September 19, 2007

There’s Laziness and Then There’s Laziness

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:42 pm by nevavegan

I think that I might at times describe myself as a fairly lazy person. My home could be cleaner than it is. I don’t cook every single night. I like to sleep in on weekends. I recently went to the herb store to get some more of a tincture I take and when they didn’t have it they suggested to me that I buy the dry herb and tincture it myself. My response was (SIGH) “that sounds like so much work.”

So when I start feeling that way I have to kick myself in the butt and tell myself to wake up and start doing. So yes, my plans for later include tincturing an herb. Wish me luck.

Considering that this is where I often find it difficult to understand complete and utter inertia.

I’ve been following the blog (I won’t link because it’s her personal, every day activity blog, not a philosophical blog) of a young vegetarian who recently made the switch to veganism. After some resistance she managed to convince her husband (they’re newly weds of about one month) to become vegan as well. Obviously she’s written about her reasons for going vegan and the difficulties and joys she’s encountered.

This is where laziness and inertia come in. I’ve been amazed by the number of comments people have left on her blog that don’t seem opposed to veganism, but just seem hugely lethargic. People say things like “I love animals too, but not enough to change my diet” or “I feel bad for the cows, but I love cheese burgers so much” (this is lazy because the person won’t even bother to see if they also like veggie burgers or it there’s an alternative out there) and “that sounds like so much work, I can’t bother to think that hard about what I eat.”

I do hope that all these people, through continued exposure to the idea of veganism will start to wake up a little.

I shouldn’t be that surprised that there are such lazy people in the world. After all, lots of people seem to just throw all their trash into my flower bed because they can’t be bothered to carry it to a trash can.

Of course laziness alone does not stop people from being vegan. I actually had a friend in college who tried to organize all his classes close together so he could minimize walking, and cut across grassy areas every single time, rather than staying on the sidewalk, because those short cuts saved him ten or fifteen steps. Sometimes he couldn’t be bothered to walk to the dining hall to eat dinner, so he just ate crackers or dry cereal he kept in his room. But he was still vegan, because it mattered to him. He cared about animals and the environment enough to go vegan. Of course also the lazy person should probably do their best to be good to the environment because if the whole globe floods due to global warming that’s going to eliminate most opportunities to be lazy.

Still I personally feel like shaking lazy people and yelling “don’t you know how much you’re missing out on!! Get out of bed!!”

Going with the path of least resistance though (which is always the lazy thing to do) I guess we ought to just figure in some degree of laziness into our vegan outreach efforts, by making vegan foods easier to find, explaining veganism in easy terms, and handing out more information so the recipients of leaflets need not go look anything up.

I also thought about what a friend who recently visited Israel told me. He said there are falafel joints and falafel carts everywhere—he said it’s as if every McDonalds and every hot dog cart here was suddenly transformed into hot spots of vegan goodness. If only we could do such a thing. My neighborhood must have 20 fried chicken places and wouldn’t it be wonderful if through some invasion of the body snatchers scheme, suddenly we got up one day and they were all falafel joints. True, people seem to want to buy endless fried chicken. But theses are also the people who throw their chicken bones all over the sidewalk and toss their bags and wrappers onto my flowers. I totally see those people saying “I really wanted fried chicken, but it’s so far away, I guess I’ll just eat this falafel.” Maybe I’m overly optimistic.

In any case I’ve apparently transformed into a cranky old woman overnight. I’m now going to complain about how kids today are lazy (note to world: the lazy have always been among us), and then I’m going to tell you stories about how back in the day I had to walk ten miles to the dingy little health food store to buy a box of “nature burger mix” and then go home and mix up that glop with water and try to fry it to make a veggie burger, and they always fell apart. You kids today don’t know how good you have it. Most grocery stores sell the Boca Vegan Burgers in the frozen food section. You don’t even have to turn on a stove, just pop it in the microwave. (moan, groan, creek…)

But I gotta go, all this talk about laziness has me wanting to run a few laps around the pond on my lunch break. Zoom, zoom.

Edit: I wrote most of this up last night, but how on topic when I saw that Taste Better today reported a study from the UK showing most people would rather die than exercise. Eeek. People did seem more motivated when looking better was the goal. Of course the part people don’t get is that energy and time aren’t actually set amounts. When you exercise you get more energy and more alertness. Physical exercise helps your brain as well. Thus “being too tired to exercise” actually makes you more tired. And when you can perform tasks more quickly, then voila, more time. But wow, yes, there is some laziness out there.

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4 Comments »

  1. Sean said,

    It would be great if all the meat in all the stores and restaurants could just be switched to meat analogs. All the lazy people would just go along with the flow.

  2. Gary said,

    Hate to sound like a broken record but another great post.

    Right on with what Sean said. My thoughts exactly. Which makes the unimaginable amounts of daily suffering and death inflicted on animals every day all the more tragic – it’s for such an arbitrary reason. People’s tastes are largely what they’re used to, and as most vegans know, you can get used to a new diet in nothing flat. Especially when you actually expand your diet to become more diverse and healthy.

    But the more troubling problem, and one that you touch on, is the profound difference in the ramifications of being too lazy to make your own tincture and being too lazy to opt out of a system that mutilates and kills animals for pleasure and profit.

    Is it just laziness at play here? I wonder to what extent subconscious irrational fears, perpetuated by a society that profits from them (“I don’t want to be considered a ‘vegetarian.’ Will my friends and family freak out? Will my diet be impoverished? Will I crave chicken my whole life? Will I get enough protein? Will my bones become weak?”) keep people from changing their diet and doing the right thing.

  3. Neva Vegan said,

    Thank you Sean. I am so bad with replying to comments late.y.

    Yes Gary, people just eat the same stuff they always have and lack the imagination to see that other foods could be equally good.

  4. Sara said,

    I agree with Gary, there is a lot of fear shrouding veganism. it’s ridiculous. I mean, we’re talking about eating nuts, vegetables and fruit. there’s nothing extreme, difficult or painful about it. but it’s probably the most important thing to consider when talking to an omnivore; people are truly afraid. the whole idea of what’s natural – complete proteins and all that nonsense. I’ve been healthy as a vegan for >8 years, and yet I still find residuals of these feelings in myself from time to time.


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