I'm watching a film called "Manufactured Landscapes", which I borrowed from the library. This 2006 film follows acclaimed photographer Edward Burtynsky as he captures the effects of China’s industrial revolution. I'm finding it very sad to watch the factory workers in China doing the same tasks over and over again. I’m finding it sad to see children sitting beside huge piles of discarded CDs.
I'm also feeling bad about the recordable DVDs I recently purchased.
I bought fifty DVDs because my ego had distracted me from my usual environmentally friendly self. I had wanted to be a big shot and have my own DVD. On the DVDs, I put all of the best Cousin Zeke and Mountain Weed Videos, and I called the DVD “Cousin Zeke’s Vegan Adventures”. I made a menu on the DVD, and bought cases, and made fancy covers to insert into the cases. Now, I’m wishing I would have just been happy with the videos being on YouTube. The videos can be watched at www.youtube.com/JohnSakars for free, by anyone with internet access.
Besides the fifty recordable DVDs, I also bought thirty-five brand news cases in which to put the DVDs. Since they’re already purchased and I already used paper, ink, and labels to make everything look fancy, I will distribute the finished product. However, I’m not going to make anymore DVDs. I know some DVDs, like “Earthlings”, are important enough to warrant bringing more plastic into the world. However, I have to face the fact that me dressing up in drag and pretending to vomit into a toilet is not something worthy of plastic.
I hope to never forget the looks on the faces of the Chinese factory workers in “Manufactured Landscapes”. They look sad, I think. I’m really going to try harder to avoid buying new material possessions. I hope to not let my ego get in the way of my environmentalism again.
Besides the DVDs, I also have a new book I recently brought into this world. The book is a compilation of all my blogs from “compassionateartist.blogspot,com”. The book is 200 pages and is called “Compassionate Artist: A Collection of Blogs about Veganism, Art, and Sexuality”. Again, these blogs are all available for free on the internet. So, why bring more paper into the world? Again, I let my ego do my thinking for me. Some books, like “WHY WE LOVE DOGS EAT PIGS AND WEAR COWS”, by Dr. Melanie Joy, are worthy of paper. Her book is helping to change the world. I feel confident that my book will help people too, but I still don’t know if I should have made a book from my words. I still don’t know if my words are worthy of paper.
Every material object has a story behind it. DVDs and books don’t just appear from thin air. The materials for these objects come from planet Earth, and they require the use of energy, and they pollute the environment, and they are made by people who are usually treated like robots. I worked in a factory for 1.5 years and I hated it. So why would I buy something made from a factory now, without taking a moment to think about the results of my actions?
I like to think I do very well, as far as avoiding buying plastic. I always use my reusable water bottle and my reusable shopping bags. I avoid buying processed foods with lots of packaging. I mostly buy things used. So again, why did I buy the DVDs and cases? I was seduced by my ego. I wanted to be a big shot and look fancy with my own DVD.
I guess I don’t feel as bad about my book as I do about my DVD. I feel worse about bringing plastic into the world, than paper. I also think my book is more likely to inspire people, than my DVD. However, I’m willing to accept the possibility that both my book and my DVD were bad ideas. I believe it’s very important for us to question our actions.
As it stands right now, I have forty DVDs and twenty-six copies of my new book. I don’t feel any desire to make anymore DVDs. As for the books, I’ll give the matter more thought. Perhaps I’ll do some research about E Books. E Books seem to be a great way to sell books without causing so much harm to the planet.
Oh, ego. What a troublesome little bugger you are! I will try harder to not let you seduce me again!