I don't mind so much when family members make fun of the choices I make in order to live a little greener and lighten my carbon footprint in person, but when I found out yesterday that my acting brother-in-law had decided to use our heritage turkey purchase as a source of material for his comedy performance last night, I was a little irritated. And I'm trying to figure out why.
As much as Colin suggests that we all wear our green on our sleeves, and make a spectacle of our green choices, there's a distinct reason why many of us hide our "alternative" choices. It's the fear of ridicule. Not everyone is open-minded and anything that goes against the status quo is definitely fodder for comedy. But why is that?
Partly because making fun of things that we don't do make us feel better about our choices. Partly because we are repulsed or don't understand other people's choices. And, partly because it helps assuage the guilt that maybe people are doing things that we all should be doing and aren't.
However, why is buying a heritage turkey humorous? The concept of writing letters to the bird being raised for eventual slaughter can be ascribed a bit of humor if done properly (and I have no doubts that it was). Yet, if buying a conventionally raised, possibly tortured turkey or even a free-range organic turkey is not at all funny, why is going just one step further considered worthy of a joke? Because it seems so extreme that someone would bother being concerned about the life of a turkey?
Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I'm wondering what else in my life was going to be ridiculed. I know there's plenty to choose from - I certainly make them public for your reading enjoyment. But mostly I feel safe because the audience is more or less accepting of new ideas.
So, if non-mainstream environmental ideas are to one day become mainstream behavior, how do we cross that barrier without losing ourselves in the process? I guess the best we can do is to wait it out until seemingly foreign ideas eventually turn into common-sense.
How much do you suffer at the hands of non-environmental friends and relatives?