Thursday, July 14, 2005

Adventures at Dancing Rabbit

I watched Morgan Spurlock's Ecovillage episode Wednesday night (see my post about it below). He sent "two people from New York City and with no warning whisked them off to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage." Dancing Rabbit put up a page on their site about it.

Dancing Rabbit's Ecovillage is totally off the grid. They make all of their own energy. Spurlock did a great job of contextualizing the issues of sustainability that going off the grid imply. He explained that our resources were finite. He showed the members of Dancing Rabbit (the "Rabbits") explaining to our heroes Johari and Vito (the guests) why they did certain practices, for example, "hu-manuring." The Rabbits don't see why toilets should be flushed with perfectly good drinking water.

Johari and Vito started their adventure by getting picked up in a veggie oil diesel, which tickled Johari's fancy. She kept laughing about it. She didn't feel the same way about it when she had to pick up the used veggie oil from the back of restaurants, however. It looked like a big vat of snot to her (and I had to agree).

Their next adventure was installing solar panels for their recycled grain bin apartments. They were both very relieved to get lights.

Then there was the issue of eating vegan:

For the whole month our new folks ate in Skyhouse with the Bobolink food co-op. Johari seemed pretty happy with the food and cooked a great meal with Amy. Vito was happy to eat almost anything but was missing his normal omnivorous diet. For good or bad this became a central theme in the 30 Days plot - where could Vito (soon nicknamed Meato) get some meat.

See, the thing was that Morgan Spurlock told them they had to eat only unpackaged, organic food so Vito couldn't just go to the local store and buy some steaks. Instead we had him hunting rabbits, buying some local chickens, getting venison from Sandhill and some other neighbors, and finally finding an organic beef producer in the area. We hope we aren't portrayed as anti-meat fascists but also hope the point is made that eating less meat is generally more ecological given current agricultural systems.

The Rabbits didn't look so good in response to the meat issue. In fact they came off as a little bit uptight the whole way through. They had meetings to discuss the impact of the visitors on their lifestyle and they were upset with the rabbit hunting as well as the perfumed products. Johari, on the other hand, countered with "what if I told you I was allergic to B.O.?" Good point, Johari! What are we going to do about personal products post peak?

But over all it was very entertaining and educational. Hats off to Spurlock and the FX network.

1 comment:

Jay Denari said...

Johari, on the other hand, countered with "what if I told you I was allergic to B.O.?" Good point, Johari! What are we going to do about personal products post peak?

Probably nothing. Our ancestors did fine without them for millennia, and so will we. After a while, we'd just adapt to it and not even notice BO. Johari's quip was a little funny, but isn't likely to be true -- she and others may not like BO, but being allergic to it is an entirely different issue.

I'm more concerned about what we'll do without modern antibiotics. I imagine we'll have some serious disease problems post-peak that penicillin and herbal meds won't make a dent in. We're already seeing multiple-drug-resistant diseases (TB comes to mind), and some killers of yesteryear are still occasionally found in the wild but have been suppressed because of basic antibiotics that wouldn't be easily available (the plague comes to mind). With widespread hunger likely, society's disease resistance will be lower than it has been in at least a century, almost guaranteeing some kind of epidemic at some point.