All Our Actions Are Political

7b. Taking a dump is a Political Act

Every single thing we do has consequences and these have political ramifications.

Sorry to get all basic on you, but consider your morning dump. Where does it go? What happens to it? What processes are you supporting when you ‘put your shit out into the world?’

Does it get flushed away down a pipe to be processed at a plant somewhere? The frothy, chocolate milkshake influent usually gets processed into 99% ‘clean’ effluent to enter the water cycle again. Whatever you put in your body becomes part of this process. Millions of pharmaceuticals in use globally have potent effects on wildlife, ecosystems and ourselves through water.  For example the effluent from contraceptive pills is sometimes at higher levels in water than in someone actually taking it, mutating freshwater fish.

The average person produces 50 litres of excrement and 500 litres of urine every year. Chemicals such as sodium chloride, potassium chloride, citric acid and chlorine dioxide are used in used in the water purification. Huge amounts of water are also used to process the effluent. In the US and 10% of the UK fluoride is also added to drinking water, apparently in a mass-medication to prevent tooth decay (this has never been medically proven). You can find darker reasons attributed to this action. The fluoride sometimes added to municipal water supplies is a toxic byproduct from the fertilizer industry from where it is purchased.

The addition of chlorine to drinking water causes large molecular clusters which don’t penetrate deep into the body, leaving people dehydrated and acidified. A morning poop supports all this!

Perhaps you have a septic tank where all your excrement sits and bubbles away until pumping-out time, with the liquid element leaching out into the land. The lorry that pumps it out still takes it to the processing plant. Perhaps you have an electric loo that cooks your turds to a crispy dryness, removing all of the germs. Like processing plants, much of the ‘finished product’ makes its way back to land as a fertiliser.

Have you ever used a composting toilet? In these, the urine and faeces streams are sometimes separated, the solids going into a bucket that breaks down over a couple of years, mixed with organic material such as wood chippings. The liquids run off into the land or are collected to enhance compost. The finished product is returned to the land, often full of mushrooms, to feed trees (rather than on the vegetable garden). Perhaps you just poop in a hole and cover it up? Then grow a tree?

These poop scenarios are choices and each has a different consequence. One difference between an ‘awake’ person and one who is still sleeping is about how ‘conscious’ these choices are. OK you might think it a step too far to say that even taking a shit is a political action, but I don’t think it is because I like to think I accept responsibility for my shit.

This is where ‘resistance’ comes in. A big part of resistance is making conscious choices. That lovely ‘tiger loaf’ that you enjoy from the supermarket – do you know its made with palm oil? In consuming this you are supporting the destruction of the habitat of Orangutans? Eating those Mexican Tacos or the Cornflakes made from genetically modified corn is supporting Monsanto’s attack on life, that weedkiller you use that kills bees, your choice of having a cat that kills the local birds, driving to work, using a patio heater …need I go on?

Becoming ‘awake’, becoming conscious of the consequences of our actions is not easy. It means taking responsibility for our own existence rather than giving it to the lecturer, the doctor, the politician, the government or the system. The real revolution is the revolution of values, and in the end it is only a choice between fear and love.

If we choose to, we can generate collaborative abundance for all. The first step is to pause and ask: What if we choose collaboration and regeneration over exploitation and degeneration? What if we choose to thrive together, rather than compete against?

Daniel Christian Wahl


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