98% of the old-growth forests are gone; 99% of the prairies are gone; 80% of the rivers on this planet do not support life anymore. We are out of species; we are out of soil; and we are out of time. And what we are being told by most of the environmental movement is that the way to stop all of this is through personal consumer choices.

Lierre Keith

While I agree with the general sentiment of this statement–that bright green environmentalism, particularly in a strictly capitalism framework, is a pretty pathetic non-solution to sustainability issues–I wonder if she is mitigating the importance/necessity of politically-motivated personal choices (consumer or otherwise). How can we expect the whole wide world to change if we, as individuals and/in communities, can’t? How we can expect to stop war if we can’t get past, for example, petty workplace conflict? How can we expect to stop climate change if we can’t decrease our personal energy usage way more significantly than all the fluorescent lightbulbs in the world will allow? Does anyone even believe that revolution or any grand-scale political action is capable of doing anything more than just sliding around power, with or without a complete ideological makeover?

Also, let’s consider the source: Kieth wrote a book–The Vegetarian Myth–with absolutely wonderful ideas, but it was full of such shoddy science and research that it has potentially done more harm than good to her cause, particularly for anyone other than the proverbial choir. Is this attempt at change, at education, more or less valid than the less self-righteous radical who attempts to live and learn their ideals in every-day life?

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