100 Ways To Be A Revolutionary
INTERSECTIONALITY OF: HUMAN RIGHTS, ENVIRONMENTALISM, AND NON-HUMAN
First, I would like to acknowledge that I stand with all my fellow beings around the world that are fighting for their lives, for justice, and the right to be themselves. It is no secret that between racism, white-supremacy, homophobia, abuse of power, and the destruction of our environment, we all have a lot of work to do! I highly encourage everyone to participate in any way you can to dismantle these oppressive systems in our governments and in our own minds.
My main intension with this blog is the long term goal of sustaining a life that truly aligns with our values and how living with integrity can impact human and environmental rights.
People with more privileges may have more options and access as to how to go about this, and it is the responsibility of those in a position of privilege to adopt more sustainable lifestyles and consumer habits. People who are surviving day to day, may not have the option to choose what they are eating, or what brands they are supporting.
With the intension of living a more sustainable life, less dependent on corporations, slave labor and fossil fuels, we must also talk about ways to be environmentally conscious AND budget friendly. Many "zero waste" websites are marketing expensive items and we really need to gear our attentions towards self-reliance instead, such as, learning what products can be easily made at home and opting to find items 2nd handed or borrowing from a friend. (More resources on this shared at the end)
There are 5 kinds of wealth : Financial wealth (money), Social wealth (status, relationships & connections), Time wealth (freedom), Physical wealth (health), and finally Spiritual wealth (emotional, mental, soul health). Our relationships to these types of wealth can impact our access and ability to live a life that aligns with our values, or even the time to know what our values are. I want to mention here early on that it is absolutely large corporations and the undustrial military complex that is responsible for much of the waste, but we must also empower ourselves on the individual level. As the consumers we still have power to direct change and demand more from corporations.
This has been a particularly heavy few years as wounds from our past and present are surfacing, we are meant to feel through this deeply. I have taken a long pause from writing because I have been learning a lot from talking less and listening more. I have been listening to the voices of more marginalized and vulnerable populations. While I plan to continue down this path of listening, I have been inspired to share this message of intersectionality that has been heavy on my mind for the last 5 months. I hope that whomever reads this will find inspiration, and learn more ways to take part in the great changes unfolding, towards a world that is more equal, more just, more loving, more free and compassionate for all living beings.
In case there are any confusions about "non-human rights" in the title, I am talking about our fellow other animals. Humans are animals too and to keep "human" and "animal" separate in our minds is a dangerous construct.
We are animals and all deserve equal respect and opportunities for a good life.
Ultimately, this is what I choose to paint about; If we saw all other beings, as a part of ourselves, we wouldn't have so much suffering on this Earth.
Art by Shanée Benjamin (@shaneebenjamin)
There are 7.8 billion humans on Earth and yet, somehow there are enough resources to support us all, the only problem is that resources are not evenly distributed. There are nearly 8 billion of us, and yet we only make up .01% of Earths' biomass. Plants and trees make up 82%, tiny bacteria 13%, fungi 2.2%, the whole animal kingdom is only .4%. It is important to consider that as humans we are responsible for the livestock we raise and sadly, livestock outweighs wild animals by TEN FOLD. Livestock also accounts for 50% more biomass than all humans.
Nevertheless, I do find some comfort in this grander perspective.
"It is not the rise in population by itself that is the problem, but rather the even more rapid rise in global consumption (which of course is unevenly distributed).
This leads to an uncomfortable implication: people living in high-income nations must play their part if the world is to sustain a large human population. Only when wealthier groups are prepared to adopt low-carbon lifestyles, and to permit their governments to support such a seemingly unpopular move, will we reduce the pressure on global climate, resource and waste issues." ~Will Steffen, professor at the Fernner School of Environment and Society.
It is our responsibility to make the changes within our grasp, to move away from mindless consumption, towards societal wellbeing and a more circular, localized economy. If we change our consumer habits, we can have drastic impacts on our environment and human rights too. Along with discussions on population we must also bring up womxn's rights. The first way to significantly impact global population trends is to uplift and empower womxn in society, in terms of both education and opportunities in society.
Once we begin to follow any one form of injustice, we will find it converges with another.
Perhaps you consider yourself a human rights advocate, or an environmentalist, or an advocate for non-human animals - and the truth is all of these voices intersect.