Ignoring the gospel of Ronan Keating, who once proclaimed, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going,’ this week I surrendered my vegetarianism in the face of it being “just too goddamn hard.” An excuse that other non violent protesters (you know, Ghandi and that..) would definitely, probably… unlikely understand. However my failing resolve to be an environmentally conscious food consumer seems to highlight a bigger issue here in South Carolina. That the famed ‘southern friendliness,’ of which they are so proud, definitely does not extend to environmental friendliness.
With our beloved mascot being a gamecock (Cocky) you would assume that the plight of the chicken would be high on the South Carolinian agenda. However the concept of free range eggs puzzled the porky shop assistant at the student shop. I tried to ask him how he would feel if Cocky were in a cage to which I was promptly asked to leave the premises before the manager was called.
There’s a fast food restaurant here called ‘2fat2fly wings.’ The disturbing idea that a chicken so fat, so grossly overfed that their wings are nothing more than withered tufts of feathers on immobile sacks of meat are better cuisine causes the restaurants own slogan to echo in my mind, “un-clucking-believable.” The name 2fat2fly also seems to play on a logic employed by a fair few fast food chains here, that fatness is linked to the best food. “Fattys do know their food” my roommate kindly points out and I guess this is the logic behind “Fatzo’s subs and pizza”. The concept that the name might be interpreted as ‘eating here will make you fat’ is ignored by the same sort of manager that thinks making it mandatory that his staff greet each customer “what-sub dude” will dramatically boost sales.
It seems all the environmental issues that around the world have hippies crying themselves to sleep in their hemp hammocks, collecting their tears in little vials so as not to waste water, are just not considered issues here. The continual political rhetoric that “people just want gas prices and food prices low,” is fully undermined by the fact that people drive trucks that do just 13 miles to the gallon, drink only bottled water, air-condition everything from their basketball courts to their American football players body armour and that the university, with no logic other than maybe an irrational fear of a freak solar eclipse, blares its floodlights on the sports pitches in daylight hours.
The ‘QE2’, the trans Atlantic cruise liner made famous as the meeting place of Annie and Hallies parents in the 1998 film ‘Parent Trap,’ reportedly moved only six inches for every gallon of diesel that it burnt. This seems fitting as the jump from England to America appears to be one of a huge increase in pointless consumption.