The January 22nd New Yorker magazine arrived today and I highly recommend buying it for two reasons. One is the cover with a picture of The President of the United States strumming a musical instrument and wearing a Roman crown on his head. The cover is titled While Rome Burns.
The second is an article by Elizabeth Rolbert on Amory Lovin, a man who truly lives turning the "energy crisis" around. Lovins is C.E.O. of the Rocky Mountain Institute, and its stated goal is to foster "the efficience and restorative use of resources to make the world secure, just, prosperous, and life-sustaining."
Lovins likes to quote Wallace Stevens. "After the final no there comes a yes and on that yes the future world depends."
Ah, a third reason. There is an article by Steven Shapin on the history of vegetarianism. It ends with this statement by Ben Franklin who became a vegetarian when he was 16. He fell off the wagon when on his first sea voyage from Boston, his ship was becalmed off Block Island. Words of Ben Franklin:
"Our People set about catching Cod, & haul'd up a great many. Hitherto I had stuck to my Resolution of not eating animal Food; and on this Occasion, I consider'd ... the taking every Fish as a kind of unprovok'd Murder, since none of them had or ever could do us any Injury that might justify the Slaughter. All of this seem'd very reasonable. But I had formerly been a great Lover of Fish, & when this came hot out of the Frying Pan, it smeled admirably well. I balanc'd some time between Principle and Inclination: till I recollected, that when the Fish were opened, I saw smaller Fish taken out of their Stomachs: Then thought I, if you eat one another, I don't see why we mayn't eat you. So I din'd upon God very heartily and continu'd to eat with other People, returning only now & then occasionally to a vegetable Diet. So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable Creature, since it enables one to find or make a Reason for everything one has a mind to do."
I love that last line. I am also intrigued by his spellings. How odd that we are more generous with our "e's."
May your evening be one of ease, and perhaps a dining on veggies and fish!!