Article in The New Republic

Beyond thrilled to share my article, published today, whereby I channel my despair from both my hometown (Seattle) and my father’s homeland (Greece) burning, and suggest there is a way forward. I’m calling it “P6.”

Article in the New Republic by Eleni Vlachos

Last month, I started to feel despair as I watched an entire island burn to the ground in my father’s homeland, Greece. I contacted my cousins nearby in Athens to ensure they were not in danger. Though one cousin lives very close to some of the forest fires occurring, she and her family did not have to evacuate. Yet.

Meanwhile, back in Seattle, my family and friends were sharing coping strategies for the unprecedented heat waves in the region, a rain forest. They spent days inside both due to the heat and the smoke from wildfires ripping through Eastern Washington, Oregon, and California.

Me with Pooh bear and my mother, Janine. No smoke (except from my Dad’s cigarettes)

As a kid growing up in Seattle, I never had to stay inside to avoid inhaling smoke, nor did we have or need an air conditioner. The rate at which our climate is reacting, changing, and transforming our lives is astounding, and, I think, cause for immediate action.

However, it’s a huge problem to tackle. What can we, individually, actually do?

My “anything goes” room, invented by my mother. What’s that on my head? Admittedly, I was weird from the start.

When I was a wee tot (see above) my mother decided that I could mess up my own room as much as I wanted. The deal was, the rest of the house was off limits. The beauty of her strategy (really, she should have published a book called “Junk Drawer Child”) was that by allowing a bit of chaos in one place, she prevented a catastrophe in the rest of the house.

It is a similar strategy I am suggesting here with the idea of P6 — plant-based six days per week. Eat what you want on Monday. The rest of the week? Plant-based.

The Case for Meatless Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Those who know me, know how much I care about — along with so many of you — the plight of defenseless animals raised to be eaten. It is this path of understanding just how terrible their lives and deaths are, fundamentally, that led to my understanding of the connection between climate and our plates. It is my hope that rather than despair, as I did initially, that we can see a way forward, together.

If each of us can tend to this strategy with our patch of land — our bodies — there is hope that we can continue living on this planet together.

“Helping” my Papa rake, Seattle

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