Next spring, A Taste of Health and Vegetarian Times will be setting sail for the Holistic Holiday at Sea IV- A Voyage to Well-being. The week long cruise, which features stops throughout the Carribean, carries a hefty price tag of $1,175 per person. Inclusive with this price are all vegan and mostly organic meals (well sort of—”fresh fish” and standard crappy cruise food will be served upon request) and the opportunity to attend over 100 classes on tools for healthy living like cooking, yoga, and holistic medicine. The impressive list of speakers and teachers includes Dr. T. Colin Campbell, of The China Study fame, and Dr. Neal Barnard, founder of PCRM.
It’s a plan like something only someone as twisted as myself could imagine: lock a few hundred rich health nuts on a ship, sail out to international waters, and submerge them into the vegan lifestyle without the option for escape. “Brilliant!” I thought.
But then I remembered reading a few months back in Bitch that the cruise industry is a total environmental nightmare. According to the short documentary Ms. Magazine Takes a Shit in the Ocean (produced by PMS Media), a typical cruise ship dumps 21,000 gallons of concentrated sewage and one million gallons of grey water into the ocean in a one week voyage. Holy crap!
Upon futher research, I was happy to discover that the organizers of this healthy event had the health of the planet in mind too. The Holistic Holiday at Sea takes place aboard the most ecologically friendly ships in the world. All of their ships have been awarded the Green Star by RINA, in recognition of their “strict adherence to both clean air and clean water regulations”. Is this Green Star yet another example of green washing? I don’t know, but I hope not.
Now, any idea how the cruise will sail around the human rights concerns with ship workers?