Aug 15, 2008


The late summer edition of VegNews has an article by Mickey Z. that I can't stop thinking about. It talks about how cell phones require a metal ore called coltan. The bulk of coltan is found in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). The DRC is embroiled in a massive and deadly civil war. The mining and sale of coltan are feeding both sides of the conflict. The people of the DRC are victims of our cell phone addiction.

The other victims are the Eastern Lowlands Gorillas, the world's largest primates. They are headed for extinction, and are among the millions of refugees in the area.

Mickey Z. asks us if we will
"....ever disrupt our (allegedly) comfortable lives and dedicate ourselves to stopping—by any means necessary—nightmares like global warming, US military interventionism, economic exploitation, animal agriculture, and environmental devastation?

It's not as if we don't have choice (and I'm not talking about picking Chris Brown over Linkin Park). Ask yourself this: Which do you prefer, a consumer culture or an ozone layer? Hamburgers or rain forests? Cell phones or Eastern Lowlands Gorillas? Would we give up the ability to text TTYL to our BFF to help save an entire species from going extinct?

In 2008, it's a valid question. You can type that in your damn cell phone and text it."

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