Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Self-Consistency

I eat meat, despite knowing what the animals go through. I also understand that many of the products I consume are products that are at the expense of hard work and quasi-slavery of people in foreign countries. My clothes are probably made in sweatshops in the third world. Many of the foods I eat are possible because it's cheaper in terms of labour to have these products shipped in from overseas, and that's at the expense of natural wilderness. I indulge in pleasures like wine and scotch despite the costs of making such products, and I do love my computer and other such devices that the manufacturing and running costs are problematic for the environment. And not to mention all the time I've spent in planes, they're useful transport but at what cost?

Now I could take a stand against all of this. If by eating chocolate I'm promoting child slavery, then that does leave a bitter taste in my mouth. And the clothes I buy do mean that my prosperity is at the expense of people who are just trying to scrape together the ability to survive. And that my electricity and travel needs as well as the products I buy mean contributing to the problem of global warming is of greatest concern to me, I really don't like the fact that my existence is contributing to the destruction of the planet.

The way I see it is that I'm one giant hypocrite. Self-consistent in my hypocrisy, but a hypocrite nonetheless. The way I rationalise it away is that if I stopped all I was doing, it wouldn't do anything to alleviate the problem, so all I would be doing is depriving myself for the sake of feeling morally better. And I don't think I would feel better if my actions amounted to nothing more than at least trying to remove myself as one of the problems. It's hypocritical, yes, but at least it's consistent.

2 comments:

Intelligent Designer said...

Have you seen the movie No Impact Man? It has some interesting commentary on this subject.

Kel said...

I have not, but I'll track it down and give it a watch.

Thanks for the recommendation.