Progress: Activism

I haven’t attended any protests, or signed any petitions, or called my congressperson.  Yet.  That Climate Bill is before the Senate, and John Warner’s a sponsor- but the bill’s pretty weak, not going to go anywhere, and Warner’s retiring this year anyway (go go new Warner!).  So, no federal agitation here for now.  But I’ve been better about local stuff.  I now know who the mayor of Alexandria is, for instance, and I think I could recognize a couple of the members of the Environmental Planning Commission.  I’ll stay involved with the Eco-City planning.  And I’m on the lookout for local activities and organizations that advocate things.  I’d like to check out a CCAN meeting, if they have them. 

I’ve been looking for other local sustainability/earthluv blogs, too, and you’ve seen the new links go up.  The Green Miles is particularly close and topical- he’s over in Arlington, blogging the good fight.  If you know of any other region-specific pages I haven’t found yet, I’d love a link.

So, I didn’t become a serious activist this month.  But I’ve got an inkling of what kinds of activism I’d like to engage in, and a better understanding of who around here is setting a good example.  Fortunately, I’ve got the rest of my life to build on my tiny foundation, and eventually I’ll be waving signs and writing to the editor like the best of them.  And of course, voting Really Hard.

This month has been very effective in giving me a sense of shared place, though.  I’ve lived in Alexandria for two years, but I’ve felt like a squatter.  I work here, I go to school here, and I’m planning to go to graduate school here.  I’m hoping to buy a little place someday.  But only in the past month have I considered seriously taking root, connecting to Alexandria actively, and being that engaged citizen that the Founders were so on about.  Not that the Founders were huge fans of the concept of landless females as citizens, but as the world turns and all.

So I’ve at least wrapped my head around being an active member of the community, and that’s all right for now.  Maybe I’ll find a petition to sign soon.

For June, I’m going to get serious about eating less meat.  I’ve discussed it before, and I’ve made my rules: meat once a day, and red meat twice a month.  Last month, I was good about having meat once a day, but I broke the red meat twice a month rule.  I mean to say, I deliciously broke the red meat twice a month rule at a Memorial Day cookout.  And there was one iffy day, when I had seafood at lunch and chicken for dinner.  I’m not going to worry about seafood right now, though- I rarely eat it to begin with- and it’s got a whole different set of sustainability issues I need to examine carefully.

To kick off the month, here’s what I ate today:

Breakfast:  peanut butter sandwich

Lunch: Pasta with tomato sauce and some tofu fauxsage bits I was hoping to disguise the taste of

Late Lunch:  Ham Sandwich (with lots of vegetables and mustard), because I didn’t finish the pasta- tofu was not disguised well.

Dinner: Peanut butter sandwich, apple, cookies

Oh, goodness.  It would appear that records of my eating habits are most likely to make me appalled at myself, and to worry my mother.  Here’s hoping the month gets better.


4 Responses to “Progress: Activism”

  1. 1 michiko280 June 3, 2008 at 5:49 am

    Have you read “Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism” by Mark Hawthorne? It just came out this year and it’s a tremendous book, I highly recommend it.

    Here it is on Amazon if you’re interested:

    Also, have you read “The Ethics of What We Eat” by Peter Singer? I found after reading that book it became 10000X easier to eat less meat, because there were that many times more reasons not to. I recommend that book as well!

    Good luck!

  2. 2 millie June 3, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    My birthday present – In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan – defines food. Most of what you consumed was not what he would classify as such. The apple and maybe the vegetables counted –

    So yes, your mother is worried, but just a little.

  3. 3 TheGreenMiles June 3, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I’ve been eating way better since I got in the habit of hitting The Teet (Harris Teeter to you non-hip peeps) on Sunday night, buying a mess of organic vegetables, and pre-making a bunch of salads in tupperware containers. That way when I’m on the way out the door on weekday mornings (or lazy upon arriving home) I can just grab a salad (I keep a bottle of dressing at work). Note: do not attempt with cucumbers. They don’t hold up well.

  4. 4 virescent June 4, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Thanks for the suggestions, Michiko! I’ll look those up.

    I need to borrow that book from you to see what I can eat, mom. I read an article of his in the NYT a long time ago that advised to never eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food, so I’m trying to keep that in mind.

    Miles- Good call. Do the veggies keep all the way until Friday? I typically pack, also, but I need to bring two or three meals worth of food with me every day. I work a compressed schedule, so I can be there for 12 hours a day sometimes, when I hit the gym. I try to pack one or two pieces of fruit, a couple sandwiches or a pepper for snacks and breakfast, and something mealish for lunch and an early dinner, just in case- but I usually get hungrier than what I bring. Definitely a work in progress.

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