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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarianism’

Apparently I am really into talking about vegetarianism today. I can live with that!

Stella

Now, let me begin by talking about The Beatles. I have always loved John Lennon. Then, I read the new biography by Philip Norman.  Not only was it not well-written, but I no longer care much for John Lennon. I didn’t mean to, but it happened. Yoko was right when she said the book is not kind to John. Obviously a brilliant, interesting dude. But as a good, decent person, I now pretty much love only Ringo. And, maybe Paul. This is troubling. The way I look at the world, it is changing. Paul was always, hey, great, but after the Beatles? Hmm.

But now he’s starting to really make some headway in my heart. This morning, feeling grouchy, I saw this profile of Stella McCartney at The Guardian. I didn’t expect to be interested, but since there’s a new void in my life (ha) which is aching for a new Beatle to adore, I had to check it out. And! Paul! Your daughter is kinda super cool!

I mean, we all know she’s a vegetarian and a fashion designer who doesn’t use leather or fur in her clothing collections. Cool enough. But as a person, she is also apparently neat-o. I was first impressed by bits like the following, where she talks about the efforts she makes to live sustainably, but also acknowledges that she is able to do so because of her wealth. I like that. Nothing enrages me like the rich imploring the desperately poor to take up the environment as a cause. Anyway, rants aside:

“We use Ecotricity at the studio and at home. We have biodegradable corn shopping bags. We use a hybrid car company when we need to get taxis. I’m obsessed with not chucking away food. I’m lucky enough to have a gardener, so we grow sweetcorn, tomatoes, beetroots, cabbages, pumpkins, lettuce. I’m trying to get into blanching it and freezing so I don’t have to buy veg over the winter, but then you need loads of freezers, and that’s not ideal . . . I don’t fly nearly as much as I used to, although that’s as much about having kids and not wanting to be away as it is about principle.”

I like how she’s thinking things out. Yes, it’s great to freeze stuff, but then there’s the issue with freezers. She tries not to fly as much, but she acknowledges that it’s not solely out of a desire to be eco-friendly, but it’s also because she has kids. She has a gardener, but knows that’s extremely a-typical. Then she points out her ability to make quality, cruelty-free clothing relied on having an incredible amount of support to fall back on.

“The greatest luxury of having the parents I had was that it has enabled me not to have to compromise. In the back of my mind, I always knew – if this all goes horribly wrong, I’ll be all right. That’s an option that most people just don’t have, financially.”

Then she just sounds out-right adorable.

“At Stella McCartney fashion shows, the show notes given to guests are prefaced with a page of dedications in her handwriting, almost always to “mum and dad”, as well as her husband and children…Later, at a tea party for editors, McCartney arranged a puppet show and low benches so that guests could bring their children; the hostess could be found perched at knee height, discussing the merits of Ben Ten with younger guests.”

I’m just a sucker for this shit. Sweet to kids. Vegetarian. Cruelty-free products. Concerned about the environment. Humble about acknowledging the fact that she’s able to do all this shit because she was born with immense privilege. Though I’m an immense advocate of public schools in pretty much every possible situation, I like that she wrestles with the question at the end of the interview and acknowledges she does her best but isn’t perfect and doesn’t know all the answers.  Best of all, in the most shallow of senses, she gives me lots of new reasons to think about why I should perhaps make Paul my favorite Beatle.

‘The way my parents brought me up to see the world is still absolutely key to what I am about…The beliefs I was raised with – to respect animals and to be aware of nature, to understand that we share this planet with other creatures – have had a huge impact on me. I was brought up to understand that we are all here on planet earth together. The idea of taking responsibility for what we take out of the earth . . . it’s not something we sat down and had lessons in; as a way of thinking it came quite naturally.’  The best piece of advice she was ever given, she tells me, was “do unto others as you would be done unto yourself. My mum and dad always said that and I don’t think you can go far wrong with that.’ From the viewpoint of today’s melting icecaps, the ethos of respect for nature in which the farm was steeped seems more prescient than far-out.

Alright Paul. Totally likable daughter who has completely awesome things to say about the way you raised her. It seems you might be in it to win it (my total utter devotion, I mean). After all, it’s hard to live without being nuts over at least one Beatle.

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Baltimore Gets It Done, 'It' Being Animal Rights and Healthy Eating. Not Football... Today, Anyway.

Baltimore Gets It Done, 'It' Being Animal Rights and Healthy Eating. Not Football... Today, Anyway.

I was driving on home today, listening to some NPR, when I heard this adorably terrific story. Adorable because I love Baltimore. Terrific because I love seeing vegetarianism being promoted. Together, it means I just love Baltimore even more.

Tony Geraci, the Food and Nutrition Director in Baltimore, would like to see Baltimore kids eating less junk food, and more of things that aren’t quite as… you know, invented in a lab with all sorts of sugar involved, or things which didn’t have lots of hormones pumped into them. So far there’s been a lot of effort to bring in more Maryland-grown produce. Now, Baltimore has started having Meatless Mondays. They are, I believe, the first school system to do so in the nation. That’s fucking right. It wasn’t San Francisco, or somewhere in New England, or Montgomery County. I love those places. But I am really excited that Baltimore did it first. It reminds me of why they paint “Greatest City in America” all over those benches.

It’s just utterly thrilling. They’re exposing 80,000 kids to healthy choices. They’re providing them with information about why what we eat matters, and why the method in which we grow and/or raise our food is important. This is happening in a city in which poverty and unhealthy eating is an epidemic. People in Park Heights cannot afford to go to Whole Foods even if there was one nearby. At the very fucking least, children can have something healthier offered to them besides burgers and whatever that stuff they put on pizza is, since God knows it’s not actually sausage or pepperoni. Yeah, Baltimore. Yeah.

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