Breastfeeding and sustainability.

Author:O'Reilly, Erin
Position:Surviving Climate Change

I came away from the Roundtable with some ideas about how we as a society can transition to healthier, sustainable and more pleasurable ways of living. My first thought has to do with all the people (especially Americans) who are entrenched in unsustainable lifestyles: living in huge, faraway homes, driving long distances in large personal vehicles, making lots of money working long hours for companies that damage our earth, succumbing to the work-a-lot/buy-a-lot/pay-a-lot rat race (among whom are those who have too much money but not enough time), and addicted to products to make up for the lack of humanistic pleasures that a simpler life would afford.

We must recognize that just as an obese person enjoys better health and more sustained weight loss if they lose weight slowly, we should wean away from this "overdone" lifestyle slowly but surely. I know that we need to hurry, but too many people are vested in this kind of lifestyle and won't readily change.

Changes could start with the easier and more acceptable and then gradually reach a tipping point.

If we could get health classified as a sort of directive for laws, religion, education, and social/cultural/ environmental policies, then we could guide and enable our productive community to go in the direction of healthier products and services and gain profit from that! Employing the recycling concept and use of artistry to retool/redirect our society would be helpful and pleasurable! Finally, make life easier by more time off work, especially during vulnerable times in a person's life. Following are some examples of what I mean specific to my line of interest/work (breastfeeding promotion and support):

  1. Start simple:

    We desperately need a national assessment of breastfeeding rates (initiation, continuation, exclusivity) at specific times during the course of a year or more. Breastfeeding is an immunization in and of itself, and we already have a national program for immunization assessment in this country so why don't we just tack on the breastfeeding assessment to immunizations?

  2. Retool what we have instead of putting companies and people out of work:

    Formula companies make billions of dollars and employ thousands of people allowing them to "make a living," so putting them out of business would be detrimental to many. We should compel our government to establish a plan, a timetable, and maybe even some tax breaks for formula companies to retool themselves as Milk Banks. Brazil has...

To continue reading