Eco Blogging Series, Part 4
Eco Cat Lady Speaks is a frugal living and cooking blog by Eco Cat Lady, a self-proclaimed ‘noveau-hippy’ from Denver, USA. What makes her blog unique among eco blogs is its clever use of lol cat memes (see images) to lighten up the subject matter, to the effect that her blog is as much fun to read as it is insightful and informative about eco issues.
Every time I read her blog I laugh out loud. That’s a real achievement. On her blog, instead of feeling annoyed and dejected about the state of the world while reading about eco issues, her posts make me chuckle and let off steam. She cares just as much about what’s wrong about our cultures – from artificial food, to wastefulness, to hoarding – as I do. Yet she has taught me that there is another way to vent about the insanity of western habits of consumerism. And that way is to write about it all with a good dose of cutting humour.
If more eco bloggers could lighten the tone once and a while, perhaps wider audiences would be interested in learning about these important issues. And then maybe they’d be inspired to think differently.
As much as Eco Cat Lady is funny, she is also a perceptive critic of American culture. Each post has a personal or moral message from which we can all learn. She critiques culture from the perspective of an eco outsider who is dismayed at the insanity of the world around her – a standpoint from which anyone with eco eccentricities can identify with.
Though I do not know who the real Eco Cat Lady is (behind the pseudonym) I feel as if I know a lot about her, as the blog is very personal in tone, even diary-like. She doesn’t shy away from writing about relationships or about sad life events but instead incorporates her life experience into posts that are on-topic, and concern eco issues.
By fusing personal experience and eco opinion, Eco Cat Lady has created an original and memorable blog. (That’s made even more enjoyable with a liberal dose of lol cat images)
Eco Cat Lady’s blog is vastly more readable than most blogs in the eco blogosphere. This has as much to do with the form of the text, as it does her excellent content.
Eco Cat Lady doesn’t overwhelm readers with large blocks of text. Practically every paragraph there’s a relevant, funny image to break up it up.
The images are high quality and have required time and effort on Eco Cat Lady’s part. People aren’t really interested to see random images, so endeavor to make them on topic. If you want to make lol cat images or images of another internet meme you will find easy to use image generators online
Eco Cat Lady’s blog consistently makes use of lol cats as a meme – which can be likened to an internet ‘in joke’. Lol cats is a highly popular meme and plus a lot of people adore cats = using lol cats is a win win strategy for blog traffic!
Eco Blogging Series, Part 4. By Joddle and Tarik
Approaching serious topics with a light-hearted, humourous tone can help eco bloggers reach much wider audiences. Most people don’t want to think or commit (tl;dr) when they’re online. For most people most of the time, the internet is a vehicle for entertainment. So how can a serious blog – about issues with frightening implications – attempt to capture this market?
Humour is key to get your message across, if your goal is to reach the widest possible readership. Blogs are like other forms media platforms in this regard. Take The Daily Show. potentially dry topics centred on american political news and the hipocrisies of the media are lifted with jokes to reach mass audiences, helped further by it’s digestible, distilled format. The show has been running for over a decade, giving people just enough information, with the right balance of detail and comedy.
Having shareable content is another factor. When it comes to social networking there is a noticeable pressure to be funny and most interaction between friends and even strangers on these sites make this self-evident. I am not a typical socia media user; I share articles I find interesting plus my own content. A lot people never share or ‘like’ articles, but share only their status, music, and jokes. While I do know that people follow links on Facebook to this blog, I also know that they do not share or ‘like’ my content, and that is because it isn’t cool, and neither does it fulfill the ‘humour imperative’.
The humour imperative dictates that one’s internet persona should be funny and cool and fun to hang out with. If you met me at a party and I went on and on about the host’s use of plastic cups, sending a plastic tear straight to landfill, you would find me a preachy party pooper. Well, meet my online persona – the equivalent of a (insert humourous analogy here). That’s my point, though. I can’t do ‘humour’. But incorporating lighter pieces is a possibility and something to work on!
Yet there is an alternative; plagiarism. An army of photoshop hobbyists are out there making memes and macros for me to, potentially, nick, share and bask in the reflective glory.
So if you feel this article has adequately fulfilled the humour imperative, please feel free to share (this time).
Guest post by Stephen
Mounting climate and population pressures along with global scarcity of resources mean that the future is set to be veggie. Over exploitation of water and fuel combined with population growth means that food is getting harder to produce. The earth simply can’t maintain a population of millions eating a meat-rich western-style diet. A vegetarian diet for all is the inevitable consequence of pillaging the earth’s resources without thought for tomorrow. Indeed, as global population and fuel consumption continue to accelerate we speed ever closer to the day when the masses / all (?) of us will be obliged to eat a soley vegetarian diet.
Right now vegetarianism is a choice. As far as I’m concerned, above all else, there are ethical and sustainablity imperatives for vegetarianism in the 21st Century. As recently as sixty years ago we hadn’t yet dreamt up the most of cruel and barbaric practices that come hand in hand with monstrous factory farms. Just imagine the appalling animal welfare conditions in indoor farming environments. While it means we can buy a £2 chicken in the supermarket, one has to consider the wisdom of pumping toxins (antibiotics) and growth hormones into a foodstuff.
Of course, if we removed the animals from such hellholes and went back to the old farming systems that our ancestors founded, it wouldn’t be necessary to unrelentingly abuse animals throughout their conscious lives. Nor would we have to inject them to prevent their inopportune expiration. As things stand, the abattoir is a light at the end of the tunnel for our sorely maltreated animals.We go through all this just so the customer can get some cheap toxic meat. However, we cannot return to the old ways either – and that’s because we haven’t enough prime land to keep apace with our soaring population and insatiable appetite for meat products, at any cost, but also the cheapest possible cost.
And let’s pause to consider the economics of this insane model of production. I’ll break it down for you. The animals are fed pellets (vegetable concentrate) which have been grown in our industrial-agricultural system of food production, which isn’t possible without oil (which is running out) and oil-derived fertilisers. The animals derive energy from the pellets and over time bulk up for the plate. But the whole process is extraordinarily inefficient. Now factor in a world of depleting resources. At lot goes in (water, food, fuel) and just a few meals come out. For those few meals we pump CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, accelerating dangerous climate change.
As population pressures build and more people embrace western habits of consumption, food is going to get harder to produce. We will have to put even more in to get the same amount out. Irrespective of our desire to eat dead animal carcass, we will have no choice left in the end, but to go down the veggie route. The price of meat will increase until it is unaffordable for most people. When this day comes, we’ll have moved on from deliberating over the moral arguments for vegetarianism. There will simply be no other way.
(If you would like to guest post at waste AM email joddle with your idea)