Why I despise fundamentalism, even if it is “green”

Religious fundamentalism is inherently oppressive. I’ve spent much of my adult life battling against the oppression of the religious “leaders”, both Christian and Muslim, who oppose equal rights for the GLBT community and believe women’s place is in the kitchen and subservient to men.

But there is also a green (note small “g”) fundamentalism I equally despise. It is exemplified by this comment at frogblog:

have you ever considered that a vegan/vegetarian national mp…

..has more (personal) green/environmental-’integrity’ than a carnivorous green m.p..?

..food for thought..eh..?

Sorry, but I don’t think the weekly meal of organically grown pork I enjoy compares in any way to the environmental desecration the Nats will impose on us in their quest to maximise dairy profits by pouring cowshit into our streams and rivers, subsidise greenhouse gas pollution that will cause potentially catastrophic climate change, and destroy our environmentally sensitive ecosystems by mining the shit out of National Parks.

I agree that a vegetarian diet is the most ecologically sustainable diet. But give us omnivores a break.

The meme of that comment would also have us ban car use completely too, as well as animal farming, despite the fact that this would throw untold thousands of people out of work.

The authoritarian approach of people like Phil u who wrote that comment is one of the reasons the Green Party struggles to get political traction.

Most people don’t like being told from on high how they should live their lives. I have made a choice in the interests of sustainability to not own a car. Others make a choice to not eat meat. All Greens do our bit, and we should encourage others to do so.

But let’s not do the fundamentalist “I’m greener than thou” personal uptick or downtick number, and instead work together politically to enhance and protect our planet and its ecosystems.

2 thoughts on “Why I despise fundamentalism, even if it is “green”

  1. Totally agree with you there, Toad.

    It must be that I’m mellowing as my own personal system power-down continues, but the need to flame back at Phwoar Phil hasn’t been so strong lately. I’ve been doing a lot more sigh, shrug, groan and carry on to read something interesting.
    You remind me that we don’t just ignore comments like that to keep the peace, but that others regard our silence as consent with those opinions (however invalidly that regard is constructed).

    My least fav comment post these days runs along the lines of “you greens are spending to much energy on (x) when (y) is your core policy area, just stick to (y) and you won’t lose your loyal voters of yesteryear”. Generally from those who have never (obviously) read the charter, been to an electorate branch meeting, or even become a member at any stage. Tediouser and tediouser. Dear me, am I turning into a grumpy old man??? 😉

  2. I agree with the essence of what you’re saying, but in that context the commenter was unfortunately correct. 51% of all CO2 emissions are related to our diet. A year on a vegan diet saves 1.3m gallons of water and over 1m pieces of paper (reduced forest destruction). I agree that the “I’m Greener than you” bollocks is annoying and stupid, but when you weigh up the facts the reality is that if we don’t change our diets, it doesn’t matter how many light bulbs we change or hybrid cars we make. Our diet is the make or break factor in whether we can create a world where resources are shared equally and created sustainably or not.

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