Thursday, June 24, 2010

Freeganism for Punks

I. Long story short, a few years ago I found myself leading a group of anarcho-capitalists in a face-off (on Broadway in front of DC Comics) against a group of left-anarchists led by a guy who eats garbage — a so-called “freegan” opposed to all waste of food — named Adam Weissman.

II. Little did I realize that a friend of mine would become not only a militant vegan but a freegan, or at least someone who said recently (without apparent irony) of something she saw in the garbage, “I would have freeganed it if it weren’t meat.”

I have mixed feelings about this.  I feel she may be too zealous about the veganism, but perhaps I should be glad, at least, that she’s too vegan to freegan.

III. My punk singer friend Tibbie X also notes having recently been startled to discover that some of her acquaintances are freegans — and that at a recent party they even expected people to dig in when vegetables retrieved from the garbage were presented to the group.

IV. As it happens, one of the earliest political conversations I had after arriving in NYC — back circa 1992, when I was going to monthly-or-so leftist political discussions at ABC No Rio (and writing a piece about it for Reason) — was with a member of the Rio crowd who said she ate by dumpster-diving on principle (“freegan” not yet being a word then, I think), to which I said, well, the whole world couldn’t live by dumpster-diving, and she said, “Why not?”  I suppose it should come as no surprise that these sorts of people also expect parasitic welfare states to be permanently “sustainable.”

Of course, in retrospect, she may well have been rationalizing the necessary indignities of poverty, in much the way that many punks (at least back in the day) would paint as rebelliousness lifestyles made necessary by their status as runaways (or addicts, or both).

V. And speaking of runaways and human exploitation of animals: tomorrow an entry about escaped bees.

1 comment:

Thirty Three Things (v. 3) » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog said...

[...] Todd Seavey on freeganism: As it happens, one of the earliest political conversations I had after arriving in NYC . . . was [...]