Mandell spent a week in Senegal before we met up for our second conversation, and I was following his adventures on Instagram. When I came across a video of him walking just a few meters behind two big lions, I almost choked!
I mean, those are some seriously respect-inducing animals, for sure!
So of course, I ask Mandell about this, eager to find out what it felt like (hearing him speak of it I am reminded of when I was a young child wandering off from mom or dad, repeatedly looking back over my shoulder to make sure mom/dad is still there, and that I am not doing something I’m not supposed to. Mandell being the child, and the lion trainer being the parent.) which has us head straight into the territory of inner struggles with ethical dilemmas.
‘It’s definitely an internal struggle of enjoyment at whose expense.’ ~Mandell
Like zoo’s, fly fishing, shopping for sneakers or clothes, opting out of being a car-owner, and whether or not to fly to Scotland (and elsewhere).
Mandell spoke of Consumed, a book he read on consumerism and the textile industry especially, a book that totally shifted his purchasing behaviour especially concerning sneakers, which has been an interest of his since his teens. (He has hundreds of pairs of sneakers. Hundreds! I am not sure if I have ten pairs of shoes even…)
‘Are [companies] sustainable or aren’t they? Or are they just doing it for money? If you’re really a sustainable company, why do you have a sustainable line? Shouldn’t everything you do be sustainable?’ ~Mandell
My main take-away from this conversation is something Mandell puts his finger on, which is that each person has their own journey here. I don’t want to push, or shame, anyone into making the same decisions that I’ve made. No. I make my decisions, you make yours, and in the space in-between, there’s that field of Rumi’s where we can meet.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.”
So if you’re up for a an hour and twenty minutes of varying kinds of tankespjärn pertaining to inner ethical dilemmas, look no further!
Peter Kalmus, climate scientist, @ClimateHuman on Twitter
Luk Shoes, handmade barefoot shoes