones so they can provide us milk and other products, until they are eventually executed.
My overall goal for this project is to do what I personally can to lessen theburden on the environment by making a few small changes to my lifestyle, that I could potentially stick with long term. My idea is to attempt a vegan/vegetarian diet for one week, as well as reduce my use of plastics. Due to my own dietary needs and health concerns, I’m afraid I can’t implement a full vegan diet, so I wanted to add an extra element to make this project worthwhile. I drink a lot of water, and usually use many disposable plastic bottles. I’ve regretted this for some time, but haven’t yet made the step to take accountable change. As we’ve read in our coursework, pollution is a huge problem on our planet, with much of our unrecycled garbage ending up in our waterways. This can affect the lives and well-being of women and children around the world, as they rely on clean water in order to feed and clean their families.
I always recycle and am adamant about recycling every product that I can. But I feel that is the only part of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra that I focus on. So, I am going to further explore the “reduce/reuse” elements of this! Each morning, I grab a coffee on the way into work. This comes in a plastic cup, and I typically get it with skim (cow’s) milk. For the next week, I will plan on changing my order to include almond milk, and bringing one of my own reusable straws. If I forget, then I will drink the coffee without a straw. Throughout the week, I plan to brainstorm a way to reduce my usage of the plastic cup it comes in. On days that I may go out to eat, I will order drinks that are only served in a reusable glass, and will forego a straw, or bring a reusable collapsible straw.
Making vegan & vegetarian changes may be a little more challenging. Aside from the change to almond milk in my coffee, I plan to reduce my use of dairy and meats in my daily meals. I typically eat a lot of turkey and chicken, with the occasional steak or hamburger. I plan to focus on plant based dishes, and asking for cheeses to be removed from sandwiches I have made (I’m a big sandwich person!). I do love veggie burgers, so I plan to make one of those for dinner this week. I usually have cheese on any kind of burger, so this will be a new challenge to find something to replace that, or to try foods without this ‘safety net’. I love cheese, so I’m interested to see how this works out!
As for the achievement or affect I expect to have, I realize that over the course of 7 days, the impact one person might have is not huge, but it will be something. At the very least, there will be one less person using that straw, or buying meat, or eating cheese. I understand there might be health benefits as well, and I want to see how I feel after doing this for one week. Cutting the calories down from eating cheese or using alternative types of milk will be a plus, but I don’t plan on counting calories for the basis of this project. As well, I’m sure I will talk to people about it during the course of the week, so it could possibly get others to rethink their use of plastics, or use almond milk for the first time. I will record what I eat and do each day to see how well I stuck with my plan, and my feelings on doing so. I will attempt to count how many pieces of plastic I could have used and did not, and report on how well I think I could keep this activism going beyond this course.