Blinded by the Lite-Green

October 27, 2009

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https://i1.wp.com/livingincinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/No-Impact-Man-OS-Large.jpgWould it shock you to find out that even if you adopted the No-Impact-Man lifestyle and created zero waste, and you even convinced your local businesses to recycle you’d only, at the most, impact waste by 3% ? What if you discovered that 90% of all water used was coming from agriculture and industry and that taking longer showers really has minimal effects on water consumption? I tell you one thing, I’d shift my focus from turning the water off while I brushed my teeth to stopping the largest offenders. Any strategist would tell us the same thing: when it comes to saving the environment from “ourselves”, a lot of us are wasting our good intentions on a misguided idea that it is truly ourselves (individual “consumers”) who are ultimately responsible for these problems. Ideas and films like No Impact Man shift focus away from the real causes of global environmental crisis and allow industry and government to slide by, unnoticed.

The truth is so much scarier, and it’s easy to see why we have retreated to personal solutions; it’s easier to change a light-bulb than bring a multinational corporation or the military to its knees. So in the end, while we can all pat ourselves on the back from a puritanical perspective, many of us are just running around doing a lot of nothing under the impression we’ve used our time and energy wisely. I was so offended when I first looked into this. I didn’t want to believe that all that effort I made in my personal lifestyle choices were ultimately having very little impact on the problem at large. I didn’t want to admit that my efforts would be better leveraged in other areas.

Lite Green is the most mainstream, most digestible, and most corporate-friendly incarnation of the environmental movement (if you even want to call it that). Bright Green, with celeb advocates like Adrian Grenier, proclaim that, sure, you can drive your H2 through the McDonald’s drive-through, so long as you remember to bring your canvas bag and reusable coffee mug. It’s the movement that allows us to believe the contradiction that we can buy our way out of the hugest crises we face. Bright Green is so bright it’s blinding people to the real problems. In his August 2009 article for Orion Magazine, “Forget Shorter Showers” Author, Derrick Jensen asks:

WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?

Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But did you notice that all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet? Even if every person in the United States did everything the movie suggested, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by only 22 percent. Scientific consensus is that emissions must be reduced by at least 75 percent worldwide.

The values of conserving, reusing, and protecting what’s left are amazing, but if we are to solve the ecological and social problems we face, they must be brought their their logical conclusions. This is not a call to stop caring or to stop living simply with more compassion – it’s a call to shift focus away from what industry wants us to focus on – buying more stuff that’s labeled “green” and filling our days with behavioral rules. Let’s not confuse personal choices and social change or political revolution. Let’s start with reclaiming our time and energy and shifting our focus to the real problems, getting together, and doing something about it.

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Supra Duper, NHLV Gala, Veggie Conquest 3!

October 19, 2009

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Discerning Brute Contributor, Troy Farmer points us to the new Holiday ‘09 Vegan Pack from Supra Footwear – featuring the Dixon, Thunder Lo, Thunder and the Diablo 1.5,  wearing 100% canvas uppers and done up in a variety of colorways. thunder / s38005blk

2009 GalaCome party with me at the New York League of Humane Voters Gala in NYC on November 12 at six o’clock in the evening at the famous Prince George Ballroom, 15 E. 27th Street (between Madison & Fifth Avenues). Featuring Keynote speaker NYS Governor David A. Paterson.

Celebrity guests include GirlieGirl Army’s Chloe Jo Berman, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary founders Jenny Brown and Doug Abel, “Super Size Me” co-star and author Alex Jamieson,  ”Discerning Brute” Joshua Katcher, author & political guru Julie Lewin, world-renowned artist Peter Max, ”Bizarro” comic creator Dan Piraro, rapper Princess Superstar, actress and author Ally Sheedy, singer/songwriter Rachel Trachtenburg, CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell and ”Whale Wars” star Captain Paul Watson.

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I will be your Emcee!

Don’t miss your chance to buy tickets to the 3rd Veggie Conquest! Or enter to be a competitor! Conquest 1 and 2 were completely sold out, and this one should be even better! Please get your tickets early. THEY WILL SELL OUT!! You must buy your tickets here.

Veggie conquest 3 will take place at Not Fade Away Gallery, in Union Square, NYC. They will have a very special second course at VC#3. Match Meats has shipped our volunteers a whole freezer full of vegan meats to try.


Dress your head with recycled thread

October 16, 2009

Finding stylish, non-wool winter hats that have little impact on the environment is a tough gig. Thankfully, American Apparel has a new line of recycled cotton/acrylic winter hats! In addition, they are making recycled knit ties. Knitted ties are great for wearing in a casual setting. If you can’t find it at the thrift store, which are typically chock-full of them, this is a great option.
Check them out at americanapparel.com $16 – $26

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And if you want to keep bleach, dioxin, and other toxins away from your boys, don’t forget American Apparel has a great line of organic cotton undies, and tees too!

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55 Bottle Bags, Marshmallow Ghosts & New Laws

October 14, 2009

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Check this gorgeous “Kenner” bag from Matt & Nat, made from 100% recycled materials. Get it now at mattandnat.com for $255

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Sweet & Sara is Perfect for Halloween! The scariest thing about most marshmallows is that they are made of the boiled hooves, cartlige, skin and tendons from animals. Boo!

But guess what? These fluffy spirits from Sweet & Sara are made of their 100% vegan vanilla marshmallow, with chocolate detailing. We can’t wait to see what else they come up with. I heard a rumor about vegan peeps!

Progress Made: Two New Laws to Protect Farm Animals

Thanks to Farm Sanctuary, The Michigan Humane Society, and The Humane Society of the United States Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill which will ban tail docking by the California dairy industry and Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan has just signed legislation to ban cruel battery cages, gestation crates and veal crates in her state. California is the first state to ban the tail docking of dairy cows. Michigan is now the second state to ban battery cages, following the example set by California last year with the passage of Proposition 2. It is also the fifth state to ban veal crates and the seventh to ban gestation crates.


400 lbs Ago: The Philip McCluskey Story

October 13, 2009

by contributor Philip McCluskey

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I’m a sexy guy. I’ve fallen in love with myself, because I am a beautiful, sexy, gorgeous man. I feel like I can say that without worrying that my ego needs to be checked at the door . . . Because I used to be 400lbs.

See, I’ve been overweight my entire life, starting as a “cute” chubby little kid, all the way to morbidly obese and not so cute in my twenties. I tried every fad diet, fasting program and fancy gym equipment there was. Nothing worked. I was still overweight and I still despised myself. It wasn’t until I chose a raw vegan lifestyle and to begin practicing self-adoration that my life became amazingly sexy, full and alive.BeforePhilip
It was the living food and the way it helped start the kickass circle of falling in love with ME. I felt better as I was losing weight like crazy, so I liked myself more. As I began to like myself more, I started positive affirmations in front of mirrors and I smiled even when I didn’t feel like it. Sometimes I felt self-conscious but I kept adoring myself, or at least working on it. And now. . . I think I’m the sexiest piece of raw vegan “meat” out there.

Eating raw living uncooked organic vegan food (veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds) was just the beginning. It led to so many other changes, as I began respecting and caring for the planet, becoming eco-conscious, thinking about the present moment, letting go of control, exercising and actually enjoying it, learning to trust and adventuring in the outside world, feeling like a kid again and yet becoming fully a man that I love and actually really admire.

AfterPhilip

So my goal was really always to become half the man I was. . . And through self-love and the best raw vegan food ever, I did.

Now about that food! Here’s my favorite sexy salad recipe that is easy to make with whatever you have on hand, can be put in a heaping man-sized bowl, and is as spicy and flavorful as you can handle.

Salad

  1. Rip up one head of greens (kale, farmer’s market lettuce, dandelion, wild mesclun, go crazy and think outside the iceberg lettuce box)
  2. Add 1 avocado, pitted and mashed
  3. Throw in any sliced raw veggies you want, whatever is local and in season is best for the planet and for your body. I think my favorite additions this time of year are the last of the delicious sungold tomatoes, I just add a handful or two whole.
  4. Rip up a bunch of dulse, add some kelp powder, soaked wakame, hijiki, sprinkles of blue green algae or the incredible sparkly crystal manna. . .get those superfoods from the sea!
  5. Add whatever other flavorings and seasons you want: nutritional yeast, raw nuts/seeds (I’m addicted to hemp seeds), Bragg’s Amino Acids, Himalayan Sea Salt, cayenne pepper, chipotle, even a little raw nut-cheese every now and then. . .the whole idea is to play, experiment, mash it up and dig in.

Eat and be sexy.

Philip McCluskey
www.lovingraw.com


Every Meal is Illuminated

October 12, 2009

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Over the weekend, the New York Times “Food Issue” featured the ingenious Jonathan Safran Foer’s (“Everything Is Illuminated”) article “Against Meat“. This article is adapted from his coming book, “Eating Animals,” which will be published in November. You can read an interview with him about the project here. Thanks to our friends at Dawnwatch for pointing this out!

Eating Animals

Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood-facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child’s behalf-his casual questioning took on an urgency  His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong. Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, memoir and his own detective work, Eating Animals explores the many fictions we use to justify our eating habits-from folklore to pop culture to family traditions and national myth-and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting. Marked by Foer’s profound moral ferocity and unvarying generosity, as well as the vibrant style and creativity that made his previous books, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, widely loved, Eating Animals is a celebration and a reckoning, a story about the stories we’ve told-and the stories we now need to tell. – Amazon.com

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Ethical Exploits Vol.4: California Dreamin’

October 9, 2009

Day-to-day choices for the ethically handsome man
By Matt Lara

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Where the Wild Photos Are: BABOONS IN PROFILE, AMBOSELI 2007

While everyone was checking out wild fashion at NYC Fashion Week, I was moving out to the wild, wild west known as Los Angeles. My first excursion out of the world of unpacking and back into the world of enjoyment was a visit to the Fahey/Klein Gallery to see A Shadow Falls by photographer Nick Brandt. Little did I know that a fun afternoon trip would turn out to be a private audience with the photographer himself! I was astonished to hear him explain that it was the gorgeous African wildlife that originally drew him in, and that this was the best way for him to honor it. The work is also available as a book. An excerpt from the introduction:

“For me, every creature on this planet has an equal right to live. Whether human being, Serengeti elephant, or factory farm cow. That is why I take these photographs. I hope that maybe you will see these animals, these non-humans, in the way that I do—as not so very different from us.”

App Happy:

According to a friend of mine, I have finally joined the “evil empire” with the purchase of my new iPhone. After figuring out picture-texting and voice activation, I sought out some of the more useful apps for healthy and compassionate ladies and germs:

Vegan Yum Yum has fantastic recipes from their blog, some with photos. I like how you can check off ingredients, which is helpful while in the grocery store.

Dirty Produce from the Environmental Working Group is a quick list of the most highly sprayed crops for when it’s difficult to find all organic produce.

Thanks to Chloe at GirlieGirlArmy for Be Nice To Bunnies which lists companies that test their products on animals. So helpful in those giant drug store aisles.

Whole Foods also has a nice app full of recipes I have been flipping through. They are arranged by category including vegan and gluten-free dishes.

Stir Crazy
Okay, I am still learning how to make astounding dishes a la Joshua Katcher (the DB himself). For now, I am a fan of the “dump-and-stir” recipe. This one looks, feels, and tastes special every time I stir-and-serve it. Therefore, I make it often:

Lemony Chickpea Tofu Stir Fry, and Stay tuned for more crazy stirring…

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A Real Food Day


A few days after my big move I grabbed lunch with the man behind those naughty candles over at A Scent of Scandal, Ari Solomon. We laughed and chewed for quite a while over some wonderful dishes at Real Food Daily in West Hollywood. According to his recommendation, I am to come back and stuff myself with their nachos with melted cashew-cheddar cheese. That is after my next stop, the brand-new Veggie Grill on Sunset Boulevard!

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Now that I’m pretty much all moved, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a good living space and a good day-job. I’ll keep you posted! If anyone out there has any tips, questions, or suggestion about living Ethically Handsome on the West Coast, please leave me a comment below!