As most of the few people who may read this blog know, my main business is running a small graphic design firm. I’ve followed the same career path since I graduated college in 1991, each job getting me closer to this one. When I went to school, I didn’t know anything about getting a graphic design degree, it just was so perfectly aligned with what I liked to do- a useful and practical form of art and communication. Making money doing what I loved was a natural fit and I have never wanted to do anything else. The types of projects, variety of work and types of clients we have now are exactly what I enjoy most.
Despite all this, I felt there was something missing. A greater meaning to what I am contributing to the world (beyond selling wine if you can imagine). I believe I now know what I am meant to be doing, and how I should be using my time and skills.
I needed WDS to kick my butt and push me to break out of my comfort zone and take some risks. I know that I want to use illustration and design to communicate the issues and challenges that our food choices create for the environment, animals and our health. Most importantly, the future our children will face. Instead of making excuses, I will start somewhere. I’m posting 3 resolutions here to keep me accountable.
1. I’m creating a new website for this venture, and will launch it by September 1st, 2013.
2. I will start on August 1st illustrating concepts each day from a book I found especially meaningful. There may be some illustrations that will take several days. The most important thing is that I work on it every single day.
At the conference, there was a lot of talk about fear and doubt, and how to overcome it. What am I afraid of? At first I didn’t know. But, I think it is rooted in the fact that I don’t like confrontation, I don’t want to go against the grain. I definitely don’t want to come across as a smug evangelist. However, this means so much to me, and is about so much more than me, that I am going to have to move ahead regardless.
I’m admitting it, I care about being unpopular, causing discomfort, making people defensive. Possibly losing clients. I’m not a rebel, I don’t even have a tattoo or a piercing. (-;
Rather than take an all or nothing stance as to how we can make this world better, it would be better for more people to be taking whatever steps they can and move towards a more sustainable future, than a small percentage of people who follow every rule.
That brings me to the 3rd resolution. I’m going to start hosting meatless dinners at my house on a regular basis. I need to really plan how that will happen, but possibly I will have Meatless Sundays as a way to try different recipes and make it more appealing and social.
I hope you’ll continue to follow along, and knowing that, help me keep my motivation. I have bought my ticket to the next WDS to challenge myself to have my new project in full swing before July 2014.
Have a wonderful summer and see you soon!
I just returned from Seattle to see my family there. While I was there, we went to the Bite of Seattle. I was so disappointed at how difficult it was to find good veggie options. I would say 80% of the carts had a meat focus, 18% were desserts and drinks. The only true veggie carts I saw, was the roasted corn ones. Good, but hardly a whole meal. I am counting carts as meat-focused if for example, like the Yakisoba one- it features pork and chicken, as the main entrees and the only veg option is noodles only. Rather than a tofu and vegetable choice.
During my visit, I saw my very good friend (we’ve known each other almost 30 years!) who gave me the encouragement to keep posting, and keep talking about this. I do feel like this is an unpopular subject, and sometimes futile. However, I want to try to make a difference, and will do what I can to help a situation that each of us actually does have some control over. It’s just facing a reality that is different that what we are used to.
I know that change is coming, but it is disheartening to see how far the needle needs to shift. This article just came out a month ago from a popular British magazine. If this information is to believed, and I have never read anything that refutes this, this is extremely important.
Here are some key points I pulled out (bolded words are mine):
World hunger: We could eliminate the worst cases of world hunger with about 40 million tonnes of food. And it would be easy enough to find: nearly 20 times that amount of grain, 760 million tonnes, is fed to animals on factory farms every single year.
Environmentally devastating: The United Nations reports that the meat industry is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”.
Producing 1 calorie of animal protein requires more than 11 times as much fossil fuel as producing 1 calorie of plant protein.
It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat requires only 25 gallons.
Economically harmful: if we do not reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, it will take less than 40 years for climate change to cause up to a 20 per cent drop in the world’s gross domestic product.
Skyrocketing healthcare costs: …attributable in large part to the increase in human consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products.
Animal suffering: the meat, dairy and egg industries cause immense suffering to more than a billion animals every year in the UK alone.
This doesn’t address the antibiotics concern, or the impact on the oceans, or the massive amounts of waste. There are so many articles like this, published by the United Nations, and unbiased sources. Theses are facts. It is NOT sustainable. We may make it through unscathed for the most part, but our children definitely will not.
Whether you eat meat or don’t eat meat, we have a lot in common. Rather than focus on what is right or wrong in choices to eat meat, let’s focus on a very harmful industry.
Factory farming is out of control. It is bad for local farmers, it is bad for consumers, bad for the environment, and of course it is bad for animals.
If you want to eat meat, you don’t want diseased animals who have been fed antibiotics their whole lives because of the conditions they are raised in, who have been treated in ways that people would go to jail for if they treated a family pet. Fact: 50% of all antibiotics manufactured in the US are poured directly into animal feeds. Our bodies will become resistant to treatment to these life-saving drugs. The profit goes to drug companies ($450 million a year) and the factory farms.
If the idea of being vegetarian, or vegan is way too extreme for you, start by cutting back on your meat intake. If you can try not adding meat to dishes, using vegetable broth instead of chicken or beef broth, and try the veggie sausages or meat substitutes in meals.
I’ll post more soon, just know that we ALL really can be on the same page with factory farming.