Why SUSTAINABLE Isn’t A Liberal Word

The last few weeks, I have been on the receiving end of something pretty cool:



Isn’t that awesome? The thing is, I’ve devoted a huge amount of time and energy to building up this little website that some people like to read. I don’t earn money from it (actually, that isn’t true—I earned $1.73 from ads this month—which will more than offset all the costs associated with maintaining, hosting, and promoting this site to be sure). Because this is something I do purely for passion, I am kind of in awe when people send me messages of attack that go something like this:

“I cannot support your liberal agenda!”

“This is just another attempt at the government to control what we eat and how we farm!”

“Delete this site! If you read it, you clearly are uneducated. THE U.N. WANTS TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD, and this is just another part of that.”

I’ve been called socialist, communist, and a hater of all humans. My favorite emails and comments of all, though, are the ones that tag me as some kind of sicko government co-conspirator out to brainwash you.

In light of all the hate, I thought perhaps I should clear up a few things about Sustainable Kentucky.

  1. We are not government-funded, government-connected, or government-controlled. I am just a girl with a computer who likes to write about food, farming, and the future of this country. In my day job, I write books for kids (unrelated to my liberal sustainable agenda!) and occasionally do a little writing for businesses looking to market themselves. That’s it. The federal government has never hired me to market their liberal propaganda. Interestingly enough, neither has the United Nations! (Although, if there’s a position available . . . please let me know as I’m sure it would pay more than I make now.)
  2. This is not a political website on any level. I don’t advocate for being red or blue (per those awesome maps they post on the news around election time)—I advocate for being green. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.) I have many readers who are unabashed “liberals” and voted for Obama in the last election. I have many readers who are “conservatives” and are concerned about our loss of rights in this country as it relates to our ability to grow and consume the food we want. I have even more readers who hate the government all together and do not want to affiliate with either side of the debate. (Honestly, I probably fall in more with those folks as it seems things all stay the same no matter who is in office.) I think food security is an issue that spans the political divide.
  3. I do not worship the sun, moon, trees, stars, or any member of the animal family. I love the earth and everything in it. I believe that every piece of the puzzle is part of an important cooperative balance that is finely tuned and could easily unravel at the hands of our own selfishness—no matter our political affiliation. I don’t advocate killing humans to save the redwoods, whales, or even baby seals. (And baby seals are really cute!)
  4. I am not trying to “brainwash” anyone. If I could, that would be totally awesome! But, alas, my marketing skills have not yet reached that level. You can take or leave everything I say on this blog. If you feel that the recipes, gardening tips, or interviews with individuals looking to improve the quality of life in their community amount to brainwashing, then, by all means, feel free to read another blog.

I define sustainability as a way of life that adds to my children’s future rather than takes away from it.

When I recycle, I ensure that there will be plenty of products available for my grandchildren.

When I plant a garden, I do it for the pure, unadulterated joy. (Not because the UN says I should.)

When I choose to eat local and organic, I do so because it just plain tastes better. (Not because Michelle Obama is growing garden at the White House.)

When I try to limit trips to town to only when I truly need to go, consolidating all my errands on one day instead of ten, it is because it saves me money. I would do it irregardless of climate change, my carbon footprint, or what Al Gore has told me.

When I set my thermostat lower than everyone else, turn my lights out earlier, and compost my food waste, it is because it is the sensible, American thing to do. Americans have always been known for their frugality, work ethic, and ability to stretch a dollar—something that goes back to the pioneer spirit that founded this country. We’ve strayed too far from our roots, and pursuing sustainability is nothing more than returning to what we know is right, what is so deeply mapped in our DNA that we feel intense satisfaction every time we move closer to our goal.

When I choose not to eat factory farmed chickens, it isn’t because I hate farmers. Or factories. Or chickens. Or meat. It’s because the reality of how food is raised in this country is absolutely disgusting. IF IT ISN’T GOOD FOR THE ANIMALS, IT ISN’T GOOD FOR THE PEOPLE THAT EAT THEM. To quote Harvey Ussery—and many other food philosophers, when we eat animals “whose lives are psychic hell, we are eating their anguish.”(1) There’s no denying you can taste the difference! Not to mention, salmonella doesn’t ask your voting preference before making you very, very ill.

When I promote the idea of community, of working together, of using our combined resources to reach a common goal, it is not because I believe the government should be footing the bill. I believe that community, welfare, and TRUE social security, begins at home, where we live, right now, with the people around us. “Loving our neighbor” is a principle that is thousands of years old—much older than the “liberal” agenda.

Sustainability is bigger than being a Democrat. It’s bigger than being a Republican. It’s not left or right, up or down, blue or red.

Sustainability is making a better world for myself, for the beautiful baby boys that I brought into this world with God’s blessing, for their children, and all the precious lives that come after that. It’s preserving this world as we know it so that future generations can enjoy it, savor it, taste a fresh ear of corn right from the field without worrying if it has been contaminated with GMOs.

It’s about love, and there’s nothing political about that.

(1) Quote from The Small-Scale Poultry Flock by Harvey Ussery

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3 Responses to “Why SUSTAINABLE Isn’t A Liberal Word”

  1. April 16, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    “It’s about love, and there’s nothing political about that.”

    WOW!! I’m almost glad the haters found their way to you because it resulted in this fantastic article that we can pass on to others!! Keep writing OK/ I’m sorry I don’t even have your first name to address you by but THANK YOU SO MUCH !!!!

  2. April 16, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Thank you! I have to explain the same things (although sometimes my answers are different). Not sure why some people go there, but you’ve explained yourself wonderfully. Peace and love.

  3. Joy
    April 17, 2012 at 10:34 am #