24 August 2007

alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources

All you need is Lox!

The word "Freegan", is a portmanteau of "free" and "vegan". Freeganism started in the 90's, out of the antiglobalization and environmentalist movements. Groups such as Food Not Bombs served free vegetarian and vegan food that was salvaged from food market trash by dumpster diving.

The "freegan" way of life has always made me smile. I love "freeganism" for its wonderful Bohemian idealism but I also love it because there always seems to be a catch and some hypocrites involved.

Being involved in hardcore and punk for so many years, I got to witness a lot of this stuff first hand and all I can say is the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Whether you're really into it and passionate about it, or you're just trying too hard to look compassionate, there's nothing wrong with getting involved, but whats the point if its all just for show?

Anyone I've ever known living "freegan" has always been secretly living off someone elses dime; either their rich parents, their rich girlfriends or their rich girlfriends parents; or they're just mooching off their poor friends, who work and pay rent and buy groceries, while they lay on their couch all day and proudly claim "freeganism" and a "total boycott of the economic system."
I have never met a 100% legit "freegan" by choice. Truth is the only real "freegans" are the homeless!

First time I saw a gaggle of faux-squatters on St. Marks begging for change in July, I thought "wow". But soon I realised these idiots hang out all summer outside Kim's, then when summer vacation is over, they take Metro North back to Wilton or Weston to shower in their parents 40-acre mansion and get ready for sophomore year.

Don't get me wrong, I love everything "freeganism" stands for and proposes, but I also live in reality. And living "freegan" is a great, beautiful, wonderful, Utopian idea. Unfortunately, like most great, beautiful, wonderful and Utopian ideas, it's almost completely impossible.

Freeganus Hypocritus Idealus seen in her natural habitat, a dumpster

Unfortunately, I realised long ago that trying to boycott ALL products from ALL egregious corporations responsible for animal abuse, human rights violations and environmental destruction was futile because eventually you'll find that no matter what you buy, you end up supporting something deplorable for everything is connected.

So I came to a evil plastic fork in the road and I voted against dumpster diving because I didn't think I'd be very happy. I like showering much too much. I came to realise that the problem isn't just a few evil corporations but the entire system itself.

So, fuck it. I do what I can and I live my life. I do what I think is right and I live by the rules I set. I don't eat meat but I do have a leather couch. You want my explanation? Email me. I'll give you the rules I play by.

I think Unbroken may've said it best with their smash-hit "In The Name Of Progression":

"Only in death can we stop supporting them
Only in death can they not have their way with us"
It's sad but it's true. You breathe, you support something wicked. You walk outside, you contribute to the "evil economic system". The simple fact that there even is a "freegan" website cracks me up. It's not even hypocrisy, it's just impossibility!

It's an unbelievably wonderful idea and like most great ideas (remember socialism?) it looks great on paper and it makes mountains of sense but writing it down or preaching it is one thing, while actually living it is a whole different story.

NY Press: DUMPSTER DINING: The Freegan movement believes theres a juicy secret hiding in New York Citys garbage piles.

Freegan.info - official Freegan website


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