Freeganism
February 2, 2010
5 Myths About Indigo Children
February 5, 2010

Dumpster Diving


A commenter asked me why I was into dumpster diving – and expressed interest in why anyone does it. In this article I’d like to try explain what my views are.

I started the “freegan” lifestyle in general about a year ago. I didn’t name it that, but this was basically what I was. I lived in squats, even on the street a little bit.

I also walked the “Camino de Santiago” – an old pilgrim path – and slept at the free refuges on the way, where I could find them, and tried to eat free and do everything free. I told myself that for one month I wouldn’t touch my credit card, that I would live off what people gave me. There was kind of a glamour about being a pilgrim which made my homelessness a little better in the eyes of people, and by informing people that I was living off donations on my journey (but without putting pressure on anyone by actually asking for donations) I earned enough money for my necessities, even saved some money up.

Why did I do all this? Two reasons. Financial necessity – I was getting some money from my parents but not a huge amount, and I didn’t WANT to depend on them – and a combination of anger and a desire for freedom. The anger and freedom are two sides of the same coin – I wanted to be free, the System wanted me to be a slave, I felt victimised, I rebelled.


So basically, because of anger I made myself separate – from my family, from the System, and from the “normal” world. I lived with squatters, eating free food, as a way of being different, because I hated normal. I think many of the people I met in the movement were the same as I, or similar.

As you can see I’m not painting freeganism very well here. Well, that’s the thing: as much as I liked some of the people I met (and hated others) I feel, looking back, that there is a fundamental flaw in the fight idealistic freegans, anarchists, communists, etc are fighting. Can we be separate from the System, capitalism, the Machine? Yes, I guess we can, through anger. We can if we do everything to set ourselves apart in our lives, and we will appear apart, though I don’t think we’ll ever be any better. The reason for this is I think the System, all of this victimisation, slave-master BDSM bullshit, exists only on a low-vibrational plane, the plane of victimisation, fear and anger.

Anger goes with fear and victimisation. If you feel like a victim, you can become angry at the person who is victimising you. If you feel fear, you can allow yourself to be put into a position where you become a victim. It’s all on the same vibrational “plane”. You can’t “win”. The communist revolution in Russia ended with the revolutionaries becoming the new dictators. And I witnessed the same with my friends: I met them fighting against capitalist reform in the university system, and they ended up creating a new squatted university, completely out of hate. The politicking and the beaurocracy that went on in that place was as bad or worse than everything they were fighting against, and they couldn’t see it.

The way to “win” forever is to transcend this bullshit, which means to rise above. Find a place in you where you don’t care about all the victimisation. You know people choose to vibrate on the plane of fear and anger, and so for the most part they make their own suffering. Suffering CAN just happen to you, but if you stay happy regardless and refuse to focus on it, you’ll drift away like a magnet repelling a magnet.

This is a pretty high-level discussion, but I think this may be the fundamental reason many people become freegans, squatters and dumpster divers. I’m not saying they don’t have a point though. I think it was a step along my path to go through that. It’s better to be angry than to be afraid – anger, while remaining with a sense of victimisation and fundamental vulnerability – a masked vulnerability – has more strength in it than the cowardice of wage-slavery and soul-death.

In the end though I don’t want to AVOID having a job, AVOID having a boss, AVOID spending my life doing things I don’t like. I just don’t live on that plane, don’t want to focus on it. I don’t CARE. These things can’t affect me. Nowadays I just say to myself “I am happy” and SMILE – and I let life prove it to me. It does, it really does. You just give it a little while, keep convincing yourself you are happy, and your situation shifts to help you support your belief that you are joyful instead of keeping you with an excuse to be pissed off all the time.

It’s more fun like that and I feel stronger too.

So that’s why I think many people dumpster dive – a sense of struggle – and that’s why I don’t anymore.

The positive things about dumpster diving though: it helps you question things and be independent; it can be a good way of cutting costs when you live in the city and you’re not earning much (though I recommend you research entrepreneurship and start earning more – food doesn’t really have to be such a big deal – if you attract happiness I think such an effortful way of life is not something you’ll stick with for long); it can be fun and it’s a good way of meeting people who question things. I enjoyed going round places and finding really good, edible food which was just lying about – it was like hunting eggs. 🙂

If I still lived in Barcelona there are a couple of places I would go to to dumpster dive if I lived nearby. One organic supermarket was a daily source of really good stuff – free gourmet food, now that’s something I wouldn’t say no to. I wouldn’t make much effort though. Seems crazy to depend on it, a way of saying to God, “No, I don’t want your divine gifts, I like to struggle.”

Any questions? 🙂

Thanks for reading! 🙂


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4 Comments

  1. amira says:

    Hi Andrew, I live in Barcelona, and would love some tips on this organic market store, where it is, and the best time to go, and any other tips. In university we used to go to the local dunk n donuts in the USA,they would give us a garbage bag full of perfect untouched donuts, always appreciated at late night parties. Now I live in Barcelona, but have no clue where to start. Yummm! free gourmet sounds lovely.

    • Andrew Gubb says:

      Hi Amira! That’s the Veritas which is on Gran Via near Metro Urgell. It closes at 9PM and I think they take out the food at 9:30 sharp. There’s always a big group of people there.

      If you’re new to Barcelona, add me on Facebook maybe, come to one of the meetups I do in my house, make some friends 🙂

      http://www.facebook.com/agubb

  2. William Archer says:

    As much as i can see the merit in your current lifestyle I think there are other possibly more effective ways. In my opinion just telling yourself you are happy while working in this corrupt system is another form of the lies normal people tell themselves every day, that they are happy, I know you are happy but I believe there are better ways. Imagine if you got together a group on indigo’s like yourself, you put together your money and bought a plot of land lived in houses but relied upon each other rather than the world, It could be difficult but if you all worked together maybe 10 -20 of you, you could make/grow everything you needed, live with no money. this would be a model of what a better society could look like, who know if youre experiment thrived then people around you may see the benefits of your living and may, “wake up” even join you maybe.

  3. Sophia Gubb says:

    Sure, I know some indigos who have this dream, and I also have a dream of building a better society without need for money, though I still want to be empowered technologically and so on. I think just trying to live outside the system rings hollow to me – I’m here to help out and I don’t want to waste my energies on simply surviving if I don’t need to. The idea of creating a model society on a small scale sounds good and I might even take part in something like that. But in that case I’d do it to help create change, and not to run away from the system. If you reject a system just out of principle, though, and this disempowers you to create change, I think you’re letting them win. Succeeding here is creating change, despite what the system does to stop us.

    Will get to your email soon, by the way 🙂

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