The Messenger Problem

This morning I am finding myself in a similar space to one I knew way back, when I decided to become a vegan. This space pertains in a sense to degree of hypocrisy.  We are all, whether we like to admit it or not, hypocrites to a degree.

Back then many people were soapboxing about how virtuous they were in being vegetarian. Yet they still ate cheese, eggs and some even imagined that eating fish was OK. I am a pescatarian. WTF. Many said that they were vegetarian because they did not like to eat animals, or harm animals, yet they wore leather. What they professed differed from their habit. Now when strict vegan evangelical, me, pointed out the fallacy of their logic and their mild hypocrisy it went down like a lead balloon. All that hot air was just some hot air to make them feel holier than thou compared to an omnivore.  It was an excuse to soap box.

If one does not like to hurt animals, then the logical conclusion is strict veganism.

As an aside it is also the most environmentally friendly way of living.

The problem with bearing messages that people do not like to hear is twofold. They will not be listened to and you get metaphorically shot.

If I had a pound for every time I have been shot as the messenger, in one way or another, I would have enough for a very fine meal with wine at a top of the range restaurant. People have complained to others about me pointing at truth, others have sought to get revenge or tried to hurt me, simply because they did not want to hear the truth.

So, imagine a situation in which some person is alleging that they care deeply for the environment, saying how terrible it is that there is global warming, how bad China is in terms of emissions. Imagine me asking them,

“Do you use your mobile ‘phone and for how long each day?

Where do you think the components in your ‘phone come from?

How many kilograms of carbon dioxide are you creating by your use of your mobile ‘phone?

Which do you prefer no global warming or chatting to your pals on the ‘phone?”

They might say that it is OK because everyone is doing it. They might be very annoyed with me if I asked these questions and particularly so If I asked them in front of their pals, their audience to whom them often hold court about the environment. They might try to get even as if it is some competition of point scoring.

This is the messenger problem.

If I say to you that mobile ‘phone use is environmentally hostile, would you listen AND take action, or would you try to justify your extensive creation of carbon dioxide and ignore what I have said?