綠色生活藝文爛鬼樓
綠色生活 green life

一種綠色生活的實踐

綠色生活藝文爛鬼樓

文:大蔥(譯:阿菊)

時間:2013年03月5日 21:21

David Eelbode, 比利時安特衛普大學(University of Antwerp)的數學系教授,並為電視台拍攝數學紀錄片;熱愛數學之外,還是狂熱的音樂愛好者,喜歡搖滾電子;酷愛旅行,喜歡來東方,過當地人的生活;嚴格的素食者;環保主義者,單車當步。

大蔥我還在澳門大學讀數學碩士的時候,跟渾身活力爆棚並擁有孩童般純淨眼神的David有過幾次合作。跟其他數學家不同,David總是非常熱情的跟我們探討數學、音樂和環保。令我印象最深的就是他為環保所身體力行的那些行為,比如為減少碳足跡而吃素,堅持不使用一次性餐具等等,彷彿一個小小的人就要為整個大大的地球負上責任。後來,我自己也慢慢成為一個關心地球的環保分子,我想,很大一部分是受了David的感染。為了更了解他的想法和比利時人怎麼看待全球暖化、素食等這些環境議題,去年的時候,我對他作了一次訪談。

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蔥:I know you are a vegetarian, what’s the reason of you to make the decision of giving up meat?

David: I gave up meat (and then later also fish, cheese and other dairy products) when I was 18 years old because I found it horrible to know that creatures were treated badly (and this is an understatement, they are often tortured) and then killed for my food. In the Old Ages, this was necessary – I agree – but nowadays our societies are so advanced that we do have alternatives. Later, when I grew older, I realized that there is a much more important reason to be a vegetarian, and that is the following: not eating meat reduces your carbon footprint drastically, since live-stock farming is responsible for most of the global warming. When you look at the numbers, it is even worse than cars and air traffic!

Moreover, apart from that, you can also do something about the hunger problem in the world, because there is an issue of efficiency: the food you need to raise one cow, which can feed (let’s say) 20 people for a week, can feed *much more* people when you give it to people. Don’t get me wrong, not that we have to eat cow food, I am talking about the farming land that you have to use, and the vast amounts of deforestation that takes place to make sure there is enough land to grow food for live stock.

Finally, I firmly believe it is also healthier, especially if you tend to eat organically grown vegetables.

蔥:我知道你是一個素食者,你可以告訴我們是什麼原因令你決定放棄吃肉的嗎?

David: 我放棄吃紅肉(然後是魚,奶酪和其他乳製品),是因為我在18歲時,發現了動物所遭受到的可怕的待遇(與其說是待遇,不如說成是折磨),經折磨後又被殺死變成我們餐桌上的美食。在以前的時代,我想這是必要的。但在現代如此先進的社會裡,我們還是有其它的選擇。長大後,我才意識到,成為素食者更重要的原因是:由於養殖牲畜的數量與全球變暖有着密切的關係,不吃肉可以顯著減少碳的排放量。當你看到牲畜所造成的碳排放量時,會發現數字比汽車和空中交通工具的碳排放量更大,情況更糟糕!

除此之外,素食者還可以為解決世界的飢餓問題做點事。基於這樣一個效益的原因:打個比方,用以飼養一頭牛所用的食物,足以供給二十個人一個星期的食用,即你用這些食物來給人類食用的話,可以養活更多的人。不要誤會我的意思,我並不是說我們要吃牛的食物,我指的是飼養牲畜所要用的耕地——人類大量地砍伐森林來確保有足夠的土地來為牲畜種植所需的食物。

最後,我堅信,如果人們多吃有機蔬菜的話,素食會令身體更健康。

 

蔥::I’m so glad that you care about the world better than yourself. Why do you think global warming is a serious problem?

David: Difficult one. I read somewhere that for the first time in human history, mankind is facing a point where we can seriously do harm to our planet. I tend to be a positive person in life, but I do think that this is correct. Global warming is indeed a threat to the earth: ecosystems are disappearing (think about deforestation, think about coral reefs, etc.), more and more people are climate refugees and only a small percentage of the world has access to drinking water and enough food. That is a major issue, which goes beyond an ecological problem: this is caring about the other people on earth, the very same planet I am walking on…

蔥:聽到你關心這個世界甚至多過自己,我很感動。為什麼你認為全球變暖是一個嚴重的問題呢?

David: 這是一個很棘手的問題。我第一次在某處閱讀了關於人類的歷史,知道人類正朝著可能會嚴重破壞地球的方向前進。雖然我是一個對生活抱着樂觀態度的人,但我認為這個觀點很正確。全球變暖的確實威脅着地球:生態系統正面臨消失(試想想人類砍伐森林,破壞珊瑚礁等問題);越來越多人淪為氣候變化下的難民;而且, 地球上只有小部分人能得到清潔的飲用水和足夠的食物。這是一個大問題,而不只是一個生態方面的問題:這正正是關乎和我一樣地在地球上生活着的人的問題..

 

蔥:What do a vegetarian eat in Belgium?

David: As a vegetarian in Belgium, I eat lots of vegetables and fruits (local market, so it didn’t come from New-Zealand by airplane, which is often the case). Of course there are also meat substitutes, such as tofu –- tempeh – many different types of vegetable burgers. Also on a sandwich, as we often eat bread here in Europe, there are vegetarian spreads and slices (often made from the things I just mentioned). Also in most restaurants, you can order a vegetarian menu nowadays. And in Ghent, where I live, lots of schools, companies, restaurants and most people try to live up to “Thursday = Veggie day”, which means that on Thursday the majority of the city eats vegetarian.

蔥:在比利時,素食者都吃什麼的呢?

David: 作為比利時的素食者,我吃大量的蔬菜和水果(通常在本地市場購買,這樣可以避免購買用飛機從新西蘭空運而來的食物)。當然,也可食用肉類的替代品:如豆腐(鹵印尼豆腐),許多不同類型的蔬菜漢堡。在歐洲,我們經常吃麵包,這裡也有很多為素食者準備的純素三明治(麵包間所夾的通常都是剛才我所提到過的那些食物)。此外,在大多數餐館裡,你都可以訂購到素食菜單。在我住的地方根特(Ghent),有很多學校、公司、餐廳都嘗試做到 “星期四= 素食日”,意思是這城市中的多數人會在周四素食。

 

蔥:I do think the ‘Thursday=Veggie day’ is such a good idea that I hope my city will do that too. Except being a vegetarian, what do you think we should do to solve this problem?

David: Small things: keep an eye on the amount of water you use on a daily basis, try to buy food was grown organically and has not travelled from other countries or continents, recycle and use recycled stuff (simply carry a bag with you all the time, and refuse to accept bags in a shop), try to use local transportation instead of cars (I don’t have nor want a car, although I can perfectly well afford it), take your bicycle when possible, try not to fly (which is where I also fail miserably, so I am not holier than the Pope), avoid electrical appliances which consume a lot of energy, etc. Most of all, I believe it is important to try to explain to other people what is facing is, and what we can do. You can not change the planet all by yourself, you need other people too. So education and information is an important factor within this respect!

蔥: 我認為把星期四作為素食日是一個很好的主意,我真希望我生活的城市,也能這樣做 。除了做一個素食者之外,你認為我們還應該做些什麼來應對全球變暖呢?

David: 做好生活上的一些小事情:時時都要節約用水;盡量購買非經由其他國家或大洲運過來的有機種植的食品;循環利用生活上的東西(自己隨身攜帶袋子, 而不用商家提供的包裝袋);盡量使用當地的公交 ,而不是私家車(盡管我完全可以買得起一輛汽車,但我沒有買,也不想買);可能的話,盡量使用你的自行車而不要坐飛機(關於這點我感到很慚愧,所以我並不是想像中的那麼神聖);避免使用耗能太大的電器等等。最重要的是,我相信是要告訴別人,我們正面臨着什麼問題以及我們能做些什麼。我們不能獨力去改變地球,我們需齊心合力去做好這件事。因此,資訊和教育在這個問題上是一個非常重要的因素!

 

蔥:Agree, education is indeed a key factor. Do people recycle waste by classification in your country? What kind of materials do you recycle?

David: Yes, it is more or less obligatory. We recycle glass, paper, plastic-metal, green waste and then all the rest. We have different types of waste bags for that, with colour codes. Blue bags for plastic and metal, a green box for green waste, etc…

蔥: 同意,教育真的是非常關鍵的因素。你們國家的人會把垃圾分類循環利用嗎?你們會循環利用哪類材料呢?

David:會的,這差不多成為強制性的事了。我們回收玻璃、紙張、塑料、塑性合金,廚餘,和其他廢棄物。我們用不同類型的帶有顏色代碼的垃圾袋去分類那些廢棄物。例如:藍袋用來裝塑料和金屬, 綠盒用來裝廚餘等等。

 

蔥: Great, I think you Belgian do a very good job in recycling. Then what kind of activities do you think have the greatest amount of CO2 emission in your country? Do Belgium people do something to cut carbon footprint?
David: Pretty sure that this is the meat production, and everything that comes with that. Efforts undertaken are mostly due to people being vegetarian, but there is such a thing like a “lobby” (I hope you are familiar with this term?) from the important people involved. In other words: our government would never be able to – for example – pass a law that everybody HAS to eat vegetarian for two days in the week, because CEO’s from the meat industry have ties with politicians etc… Apart from that, I would say: traffic pollution, due to cars and planes.

蔥: 太棒了,我覺得比利時人的資源回收做得非常好。那麼你認為你們國家什麼樣的活動所排出的CO2 最多? 比利時的人民做些什麼來減少碳排放量呢?
David: 要說這個的話,就非肉食工業莫屬了,以及由此產生的一系列問題。大多數減碳的努力都是素食者們在做的,却有一些很重要的人物在對公眾作出相反的“遊說”(我希望你是明白這個朮語)。換句話說:我們的政府永遠都不能夠做到例如: 通過立法規定每個人都要在一周內吃兩天素食,因為那些肉食行業公司的行政總裁與政客們有密切的關係等等。此外,由汽車和飛機所造成的交通污染也貢獻了很多碳排放。

 

蔥: As you traveled a lot in Asia, what is the suggestion you would like to make to Asian people, or just Chinese people?
David: First of all, it always strikes me how much waste can be in the streets. So that would already be a big improvement, I guess. Also, in Asia people often get a plastic bag for the smallest things. You buy an apple, they put it in a bag. That could be reduced, by for example making people pay for a bag and spreading the idea that it is okay to bring your own bag or backpack…

Also the meat consumption might be an issue, although from that point of view Asia as a whole is not that bad (compared to America and Europe for example): at least Asian people are familiar with things like tofu and vegetarian curries, although I am not sure people tend to leave meat aside every once in a while because they are aware of the footprint. But the vegetarian monks are a good example. I guess that spreading information is the biggest issue. Because it was my impression that meat is still a sign of wealth in many Asian countries: a big proportion of the Asian population (as a whole, this might be a rude generalization) has no money to buy meat. So the problem here is what I would call a misconception: it would be good to make people understand that eating meat is not a good way to underline your position in society.
I was always impressed by the fact that in many Asian countries buses and trains are the main means of transportation, but it seems that cars are more and more becoming a standard – isn’t it? That’s a shame.

蔥: 你已走訪過亞洲的很多地方,你想對亞洲人民、或者只是中國人提出什麼建議嗎?

David: 首先,給我印象深刻的是街道上垃圾的數量。不過我猜應該已經進步了很多吧。此外,我通常對亞洲人往往會為了一件很小的商品要一整個塑料袋來裝感覺非常不解。比如你買一個蘋果,果販就會把它放進袋子裡。這其實是可以避免的,例如徵收袋子的費用,以及向公眾宣傳自備購物袋或背包去購物…..

此外,肉類消費亦是一個問題。雖然從某程度上看來,這方面在亞洲並不算嚴重(例如與美國和歐洲相比):至少亞洲人都熟悉如豆腐和素食咖哩等食物,盡管我不確定人們會不會因為意識到碳排放量的問題而選擇偶爾不吃肉。素食的僧侶真是一個很好的典範。我想,傳播資訊是最重要的。因為在我的印象中,由於還有不少比例的的亞裔人口(對一個大洲來說,這可能只是一個粗略的概括)吃不起肉,所以在許多亞洲國家,吃肉仍然是一種財富的象徵。我覺得這是錯誤的觀念。所以,使人們明白到吃肉並不是衡量社會地位的標準,也許會是一個好的方法。

在許多亞洲國家,人們把公交車和火車當作主要的交通工具,這給我留下深刻的印象。但是,現在私家車似乎是越來越多了,並成了一個衡量財富的標準——不是嗎?這真遺憾呀!