What do I mean, ethics in the ‘real world’?

Well, for starters, my ‘real world’ is not the same as everyone elses. A lot of what I term ethical dilemmas could, fairly, be recategorised as ‘first world problems’ (thanks to whomever came up with that meme, PURE genius!). For example – there are many, many places in the world, including this beautiful green country of ours, where there can be no dilemma over what food to eat – you eat what you can, and you are grateful not to starve. Ditto with what clothes to wear, what products to buy, plant a garden, are you kidding? So on, and so forth.

I am very, very lucky, and well aware of it. While we are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination – well.. stretch it a bit more, and I think we are. There’s an old saying “if you have some money in a bank account, some money in your wallet, and a few coins somewhere in your house, you are in the top 1% of the worlds weathiest people”. So, yeah. Sobering. Because of this, I can be concerned about what I (and my family) eat, wear, do. I’ve been known to refer to myself as The Great New Zealand Worrier – for good reason!

I am not a vegetarian. I was for 4 years, then my lovely cousin V told me, gently, that I looked like a Simpsons character. Not enough iron makes you yellow, as it turns out. Whoops. Basically, I don’t have the time, money, nor knowledge to be a vegetarian. There is also lots of evidence (and more coming out…http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2096302/Prince-Charles-right-plants-really-communicate-another.html hehe) that plants may communicate with each other, feel pain etc etc. So, basically, as I can’t live off sunlight or Prana (wish I could!) I need to eat. I prefer not to eat red meat, but I do… so my aim is to eat plants/animals etc which have had a good life, and a humane (quick! Painless!) death, and be thankful.  This is an ongoing effort – to find where I can source these foodstuffs, and to afford them! So, I attempt to garden (veges, herbs, some flowers), I keep chickens for their eggs – and one day I’ll see if I can put my money where my mouth is, and eat my own chickens. Trouble is, I’m a REAL softy, and I hate killing things – any things.  The way I see it is that eating meat SHOULD be hard, it shouldn’t be just a lump of red in polystyrene, I should know the animal, grieve the animal, be happy it had a good life and good death. I can see me being vegetarian any day now hehe. But at least my kids will get good food! I buy organic, raw milk for my family, and I can source some and have made, and will make again, my own soft cheeses. Otherwise, honestly, I could not afford anything like what I am trying to do! (Raw milk from http://gorgefresh.co.nz/ – seriously nice people: very, very good milk. Happy cows!)

In terms of buying meat, as I currently do, I prefer to go to Eidelwiess Butchers in Feilding (http://www.edelweiss.co.nz/) – they do a lot of farmkill (no transport stress or waiting in the freezing works for the poor animals – seeing that is why I was a vegevore for 4 years!), and there is a great website which delivers free-range meats etc (http://www.rubyslist.co.nz/) – I can’t say how good they are, as I can’t afford it! But – one day – I’ll go shares with someone and make the delivery cheaper. 😀

I must also say, I can only try to be ethical when I’m awake. I nearly killed my rooster at 5.30am this morning, he decided crowing directly outside my window was a great idea. Well, I did let him out of the enclosure, but he stayed to cock-a-doodle-dooOOOO at me instead, and boy I was tempted. No ethics while sleeping, sorry. Luckily for him, I am much lazier than I am likely to get murderously angry, so he merely had some mean thoughts thrown his way.

If anyone out there struggles with similar thoughts, or has found great options for ethical living on a budget, in the real world, let me know your thoughts! In the meantime I’ll carry on, and share any ideas and finding I come up with – we’ll all get there, in the end. Be nice if we knew where ‘there’ was – in the meantime, onwards and.. er.. onwards! Have a lovely day!


Posted on February 18, 2012, in unCommon. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hi,
    I agree in that the disparity between realistic and idealistic can be a bit soul crushing at times. Especially when – as you say – there are financial and sourcing concerns as well as ethical.
    I personally believe that humans are designed to be omnivores, and yet it must be possible to source our food humanely (like you!).

    I’ve found that budgeting another few dollars towards brands like Freedom Farm meats (chicken and pork) mean I’m a lot happier about chowing down on some bacon when I have the craving. I believe Freedom Farms can be found in Woolworths and (maybe) Pak N Save.
    In terms of fish, keeping a eye on the approved sustainable maritime species list is a good idea (keep a eye on tuna – tinned tuna from Sealord often uses species that aren’t on the sustainable list).

    The only time I eat steak is when I’m out .. and this is where I fall down. I don’t know how to ask “hey Mr Waiter, is this meat ethically source?” without feeling like a right ponsy dork!

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