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May 17, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
The eggs I ate this morning were brown eggs. To me, hens that lay brown eggs are likely happier than hens that lay white eggs. I have no watertight rationale behind that understanding. Maybe brown eggs are just genius marketing, like making chip bags matte instead of shiny to make them look healthier.
Eggs are just one example of a continual problem of mine. I have a bleeding heart. I also have a limited budget and only 24 hours in my day. Making the heart thing work in the context of the second two isn’t easy.
I don’t have the time to research the origins of all of my food. Fruits and veggies from local farms I can do, but how do I know my cumin doesn’t have a shady background? I don’t have the cash to buy shoes that contain only recycled organic rubber and are guaranteed to have been assembled by a factory in Taiwan that has ample ventilation and fair wages, especially if I want to keep buying those more expensive brown eggs.
Of course, this probably makes my actions seem opportunistic, my attitude naive and my heart more Grinch than bleeding. Although I probably can do better, the question to ask isn’t “am I doing everything right” or “am I missing something?” Using those questions, you could make even the most fervent social activist look like a hypocrite.
Instead of aiming for a destination of perfection, we should strive to stay on a path of continual improvement. The question to ask: “Is today better than yesterday?” A group of MU students aim to make tomorrow better than today. By bringing sweatshop-free clothing to the MU Bookstore, they aren’t eliminating sweatshops, but they are giving us options to take a step in a better direction.