We all stand nodding to the same causes. We want to help refugees, fight climate pollution, and growing inequalities. The problem is that we seldom know why, as we get caught up in the story that got our attention in the first place. With all the morality in the world behind you, what can go wrong? When you know what happens with animals before they get slaughtered, the horrific effects of climate change, or the state of the ocean, what can go wrong when you have all the weight of Mother Teresa, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King behind you?
Most people stop at feeling morally superior, and feels like they have done their job once the protest is over, or that facebook post is posted. I would argue that, at some point, it has no longer any effect in solving the problem at hand. At some point, social movements has to turn into material action, especially considering the problems who are deeply embedded in economical interests. To really remove the meat industry, it is in need of better alternatives to eating meat, rather than more protests and guilt-tripping to veggie-land. The lab grown meat, great burgers using mushroom and cheese paddies to make up for the lack of beef.
Source: BBC News
When I went to Russia in May 2018 I was discomforted by the fact that no one knew about the sustainable development goals. In the economical summit I was attending there were only a few women, and most of them were running after some old men, looking like their assistant. I also saw a man take the arm to a girl to speed things up, when they were headed somewhere. Did I really think that a country with their biggest political power in energy, is just gonna go "yep, let's become sustainable, and lose all our remaining power to Nato, The US, and Europe." Nah, I think they want to keep providing 25% of the energy need in Europe, as it keeps the countries closest to Russia in check.
you are far more likely to get something done by starting to work on a solution, and dedicating time and focus on that, rather than screaming out loud.
So, do I protest that the European countries are using energy produced in Russia? Or do I realize that the convenient and cheap energy is there because they are cheap and convenient. It takes time, energy, and a lot of money to change the current system. But you are far more likely to get something done by starting to work on a solution, and dedicating time and focus on that, rather than screaming out loud.
Lastly I want to mention that social movements are vital for the prosperity and movement of humankind and earth. It's often the social movement that makes things happen for the first time, or it pushes politicians, makes companies with bad ethics take a knee, opens up for people to be who they are. But at some point, you need to take another approach - when is that? Probably when you gotten far from where the movement started, but there is no moving forward. Keyword: Hit them where it hurts.
Text author: Didrik Strøhm Photography: Vilde Bang Foss