Monday, May 07, 2007

The Motivation for the No China Diet

Jordan asked if I could write more about the No China Diet, which I planned too, so I've very quickly penned a post on the motivation behind it. I'll write more later.

I've noticed that many of us in the United States, including myself, function much more as consumers than as citizens. And we are encouraged to be this way.

Sure, I vote when it's convenient (though I vote absentee).

Sure, I write my congressfolks at least once a month, if not more.

Sure, I go to public meetings at least a couple times a year, if not more.

Sure, I stopped eating meat twenty years ago out of a belief that I couldn't contribute to a system that commodified animals.

But other than vegetarianism, which to me is political, the other experiences are exceptions in a larger life in which I produce products and consume products. Over and over again.

And most, if not all, of the things I consume are from China, a country with an abominable record of human rights, animal torture, environmental issues of all sorts, and intellectual property theft.

The motivation for the No China diet is to move beyond my current level of citizenry to a place where I have politicized what I buy. And on a very basic level, as someone who is self-employed, who often has to nag and cajole people to pay her, I know that my dollars matter to me, and I can't support the regime in China. I just can't.