My co-workers are BBQ afficionados. We traveled to a fabled spot yesterday - a local favorite sporting homemade sauce, super-sweet iced tea, and walls covered in gator (UF) memorabilia interspersed with signed photographs of homegrown politicians. Unfortunately no BBQ place I know of down here is like Slow’s in Detroit with its spectacular veggie options. My lunch choices were limited: coleslaw, potato salad, and key lime pie. What struck me as I stood in line, thanks to Darshan’s influence, was that every single food item involved a piece of trash: styrofoam trays for sandwiches, plastic containers with lids for salads, boxes for dessert, and plastic cups and tableware. Paper napkins are a given. Our group of 27 was fixin’ to use about 170 pieces of trash, of which I contributed 6.
The dark hilarity of it all was that nestled in between the two trash cans was another container, above which was a sign: "Please be green and recycle your soda cans!"
The rest of the day I pondered what would have to happen to wake up everyone (myself included) to our constant use and abuse of our surroundings and make a drastic change. Will we ever stop doing things just because they are easy and stop using things just because they are supplied to us by those profiting from their use?
These questions are also relevant to the episode of The Story I listened to this morning that spoke of the horrid exploitation of sharks for their fins. By some accounts, 90% of the world’s shark population has been depleted for this very reason (about 100 million sharks killed per year), in order for rising middle and upper classes to feel secure in themselves slurping as kings once did the tasteless cartilage. As a wise person once said, money is the root of all kinds of evil. The pursuit of it certainly has been the main destroyer of the world.