slow and steady wins the race

so i've been doing a bit more thinking and research into potential areas of research for grad school, and one of the topics that i always seem to fall back to (in one way or another) has to do with the slow movement. the more i research it, the more i want to find out more.

i had first stumbled on "in praise of slow" by carl honore while browsing the cultural studies section in chapters. this sociocultural movement started in rome's piazza di spagna when a mcdonald's was set to open, sparking protest among it's community. the 'slow food movement' was born. it's goal is to preserve the cultural cuisine and the associated food, plants and seeds, domestic animals, and farming within an ecoregion. the movement has since grown and expanded to other areas of life, including slow travel, slow communities and cittaslow (literally, slow city) among many many others.

the most appealing aspect of the slow movement is the focus towards the self, health, community and most of all, an environmentally sustainable perspective. it seems that everywhere i look, there is so much pressure on people be super-productive in all aspects of life... resulting in higher than ever levels of stress, sickness, and burnout. we're just not meant to function at such high capacities for prolonged periods of time. but somehow, the message continues. it's funny how once i started looking at things this way, many {many!} of my philosophies and viewpoints about life started being cohesively pulled together. vaccinations and the flu shot, for example, are a huge example of the fast-paced way of life. {after all, it only makes sense; if something's wrong with your body... why bother attempting to fix it with nutrition and exercise when you can medicate it away?}

you could even look at the success that etsy has enjoyed thus far as part of the slow movement; people want something special, unique, and handmade. that is to say, not mass-produced by a machine. it embodies the slow movement's transition from mass-made to handmade and in addition, creating a networked community of artists and their supporters across north america and the rest of the world. pretty nifty, huh?

just to give a more specific idea of what i mean by this, here's a few objectives of the slow food movement, as taken from the all-knowing wikipedia:

"The Slow Food movement incorporates a series of objectives within its mission, including:
  • forming and sustaining seed banks to preserve heirloom varieties in cooperation with local food systems
  • developing an "ark of taste" for each ecoregion, where local culinary traditions and foods are celebrated
  • preserving and promoting local and traditional food products, along with their lore and preparation
  • organizing small-scale processing (including facilities for slaughtering and short run products)
  • organizing celebrations of local cuisine within regions (for example, the Feast of Fields held in some cities in Canada)
  • educating consumers about the risks of fast food
  • educating citizens about the drawbacks of commercial agribusiness and factory farms
  • educating citizens about the risks of monoculture and reliance on too few genomes or varieties
  • developing various political programs to preserve family farms
  • lobbying for the inclusion of organic farming concerns within agricultural policy
  • lobbying against government funding of genetic engineering
  • lobbying against the use of pesticides
  • encouraging ethical buying in local marketplaces "
{i would like to take this opportunity to mention that this past summer, toronto held a slow food event at the brickworks. i was thrilled and would have gone.. but it cost in the neighbourhood of $70 to attend and well, i just dont have that kind of disposible income at this point. but the point is, we hosted it. and that awesome for us. woot! *pops collar*}

i'm not saying that slow solutions are the solutions *all the time*. even in his book, carl honore says there are times for slow, and times for speed. after all, who would be able to keep a job if they were constantly taking breaks to stop and smell the flowers? the point of the slow movement, as i see it, is finding your own balance.

and really now. who doesn't like balance?


Julia said...

Yes! Yes! This is awesome! Keep us posted on the progress. I think this is an awesome topic of discussion and research!

Art Kitten said...

exactly!!! I am so glad that you posted about this!


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