Introducing Miyuki

Joining the Goodies is Miyuki McGuffie, who will be blogging fortnightly from Wellington. For the past year, Miyuki has been on a mission to tread more lightly on the planet. As “a normal person trying to do their bit”, she will blog about the successes, achievements, failures and frustrations of her quest for a clear eco-conscience.

Miyuki McGuffie is making big changes in her life. While striving to be as kind to the planet as possible, she will blog about the successes, achievements, failures and frustrations of her quest for a clear eco-conscience.

Last summer I read The Ethics of What We Eat and my life changed. Well, not so much my life but my perspective.

I was nearing the end of a one-year diploma in journalism and had already decided I wasn’t going to pursue a career in that field. An environmental degree was my next goal. I’d seen Jamie’s Fowl Dinners a few months back, so I’d already switched to free-range chicken and eggs and had always been a keen recycler.

During that year (2008) I became more and more aware of what I was putting in the landfill and started making changes to my consumption patterns to reduce waste. I stopped using takeaway cups and going to fast food joints (although that was an action motivated by health and general ethics also). I became more diligent about taking reusable bags to the supermarket and stopped buying products such as yoghurt, ice cream and frozen goods, which come in non-recyclable packaging.

There isn’t a particular event or revelation I can remember that inspired this action, it was just a gradual progression of behaviour built upon an inclination that already existed. Until that summer, my main environmental concern had been about waste and recycling. I wouldn’t have called myself an environmentalist but I definitely cared and wanted to work in a field dedicated to making a difference.

Reading The Ethics of What We Eat opened my eyes to factory farming and felt like a consummation of the relationship between me and my future. Since finishing the book I have only become more enthusiastic about environmental and animal welfare issues and more committed to reducing or eliminating my impact in these areas, while trying to encourage those around me to do the same—or at least think about it.

I’m starting this blog thanks to the suggestion of one of my journalism classmates, who said it would be great to read about a normal person trying to do their bit, as opposed to someone fulfilling a challenge to live a certain way for a year or similar.

I am trying to live a certain way from now on, and that is an environmentally sound way and a way that involves no harm to the creatures that support my existence. Sometimes I relapse (or forget) and can’t resist a hot chocolate made with non-organic milk. Sometimes I gross out my friends by telling them about my new menstrual cup. Sometimes my boyfriend gets mad when I “impose” my beliefs on him. Sometimes I don’t put up a fight at the supermarket when a bag of corn chips is destined for our trolley. Not to mention I own a car.

The Ethics of What We EatBut for the most part, I think I’m doing good. I’m certainly committed to doing better. And that is what this blog is about.

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