#EverydayActivism Feature: Caitlin Boley ’16

F12912340_1048574638537617_833209680_nor my #EverydayActivism Challenge, I’ve chosen to become vegetarian for the month of April. For the past several months, I’ve been committing myself to eating less meat. I’m currently restricted to one meal with meat at most daily; many days I forgo meat altogether. My hope is eventually I can filter meat out of my diet entirely. Let’s put the ethical dimension of eating a conscious being aside momentarily. I’d like to focus on something more empirical and less philosophical: climate change. The livestock industry accounts for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It seems logical that to reduce these emissions, we must systematically reduce and reimagine our meat production (and a consumer boycott is one way to achieve this, even though it’s a very capitalist approach to take). 

It’s important to me to recognize the privileged position that allows me to complete this specific challenge: not only do I live in NYC, where many vegetarian options are available, but I also have enough income to be particular with my diet in abstaining from eating meat. There are also racial dimensions of vegetarianism and veganism that are important to note. Though our culture of radical consumption should be reckoned with, this is my choice, and in no way do I think it’s acceptable to impose this choice upon others. Furthermore, there are many foods from other parts of the world that are vegetarian friendly (palak paneer <3), but it’s important to be aware of cultural appropriation.

I’m excited to move forward with this challenge and share my experiences!

Follow Caitlin’s challenge via Twitter and the CCARNYC Instagram, and consider taking up the challenge! For the month of April, students, staff, and faculty members are invited to commit to one personal action – either a daily habit or weekly action – to lessen their contributions to climate change or to have a positive environmental impact – and share their journey along the way. Learn more!