Saturday, October 6, 2012

UU Guilt

There’s Catholic guilt;  there’s Jewish guilt.  Many of us became Unitarian Universalists to get away from religious guilt.  But after you’ve been UU awhile, you realize that Catholic and Jewish guilt have nothing on UU guilt.
  Catholic and Jewish guilt are merely about saving your immortal soul and maintaining charitable relations with your fellow humans.  UU guilt is more.  UU guilt is Green.  UU guilt is about saving the entire planet for all future generations.  Let’s trace the opportunities for guilt in a UU’s day.
Our prototype UU starts the day with coffee, orange juice, toast, and eggs.  Each of those menu items is fraught with guilt.
  The coffee.  It wasn’t local, but was it fair trade?  Our UU could have drunk a brew he concocted from roasted, locally raised grain.
Orange juice.  Also not local in most of the United States.  Our UU could have an orange tree in his greenhouse, but then there’s the fossil fuel to heat the greenhouse.
Toast.  Did our UU grow the wheat in her kitchen garden?  Did she take the time to harvest it, thresh it, mill it, bake it?  And then our UU has the temerity to use extra electricity to make toast.  Most electricity is generated from coal.  The process of extracting coal either buries miners alive or devastates environments.
Those eggs. Were they bought at a co-op or farmers' market?  Was the hen who laid the eggs veg-fed?  Did she have the freedom to roam with her fellow hens?  Was she content?  For that matter, couldn’t our UU raise chickens in the backyard and gather his own eggs?
And that’s just breakfast.

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