Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Not About You

I have had a couple of attempts at becoming a Vegetarian. I am completely convinced that we need to dramatically reduced our meat consumption. The two most compelling reasons for me are environmental sustainability, (the amount of food needed to produce meat) and the horrors of factory farming. I am not vegetarian.

The push back I have is that it is not that relevant if I, Trevor Black, am a vegetarian. It is very relevant if the 7.5 Billion people on the planet are eating too much meat. The minute I put myself on the moral high ground and start preaching to others that they too should do what I am doing, my experience has been that defence mechanisms kick in. Whatever the issue.

We are nudged. We move from where we are, not from where others want us to be. The best form of judgement, in my experience, is when someone who likes me and is on my side says, 'do you think we are doing this wrong?'

The same is true of the other messy issues we are working on. I am not a fan of pitch fork attacks on individuals who get it wrong. If someone gets it wrong, we have gotten it wrong. Whether the issues is racism, privilege, sexism, homophobia, intolerance or any of the other ills we perceive in others. It is amazing, for example, how in South Africa (which is fundamentally a very religious, conservative society) someone who is very aware of race and gender issues can still be homophobic. Someone who is liberal can still be unaware of their privilege. A feminist can still be racist.

There is a push for 'personal' experience and to speak from your perspective. From your 'lived experience'. While we can only see things from our perspective, we would do well to own all our challenges.

If you live in a racist society, and you are not racist, well... it's not about you. 

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