Raam,

This is a great question to ask and to have it direct your actions but it strikes me that the question assumes that everyone should or wants to do the same thing…or even can.

I made a feature length film about the origins of poverty and why it persists in a world with so much wealth so the issues of equality and consumption of resources is something close to my heart. I have been invited by the UN to speak about it four times.

For example your comment on meat – the fact of the matter is that the entire world can indeed eat meat in a sustainable way if we don’t eat industrially produced meat and expect that everyone should be eating sirloin steaks for every meal (not sustainable ecologically and other ways). But if we diversified our meat intake and included insects there is more than enough.

I love that you are making shoes (so, so much) and how that strikes a blow towards the consumer economic culture we live in that requires eternal growth…but you learned about it by researching on the internet.

The internet runs on miles of wires (and we are past Peak Copper that much of the wire is made of) and is only possible because of the rare minerals used in chips and circuit boards (like coltan) that are essentially stolen from west and central African countries and continue. That theft strips Africa of forest and continues to disrupt political stability because Western nations play both sides of the conflict to keep access to coltan cheap and easy.

So is using the internet not sustainable? What if you are using the internet for activism towards correcting these issues…does that excuse that person?

Do only those who are aware of resource use and the strain they are under get to use them in a pro-social way?

Those of us who are aware of these issues must engage in resource jui-jitsu and use our extra ordinary access to resources and use them consciously so that equality is better manifested.

There will always be those who have more and less…and I am okay with that. Perfect equality is neither possible nor necessary. But an extractive system (such as the one we have now) that eliminates the possibility of people to have access to their own wealth while incentivizing greed is criminal.

And then there is the whole notion of inner sustainability…but that is a different conversation.