Monday, 26 May 2008


Photo: coreyu

Kikimonkey over at Monkey See, Monkey Do recently posted about an Oprah show she’d been watching, where freeganism was highlighted. The post really grabbed my attention, not because I’m a fan of Oprah or intend to become a Freegan but because the philosophy behind the Freegan movement really made me sit and think.

It’s not that I didn’t already know that we’re living in a society fuelled by materialism, greed and a never ending desire to impress our peers but Freegans are really doing what their heart tells them is right. They’ve completely jumped off of the consumer band-wagon to the point where even their food is obtained by rummaging through dumpsters.

Yes, I know that sounds pretty gross and it’s not something I’d do but when you consider that about half of all food in the US is wasted, there’s a lot to be reclaimed. And we’re not talking slops, either. The situation here in the UK is no better.

They also believe that housing should be a right rather than a privilege, that all forms of transport should be eco friendly and that we should stop using animals as production “machines” – all of which I agree with.

I do think they take things a bit too far when they say that we should go back to the way we were intended to live – foraging for food, for example. It just isn’t feasible for everybody to do that. If we all went dumpster diving, who’d produce the products in the first place when there would be nobody to sell them to? And foraging for natural food wouldn’t work either; we’ve already destroyed too much of the planet’s resources for that.

It’s worth taking a look at their website though; it does highlight a lot of important issues that might get you thinking and the links section has some very interesting stuff on it. And even if what’s there is information you already know, there’s value in being reminded.

Sharon J


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WebSmith said...

The gig is about up for the bankers and corporations that have turned us into nations of consumers. They have loaned us so much money that we no longer can even afford to pay the interest, let continue to borrow so we can buy what they're selling. In the process, they have created so much money that whatever they can manage to loan us is so devalued that it won't buy too much. Most of us will soon be living simpler, more desperate lives whether we want to or not.

However, all doesn't have to be lost and we don't have to go back to horses and buggies. It appears that the giant is at least stirring and beginning to awake to the concept that oil is the primary, antiquated culprit. Technology seems to still have a mind of its own and great leaps have been made in renewable clean energy. Very soon we could be plugging our electric powered cars into the sockets of our wind powered homes at night.

If the giant can be convinced to shake some coins in the direction of this development, or at least get out of the way, it will happen sooner. We will then have more jobs, a cleaner environment, and more abundant and cheaper energy.

Sharon J said...

"Most of us will soon be living simpler, more desperate lives whether we want to or not."

That's exactly what I believe too, websmith.

Like you, I don't believe we have to go back to horses and buggies etc in order to survive on this planet but we do need to make some serious changes and hanging about thinking it'll sort itself out or that our kids'll do it for us is, I fear, going to be leaving things too late. EVERYBODY needs to be making changes now and that includes, of course, industry as well as consumers.

Sharon x

Anonymous said...

Yuck. I enjoy my food too much to be dragging it out of dumpsters!! Who knows what kind of evils that food could have picked up along the way! Madness!!

Sharon J said...

I agree, anon. I would have to be starving before I'd consider eating anything out of a dumpster.