Can I save the world with my lifestyle choices?
It's a fair question in today's world. There was a recent situation where PETA wrote a letter to Amul, one of the biggest milk providers in India, and suggested that they switch to vegan options. But Amul wrote back and said it would affect the livelihoods of so many if they did so. We have to keep the world safe, but can it be at the cost of human livelihoods? A similar issue comes to mind when you talk about fishing, and conservation of the oceans. What about the livelihoods of the thousands of fishermen who depend on that work?
In most situations, yes, our lifestyle changes can make a difference, but not as much as a change in policies that support social justice, efficient governance, use of science to come up with creative solutions, and of course responsible consumption. There is a balance between the extremes of becoming vegan and exploiting the earth. There will always be the few that can make the sacrifices that come with becoming vegan, but for change to happen, we need most of us to make a change. Talking about (and practicing) sustainable consumption, pushing for fair practices in industries, choosing to buy from ethical brands, looking for scientific and innovative solutions and putting money behind them.. maybe these are the things that we must all do, and maybe if we all do them, we will make our world healthier for everyone.
And above all, let's not forget the poor fisherman, or the farmer in India, who has a few cows that help him earn a tiny bit of money. Let's figure out a way that works for the most vulnerable and the most marginalized people in our world.
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