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March 24, 2014 | by  | in Features Homepage |
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What Kind of Environmentalist Are You?

1. Children are:
A) A demographic that a very specific restraining order prevents me from getting within 50 feet of (it was nothing weird, I swear: I just got a tiiiny bit overenthusiastic in a ball-fight at a McDonald’s playground).
B) Nefarious Devil-Spawn, though occasionally kind of cute I guess.
C) The Future.

2. You’ve just eaten a meal at a French restaurant. What is your response?
A) That foie-gras-stuffed veal is by universal accord the best goddamn meal ever ingested by man.
B) Delicious, but much too expensive; I’ll stick with Burger Fuel next time, thanks.
C) You wouldn’t be caught dead in a restaurant that contributes to the subjugation of animals; Aunty Mena’s Vegetarian and Vegan is more your bag thankyouverymuch.

 3. How often do you shower/bathe?
A) As often as I like. My most pressing concern when it comes to showers is why my farts smell worse in them.
B) Once, maybe twice a day. I need my relaxation time, and sometimes I just can’t help zoning out.
C) The ocean exists for a reason.

4. You get to University by:
A) Driving. My Hummer. Which is Powered by orca tears. After taking a detour to Red Rocks to run over some seals. Which I do after buying a coffee… IN A TAKEAWAY.
B) I bus, but mostly out of convenience.
C) I walk/sleep at Uni anyway.

 5. Do you have a vege garden?
A) The only good garden is a salted one.
B) A Vege Garden? Frankly, I’m more of a Hoegaarden person myself LMAO.
C) Anything I don’t eat from my vege garden I noisily expel an hour afterwards (except for the odd cheeky pizza; five dollars at Pizza Hut, who can resist?)

6. What do you prefer to wipe yourself with?
A) Specially imported tiger-fur exclusively.
B) Any kind of toilet paper that’s convenient and cheap, although making one-ply illegal should be mandated by law.
C) The ocean exists for a reason.

7. Where do your thoughts lie when it comes to recycling?
A) Who can be fucked? Pretty sure it doesn’t matter anyway.
B) I’ll recycle when I can, though I won’t take assiduous pains to.
C) My belief in the good of recycling and reusing materials extends to feasting on the placentas of newborns.

8. And what about nature?
A) Survival of the fittest, man – if the ice floes can’t handle the heat, they should get out of the kitchen. And if whales are dumb enough to beach themselves or get caught in our refuse do they really deserve to coexist with us? BRUTES.
B) I think nature is gorgeous, animals splendid, and the toll taken on it by mankind is awful, but, like, what am I supposed to do about it?
C) I am one with nature and have transcended to a plain ineffable to mere humans. I am fluent in marine mammal.

Take a look around you, y’chump. Quality of life is diminishing for animals, flora and fauna throughout the globe, global warming is nearing peak levels, Venice will be submerged by 2050, and just last year, x creatures went extinct – the writing is on the wall. Here in New Zealand, meanwhile, the Kiwi population is at a perilously low level, and The Listener write about the unsustainability of our agricultural system every slow news week without fail – most doctors’ offices bear requisite decade-old copies, so you have no excuse. It’s about time you took an interest in ways to be ecologically sound and to preserve the planet’s beauty and biosphere, if not for the next generation, then for you. Studies have confirmed a correlation between poorer health and environmental degradation, and many scientists predict that the price of food will increase as resources become more scarce. PS farts smell worse in the shower ‘cos water and methane are both coagulators and, when mixed, the potency of both increases while the water acts as a conduit. This, along with the importance of a sustainable environment, you could’ve learned in a Science class had you bothered to show up.

This is the option that I most closely align with. You want to help, and you’re very aware of the disadvantageous effects of pollution and industrialisation on the environment, but you won’t go out of your way to help the environment. This is understandable, but myopic. I know it’s hard, and that you have a billion things to do on the daily, but we’ve reached a stage where doing the bare minimum will no longer suffice. By adhering to the status quo, we’re on a path to certain catastrophe, and I mean I liked Mad Max as much as anyone but the reality of it wouldn’t be pleasant for effete and weak boys like me. So, if only for my sake, take shorter showers, pick up a bit of rubbish on the street, buy environmentally sustainable where possible, and get invested in cleaning up New Zealand. Venting your ire on hapless politicians is always fun too.

I would say, “Give yourself a laudatory pat on the back!” but I suspect you do that at every half-available opportunity already – as the joke goes: “How can you tell if someone is Vegan? They tell you.” That said, don’t get too self-congratulatory yet. While the environment is undoubtedly important, and the efforts you make to salvage it are commendable, don’t act like your shit don’t stink – not only is sanctimony tiresome but it’s misplaced. It’s important to remember that without social initiatives undertaken concurrently with environmental ones, you’re essentially entrenching privilege – it costs more to be ecologically friendly, and for many people that luxury just isn’t available. Focussing on the environment while there are children in New Zealand starving comes across as just the teensiest bit disingenuous, and you have to ensure that the future looks bright for all the children – not just the white middle-class ones. On the other hand, I’m probably just bitter that you’re more morally sound than I am. Kudos I guess, although it wouldn’t hurt to undreadlock your hair and wash it occasionally. Hippy.


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