All right, so I am a vegan what has that got to do with ethical and sustainable travel? For me, becoming a vegan meant transforming my whole lifestyle. I was always aware of my ethical doubts about animals and how we treat them. I was also deeply interested in the whole sustainable living thing and the need to care for the planet.
To be honest, like most people I just didn’t follow through on the things I felt were big issues – it was easy to just drift along following the old “normal” lifestyle – paying lip service to the important stuff. Becoming a vegan forced me into some major decisions and opened my eyes to a large degree.
Sometimes you need to weigh up your potential sacrifices if you are committed to certain lifestyle choices. In some cases you can compromise on things or find alternative ways to make them suit your life. Sometimes you can’t! You just need to do what is right.
What’s This Got to Do with Traveling?
I love traveling – it is one of the most important things in my life, not counting family of course! I love our planet and I like to think I do quite a bit to limit the harm that I as an individual do to it. Now we all could do more as individuals and there is no shortage of voices telling us what we should be doing to save the planet.
Have you noticed how some public figures and celebrities are starting to talk about never flying again – they just can’t condone the damage this is doing to the environment.
Others go down the root of carbon offset – they plant x number of trees to cover the damage of their flight. Of course they don’t actually get out and plant the trees – there are companies you can pay to do that for you and you get to sleep better.
Now I really don’t care what you choose to do. If someone stops flying or decides to plant trees that is fine by me. What I can’t stand is the condescending tone of some of these people. They are saying look at me I’m so good and look you are so bad. So we all need to stop flying!
Don’t Tell Me What to Do!
No one likes to be bossed around and told what to do. It seems to me that people often get caught up in their causes so much that they expect everyone else to follow them – the Evangelist mentality! I see it all the time with vegans who just can’t accept that others choose not to follow their lifestyle.
I have always tried to remain balanced and to respect others views and opinions – even when I don’t agree.
Can Travel be Environmentally Friendly?
The big issue is the carbon emissions from our modes of transport – all of them, planes, trains and automobiles. I never take the train, I ride a bike and have a hybrid car – aren’t I just great.
I also love to travel – especially long haul! What we really need is Eco friendly planes.
I had few problems in giving up eating meat and using animal products but give up traveling? It ain’t gonna happen. I’ll just have to plant more trees until they come up with a green plane.
You do what you can and try to live a decent life. But don’t tell others how to live theirs and try not to be so condescending!