Blinded by the Lite-Green

https://i1.wp.com/livingincinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/No-Impact-Man-OS-Large.jpg?resize=210%2C307Would it shock you to find out that even if we all adopted the No-Impact-Man lifestyle and created zero waste, and we even convinced our local businesses to recycle we’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.

Supra Duper, NHLV Gala, Veggie Conquest 3!

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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

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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VEGANIK: INTRODUCTIONS ARE IN ORDER

Vol. 1: I am Nik‘s 1st Blog. Allow me to introduce myself.

NikTerraceHey there. Nik Tyler here… I’m an actor, mixed media artist, writer, filmmaker, animal rights activist, vegan & newly-proclaimed “alkalarian”  who lives in LA and loves chillin’ with his creative friends, spending time with happy canines, watching indie cinema in empty art house theaters, sauntering down the street to an electric iPod beat, dreaming at the ocean, grubbing alkaline food, cooking gourmet meals for vegan girls late at night… No, this isn’t my online dating profile, I promise.This is my first official blog… ever. I’m stoked and honored to be making my cyber-world blogging debut on the prestigious Discerning Brute.  One of the things I value most about the internet is our ability to easily and openly exchange ideas, information and knowledge by the simple click of a mouse and the rhythmic percussion of our keyboards. The Discerning Brute symbolizes that place where ethical gents can go to get a daily dose of new, interesting, mind-expanding insight, advice and knowledge on how to improve their lives and become even more compassionate towards all living beings (including themselves). What could be better than that?

So, in the spirit & hopes of sharing cool, ethical experiences, new-findings, off-the-beaten path advice, gourmet vegan-alkaline recipes/meals, lip-smacking-drool-inducing culinary pictures, and some other random-but cool-related topics I haven’t yet conjured up, I’d like to offer you a free ticket that will never expire, on the ride of my life… There is no height requirement for this roller-coaster, all you need is a computer, open eyes, open mind and an open heart.

I’ve Been Shot!
My first bit of advice is an easy enough habit to start, and it packs an energy punch that kicks caffeine’s ass. I’m beginning everyday with a shot of Chlorophyll – you can’t OD on this awesome stuff – it’s derived from high quality alfalfa leaves and is imperative to the process of photosynthesis. The brand that I really dig is World Organic Chlorophyll. It tastes great and you feel the energy surging through your body immediately. You can pick up a bottle of this green goodness at any Whole Foods, neighborhood co op, healthfood store or at several online retailers.
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Stay Tuned for more from Nik Tyler!

55 Bottle Bags, Marshmallow Ghosts & New Laws

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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.