Letter From the Editor - Edition 08
August 18, 2023
BR Editor in Chief
A few years ago, while I was in the kitchen of a friend’s home, she showed me a curiously filled mason jar she pulled from atop her counter. I wasn’t exactly sure what she had inside it, and I asked her to explain. She simply said, “That is all the trash I have created in the past year.” I asked her to repeat herself: “The past year?” Yes, she said, the past 365 days. I was shocked, then impressed. She shared with me some of the changes she had made, and then we continued catching up about other topics.
While driving home, I thought more about it and realized how complex her zero-waste challenge was. Groceries seemed easy, such as bringing my own bags and not using plastic for produce, but what about other changes? Let’s take a simple, daily activity like brewing all my coffee at home. Simple, right? Clearly, Keurig and Nespresso pods are out. We’re going whole bean, but what about the packaging the beans come in? Ok, now I need to buy beans in bulk. What about the coffee filters? Maybe I can find reusable ones. What about the milk carton? Where do I find bulk milk? By the time I got home, I realized it just wasn’t for me. Too complex, too much to change. I recycle—that should be enough, right?
Decision fatigue kills more good intentions than anything else, I think. We recognize we need to make a change, but where do we start? The problem, at first, seems insurmountable and because of that we give up before we begin. Many people know the quote from Lao Tzu, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” but less well-known, and certainly my favorite, is from Desmond Tutu. He once said, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.”
This Special Edition of the Bowman Report is simply our first bite in tackling the elephant of global sustainability. There will be many courses, and like any great dinner party, the conversations, and connections we share will last longer in our memories than the food. We at KVP hope this issue inspires you to take your first bite, or to join the conversation about sustainability in the veterinary industry.