By Grace Amjad

I came into this assembly expecting a discussion about reducing the harm we put on the earth but walking out and reflecting now that isn’t exactly what happened, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an important assembly. Most of the people I talked to afterward said they didn’t like or didn’t get anything out of the assembly and I can agree that it was not really about how we can help reduce the effects of climate change, rather it was focused more on the philosophical/personal side of it. But even though it wasn’t what I was expecting, I still really enjoyed just listening to 3 incredibly intelligent people talk about their lives and the earth and for me personally, I actually did get a lot from it.

When Sarah, the poet, talked about being a vegetarian when she’s out but being mostly vegan at home it was a really important sentiment to hear. I stopped eating beef and most red meat last year and have now stopped eating most meat, but I always feel like I need to be doing more. And through a lot of reflection, and that assembly I know now that what I’m doing is good and it is okay to eat meat every once in a while. And even though I’m not dropping everything and going vegan, that’s okay because I am still doing something. Sarah made it a point of talking about how we don’t have to give up everything in order to help stop climate change. I can occasionally eat meat and its okay as long as I’m consciously eating it and making an effort to not do it all the time.

Doing lots of little things to love the earth is such a great option. Stopping the use of all single-use plastics is such an easy thing to do, and it makes a huge impact. Just yesterday, I bought new reusable grocery bags to keep in my car at all times and I carry my reusable water bottle with me everywhere, because that is an easy way to cut down on how much plastic we are using.

It’s been about a year since I stopped eating beef and it was really hard at first because up until that time, beef was a pretty big part of my diet and I still crave it sometimes, but I can see more clearly why I am doing this. I’m doing this for my kids and their kids and everyone who can’t or won’t do anything to help now.

This article isn’t me trying to tell everyone else what to do, or me shaming people for not trying to help but I do hope that this gave you a little push to pass up your next serving of meat, or remember to bring reusable bags to the grocery store with you next time, or even just have a recycling bin in your room.