I’m writing to share a huge success story. A larger success than I ever imagined. Last year, 400 million fewer animals were killed in the U.S. than in 2007. That’s more lives saved in America than there are American citizens.
As a vegan I would love to take credit. But it’s not just vegans and vegetarians; in fact it’s not even mostly us. Most of those lives were spared by people who are simply eating less meat. It’s a known trend that as societies get wealthier they demand more animal products, but that trend is being reversed in the U.S. Continue reading →
There is no shortage of Pagans willing to make their world a better place. There is a shortage of practical how-to manuals that can show us how to do this work. Whenever I share a story or a statement about something that I believe needs the attention of my community, I’m often met with a worried or even cynical face that says, “But how???”
I don’t have perfect answers, but I have woven in and out of different grass-roots activist causes over the years and now I work full-time for an institution that equips faith leaders for social justice work. I made the list below in hopes it might help a few willing people get started!
The Pagan Activist Starter Kit: If you can acquire these things, you are good to go!
1.) A local cause and concrete goal
“Think globally! Act locally!” It may sound cliché, but it works. No one person can collect all the carbon emissions from the atmosphere, but one person can push a local initiative to enforce stricter fuel emission standards in their state. For years, it infuriated me that same-sex marriage was not legal in most of the country. Federal battles take years and most often respond to the will of the states. I couldn’t force fifty states to do what I want, but I could work to force my own state of New York to get on it! Once gay marriage was attained in New York, many other states followed suit. The country I live in is one step closer to being the one I want to live in because these states allow same-sex marriage.
Months ago I wrote here on Pagan Activist, calling out Pagans who used styrofoam and plastic cups during ritual. I also frequently post environmental sustainability topics on my Facebook wall. A lot of people use ad hominem attacks against me in those instances, ie, “How can you talk, you drive a car.” “You can’t say that, your laptop has plastic in it,” etc.
One person even said that, because I use toilet paper, I should not tell people that they should reduce their use of paper products.
Ad hominem is a logical fallacy, meaning, it attacks the person, rather than their argument. And, though my own use of resources does not invalidate my call for us Pagans to live more sustainably, I think it’s also worth being transparent about my own use of environmental resources, as well as explore some ways we can continue to reduce our use. This includes where I have worked to reduce my environmental footprint, and where I could do better.
If we call ourselves Earth-centered, how do we do that without being hypocrites?