About CD

 I'm Lavette Paré, known to most as Canadian Doomer, the Doomer, or simply CD.

I am frightfully ordinary.

At the age of forty, I am the mother of two (soon to be three) small children, the wife of a hard-working man, a lover of good food and good books, and a committed "doomer" and "prepper" who stockpiles food and supplies, manages well without most convenience foods and electrical appliances, and dreams of a solar-powered shack in the middle of remote wilderness.

Okay, perhaps I'm not entirely ordinary.

Everything I do is based on one premise - we have lost, or are in danger of losing, vital skills and knowledge and resources that previous generations took for granted.  I believe that three very real dangers threaten us:
- Resource depletion/Peak Resources (Oil being a major one!)
- Global economic breakdown
- Climate change

As I learn, I pass along information.

It seems a bit odd to say I have  "manifesto", but that is what it is. Sometimes I make slight changes to this, but it will stay substantially the same.

I will not have someone do for me what I can do for myself.

Butcher a pig and render lard. Make cream cheese from homemade yogurt. Hand-wash clothing. Use manual tools. Put up food in jars. Start a fire and cook food with it. And work constantly on learning more skills.

I will not feel guilty about asking for help.

We're humans and we're social animals for a reason. None of us can do everything necessary for complete self-sufficiency. We need to survive in community. I will never be a seamstress or cobbler, but I can find people who do have these skills.

I will build up an 18-24 month supply primarily made up of Ideal Food Storage.

Ideal food storage should be local food, growable by anyone with the inclination and land, grown at home or purchased from a local farmer. It should be preserved in traditional, sustainable ways. It should be affordable. It should be personalized to the tastes and dietary needs of the family. It should be enough to get the family through a bad year or two, not thirty years in a bunker.

I will shun disposable plastic.

Little by little, we're removing disposable plastic from our home, although I have realized that eliminating all plastic is impossible at the moment. Our hand-crank radio is, after all, made of plastic, as are the jugs in which we store our water. Non-plastic options for storing grain and other dried goods are bulky and heavy or have other major failings - if they can be found at all. We still use plastic, but we're working towards better options.

I will embrace a low-technology, simple lifestyle that can be maintained without petroleum and with minimal money.

Ironically, I use the high-technology tools of today to develop skills and knowledge to create such a lifestyle. I appreciate the irony. Even when it comes to canning, my pressure canner, Mason jars and modern lids (whether Weck glass, Tattler plastic, or Bernardin metal disposable) are developed from modern technology. But I can work on simplifying our needs to better prepare us for the transition to a resource-scarce world.

I will always look for better ways.

Can I wash dishes without commercial detergent? Can I use honey in all my cooking? How do I make a sausage that stores without a freezer? Can I go 24 hours without using electrical lighting? There will always be something to learn and improve. However, safety must be kept in mind. I have no desire to return to the days when food poisoning was frequent.

I will cut myself some slack and have a sense of humility.

Every day I learn something new and improve my family's ability to survive in the world that I believe is coming, in which globalization no longer works. But sometimes it's a slow road, and every change makes me more aware of things that we can't do by ourselves. When I replace my Teflon skillet for a cast iron skillet (which will last a lifetime), I should feel proud of myself ... and not beat myself up because I didn't personally make the cast iron skillet! Without a cold cellar, I had to make compromises with the pig butchering - however, I still managed to do it! But whenever I feel like patting myself on the back too much, I'll admit that I refuse to give up my coffee. And while our consumption of white sugar (about 100 pounds per year for the family) is less than a quarter of typical usage, I admit that we still use it.

I will itemize my exceptions.

I make conscious exceptions to my primarily locavore, home-made goals. There are many foods which our ancestors have traded for generations. Coffee, tea, dried fruits and spices are high on that list - they are foods which travel and store well without the need for refrigeration. Oranges in December are another exception - but citrus in June is a relative novelty in Canada. My goal is to have an annual shopping list that would look familiar to my great-grandmother.

I will plan for, and strive towards, having a small subsistence homestead.

This means a small plot of land where we can grow most of our food and make most of our goods, plus some to sell or trade. Just enough and a little more.

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