Sam Dylan Finch 🍓 @samdylanfinch Editor, Mental Health & Chronic Conditions @healthline. ♿️🌿 Astrology columnist @Greatist. ✨ Blogger, gay nerd, friend. 🌈 He/him. Feb. 15, 2019 1 min read

I am a big fan of our planet. Okay? But I'm also a big fan of accessibility.

And there are some folks with disabilities who need plastic straws more than you need the sense of personal satisfaction that comes with doing the Absolute Least for the environment.

If you are so very invested in the impact of plastic straws... why aren't you carrying around paper straws? You have the full range of ability to do so, at literally any time.

Why is the burden always placed on disabled folks?

I'm a vegetarian, in large part because of the impact the meat industry has on our environment.

Are you? Should we just ban meat while we're at it?

"NO WAY!" you're probably saying. "My diet requires—"

Yeah, exactly.


Some people need plastic straws. Not want — NEED. Taking away the option directly harms disabled folks who just want to drink their flipping lemonade like anyone else.

It's also hilariously impractical. Just the other day, I ordered a milkshake, and guess what? The restaurant — which used paper straws — had to bring me a PLASTIC SPOON because the milkshake was too thick for a paper straw.

If you love paper straws? Great. Ask your local eateries to carry them! Bring them around with you. Hand them out to your friends. Start a blog. Make t-shirts.

Live your best, soggy-way-too-quickly-let's-be-real paper straw life!

But for the love of all that is good, don't tell disabled folks that you don't care about their access needs.

That's what you're doing by ignoring this. When someone says, "This is an access issue," that's not an invite to debate — that's an end to the discussion.

And if you care about the environment? Think bigger than straws.

Because while you were distracted, shouting about paper straws on Twitter, there are powerful corporations destroying entire ecosystems, causing wildfires, and harming communities by polluting their neighborhoods.

Dropping this brilliant piece from @SFdirewolf / @DisVisibility here as well, who goes into much greater length and speaks from an incredible depth of experience and insight. 

You can follow @samdylanfinch.


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