But the puppies are sad, you tell me. Well, that sucks. I definitely don’t want the puppies to be sad. Moping malamutes are the worst! So, I care about the puppies. That means I care about them getting adopted to nice homes, shutting down puppy mills, and whether or not their food is filled with processed evil.
But people food is also laden with evil, you insist. Really? What kind of evil, precisely? Trans fats, and insect parts, and wood pulp! Oh my. Wood pulp seems so unnecessary to my Oreo enjoyment. Well, then I definitely care about keeping our food natural. Maybe I’ll start eating organic and free-range products only. I am feeling super helpful and conscientious already!
But the food industry is still mean to animals, you persist. I suppose that’s true. What we do to obtain veal is pretty terrible, even if it’s delicious, and I already don’t eat foie gras on principle. If I really cared, I wouldn’t consume animal products at all. Let no coffee ice cream besmirch the household of the righteous! Sigh. I’m really going to miss chili burgers, but at least I still have pretty dresses. (Made from cotton, not silk, because: worm death.)
Yeah, dresses that are made from malice, you scoff. Shit. Don’t ruin the dresses for me too! Oh, look, here’s a nice sunny email…full of deadly working conditions, and the truth about clothes donation, and intellectual property theft. Damn it, World. This is why we can’t have nice things! So, I should just make all my clothes from now on, is what you’re saying. FINE. I can do that, because I totally have a sewing machine and loads of fabric.
Fabric that came from evil factories, you cackle. Just look at this—
No. No, no, no! Just stop it. World, I cannot care about all the things! The moment I do, I fall down a rabbit hole of causes and come out wearing a burlap sack, eating raw kale flakes, surrounded by an unreasonable number of puppies. According to you, I’m never doing enough. It’s great to have a cause and be socially-informed, but it seems inefficient to care about them all. While I’m worrying about whether or not my wheat germ is locally sourced, there are glitches hitting the Mars rover, prime ministers being charged with treason, and naked bicycle protests happening. There are also books to be read, friends to support, and a professor to adore.
I literally cannot care about all the things. There are too many worries, too many world woes, to keep up with. The best any of us can do is support the causes that resonate with us and tune out the noise that insists we’re not doing enough. Be a vegan, or just eat free range meat. Keep eating McDonald’s, but dedicate yourself to fostering abandoned ferrets. Filter out the pressure and just care, whatever that means to you.
For me, that means keeping up with the feminist and equality movements, consuming less in general, and evangelizing health education. You could sew all your own clothes or ride your bike everywhere or save constipated groundhogs. Do what you can and what you must, because no one can care about all the things.