'We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast', by Jonathan Safran Foer

“In our capitalist society we, consumers, have the power. Then let’s use this power.”

“Kentucky Fried Chicken nowadays is selling veggie chicken. It’s a huge success. If concerns like that start adapting products, it can go fast.”

“We have to realize that without inconvenience there won’t be any future. But what is worse: reduce meat consumption or live in a world that’s 4° hotter?”

Last week Jonathan Safran Foer visited Belgium.
“Belgium,” you say, “like in Belgian chocolates, and Tintin, and Brussels waffles?”
“Uh-uh, that’s us. Country with the funniest king in the world.”
“… that guy with the most rectangular face in the galaxy?”
“No, that’s North-Korea.”
“Belgium, land of Jacques Brel, Eddy Merckx and Toots Thielemans, where they drink trappist beer all day and eat French fries with lots of mayonnaise and paint surrealist canvasses all night?”
“Now we’re talking.”

I don’t know how about you, dear reader, but that rather creepy feeling Leonard Cohen was singing about in 1974, is popping up in my head just a little bit too often:

“There is a war between the rich and poor,
A war between the man and the woman.
There is a war between the ones who say there isa war
And the ones who say there isn't.
Why don't you come on back to the war, that's right, get in it-”

But here’s the good news: salvation is on its way. And it listens to the name of J.S. Foer. The man wrote Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. This morning i read an interview with him in the papers, making me see things clear again. What a sound, conciliatory voice in a divided world! “Everybody cares about the environment: young, old, left, right…,” he says. “We all share those values, we only don’t show it yet.” He’s a convinced vegetarian, but says we don’t necessarily have to give up eating meat; we only have to moderate.

“The struggle is in ourselves. That’s why it’s so damned difficult. We will only make progress if we let everybody decide what he wants to do, what his limits are. Become a vegetarian, reduce the number of flights, sell the car or have less children? We have to put our trust in each other. But when everybody has set his own limit, he has to live accordingly.” I hear the faint, sweet rustling of the 60s: revolution will be bottom-up, not top-down.

Indeed, it’s up to every single one of us, my friends: change/no change. The choice is basically ours.

(It’s difficult to change ancient habits you say? And what if you would be asked gently, by eyes as lovely as the ones in the above portrait by Cornelia Hernes? Well then, you car crazy meat lovers out there: YES,WE CAN.)

(You save the world one man at a time; anything else is grandiose romanticism or politics.” - Charles Bukowski.)

(Jonathan Safran Foer, 'We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet begins at Breakfast', 2019.)

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