Thursday, June 17, 2010
We're just monkeys living in a plastic world
I've been giving a lot of thought lately to how it is we've all ended up living in a way that seems to be so bad for our bodies and our planet - and why we're so resistant to change. Having evolved to survive times of scarcity, our instincts tell us to accumulate resources. Our monkey nature tells us to eat lots of high calorie food when its there, to acquire things when they are available, to insure ourselves against time of need. And for those people on our planet who continue to go hungry, these instincts are probably appropriate. However, for those of us who live in the world of Happy Meals, living like monkeys is backfiring. Consumption has spun out of control because we're not living the life we were designed to live. This is no revelation - I'm far from the first to say this! But I think if we're ever going to work our way out of this mess, it bears repeating. Obeying our instinctive avarice and greed is no longer adaptive. Sustainably navigating our plastic world with our monkey brains is going to require instinct override - conscious consumption.