So I got up this morning, had a bath, washed my hair (using the bath water and Urtekram shampoo) and cleaned my teeth (with Weleda salt tootpaste. I got dressed ~ cheap bra from an eBay shop, cheap underpants and cheap tee-shirt from Marks and Spencer, cheap linen sleeveless dress from an eBay shop. I had my breakfast: Kelloggs Fruit’n’Fibre (wholegrain wheatflakes which have a little sugar in the composition, but not much; dried coconut, banana and raisins, and apparently apples and hazelnuts too, though I've never noticed any) with organic whole milk. I had a cup of tea with it ~ Earl Grey, with semi-skimmed organic milk. All the food came from Asda, because it’s at the end of our road and the prices are very low.
Harmless, you would think, wouldn’t you? Harmless. Not if you spend much time on the internet and have met the thought police, the self-appointed conscience of our age. No, sir!
Let me tell you what’s wrong with my start to the day.
Thing 1. Me. I am a white Western Christian woman living in the south-east of England. This means, so many sources are eager to inform me, that I am inherently and inevitably racist and classist, an oppressor by default and regardless of my personal views. Darn! And never mind that prices are higher where I live ~ obviously that means I must be filthy rich, then, or wouldn’t I live somewhere else?
Still: moving on.
Thing 2. A bath. Oh, dear. Any ecologically responsible woman knows perfectly well that water is scarce and only showers are permissible. Even though, to compensate for this I have a bath only once in two/three days ~ well, I could make that a shower, couldn’t I? And salt toothpaste? Sodium Chloride . . . er . . . I never did learn the periodic table at school . . . but there’s something about where it stands in relation to other elements that means it’s going to strike down important components of your health so you get cancer. Only I’ve forgotten what.
And what about shampoo? Destroying the balance of the eco-systems and killing everything. And why am I not recycling bathwater for other purposes (can’t think what at the mo)?
Then of course, shampoo is extravagant and I should be cleaning my hair and body with bicarbonate of soda ~ except that (Aha – gotcha!) there’s the same problem with the sodium bicarbonate as with the sodium chloride. Even cucumbers are probably too high in sodium to be let near your body.
Thing 3. Oh, tut tut!
Marks and Spencer is a large corporation, therefore oppressive and damaging to our local economy. They make underwear from cotton, which is a terrible crop that is ruining Earth’s ecosystems and killing our planetary home.
But the increase in eBay shops and online shopping in general is destroying local communities by offering cheap goods with which the high street shops cannot compete. The right use of the pounds in my purse (even if there aren't many of them) is to buy from a middleman trader, not direct, so that retailers can flourish as part of the local economy and thus increase prosperity in the community.
Also, how come my clothes were so cheap? Were they made in sweat shops?
Thing 4. Let’s look at that breakfast.
Fruit’n’Fibre is a commercially produced and packaged cereal, so the packaging is ruining the planet – trees cut down for cardboard, toxic dyes in the colourful pictures. It’s made a by a big corporation, which is disadvantaging struggling small family firms by a) existing and b) doing well.
Then of course wheat will swell up my cells systemically and irritate and inflame my gut. It may also be GMO wheat without my knowing it, thus unbalancing Earth’s eco-systems irreversibly.
Coconut and banana are both tropical fruits and, as many health gurus will assure you, they should be eaten only in the climates in which they’re grown. If you live in England, you shouldn’t eat them – stick to apples.
Raisins are high in sugar (fructose, too ~ OMG!!) so will sabotage my liver and make me diabetic.
What about the milk on my cereal? From all sides I’m assured that methane from farm animals is probably worse than building nuclear plants on live volcanoes, single-handedly responsible for planetary death. Not only that, all dairy farming is by its nature cruel, savage and inhumane. No evolved being would interfere with a cow’s family life and rob her of her baby’s milk; this, even if the cow would never have existed without the dairy farmer.
Tea? Interferes with uptake of iron, loaded with caffeine, diuretic properties lead to fluid retention over time. Next?
Asda? A big corporation that pays low wages and thus keeps the enslaved masses tight in the thrall of poverty, especially when there aren’t many other jobs in Hastings. The money paid to it is barrowed away to rich shareholders who live Somewhere Else, and thus is Hastings kept forever poor.
Sometimes I think it would be simpler to stay in bed.
Living responsibly and compassionately is an obvious human duty, but for Heaven's sake! Please can we all calm down?