Livin’ La Vida Local

I’ve been brought down by furry slippers. Specifically, the furry slippers are the most recent derailment in my ongoing quest to be an ethical consumer. As Mike put it, “becoming a hippie who lives exclusively off hemp products” seems to be the only way to be avoid causing misery somewhere.

This moral dilemma has been occupying space in my heart for years. I was brought up, as most millennials are, to be outraged by human and animal rights violations. Our generation has seen massive leaps forward in understanding, tolerance, and technology. It doesn’t seem unrealistic that I could believe humankind had successfully switched to actually fake fur. Not so. It turns out that fake fur originating from Asia is typically made from cat or dog fur. No problem. I can take an extra minute to check the label. I found these furry slippers and looked all over it and it was labelled as 100% polyester. Success! I brought them home and took a closer look at the label. In tiny print underneath that 100% polyester it said something like “may contain materials not man-made.” I take this to mean that in my 100% polyester slippers, there’s a good chance Rocky’s distant cousin, Pocky, donated some fur to keep my feet warm.

Pocky’s slippers are one example out of many. Meat, shrimp, electronics, quinoa, makeup….apparently to live cruelty-free you need to be a skilled private detective that thrives off of self deprivation. Even so,  I have a deep reluctance to throw in the towel. The word ‘stubborn’ has been thrown around. Really though, we all know that failure is the tuition for success.  My new attack plan? Go local. It’s the perfect time of year as we gear up into spring.

The experience of a farmer’s market is so much more enjoyable than a grocery store. Every year I’m determined that I will make it to the markets on a regular basis, but sadly I am not a morning person which can make it tough. That’s why the River Heights Farmer’s Market is great for me since it’s at a more reasonable hour of 12:00 pm on Fridays. Unfortunately since that doesn’t start up til July, I’m going to head to the Manitoba Hydro builing to visit the Downtown Farmer’s Market as it returns April 7th. For a listing of other markets check here. At the same River Heights Farmer’s Market, I had the chance to purchase humanely-raised meat from Food Ethos farm. They have a balanced agriculture approach that avoids pesticides and allows their animals to range freely. I’m currently looking into setting up a monthly meat orders with them. For more information click here.

I’ve gone to quite a few Winnipeg Christmas craft sales, but I wasn’t aware that there are some markets in the spring as well. I’ve already booked the Third and Bird Spring Market and the West Etsy Market in my calendar (as we all know I’d never remember to go otherwise). Both of these markets are on April 30th.

I think that while it will be a challenge, living locally will also inspire me to feel more connected to this place that I call home. I don’t expect to succeed wholly since I’m not one of those prairie pilgrim people. But at the very least I’ll know that some of my dollars are going back into my own community and to the good people that live here.

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