meet the freegans...
in my quest to find out just how far some crunchies will go in the pursuit of green godliness, i stumbled across the freegans. what is a freegan? well, according to the website freegan.info freegans are "people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources." basically, a freegan is someone who claims to be anti-consumerist while consuming the foods and waste you've discarded. the smock has three words: yuck. ick. and, ewwww.
some strategies for this lifestyle?
- dumpster diving
- trainhopping and bumming rides
- tresspassing on private property and squatting
- "voluntary unemployment"
it would be really easy to totally lambast these people as freakazoids of the highest degree, but to be fair, some of what these uber-crunchers say rings true. and while i sympathize with those who want to be more, er, conservative in their consumption (yes, recycle! yes, re-use! and yes, renew!), i simply cannot wrap my brain around the fact that choosing to be a jobless, homeless freeloader is a good thing.
and of course, the smock totally objects to the "holier-than-thou" attitude some of these green-beanies have adopted. case in point: “if a person chooses to live an ethical lifestyle it’s not enough to be vegan, they need to absent themselves from capitalism,” said adam weissman, 29, who started freegan.info. so, the smock asks, is freeganism only virtuous if it's voluntary? the rest of the dumpster diving squatters are just opportunistic parasites sucking off the working classes they despise? this sort of reasoning leaves me completely nonplussed. and, honestly, if you don't need all the crap corporations are trying to shove down your throat, why are you stealing that crap outta my trash and shoving it down your throat?
and here's a disturbing thought that i couldn't find an answer to in my research on freegans: what about their children? what sort of protection do they have from all of the food-borne illnesses of crap food and all of the diseases associated with such unsanitary living conditions? i'd love to know.
on the lighter side of the dumpster, one woman's go at being freegan-lite for a month can be found here: freegan ride; a lengthy, thought-provoking article can be found here: marginal utility: elitist dumpster divers; and another interesting take here: wisdom at the bottom of a dumpster, where the author points out:
freegans are most likely to vote for democrats who keep promising free stuff. free health care, free housing, free college tuition. free, free, free.
freegans won't vote for conservatives, because conservatives keep insisting, stubbornly, foolishly, that free stuff isn't really free and somebody has to pay and that somebody is you. who wants to hear such nonsense?