Dry July

I am going to blame only myself for getting into this. And being stubborn as a mule, I am going to stick to my commitments. It doesn’t mean that I can’t whinge about it, though.

Dry July, for those of you who are not familiar, is a fund raising scheme in which people give up their beloved alcohol for the month of July to raise money for Auckland Cancer treatment centres (or Christchurch or Wellington if you choose). Participants or donors are “allowed” to purchase golden tickets which allow them a drink for special events.

On one hand, I think raising funds for supporting cancer care is a great idea. I used to work at Auckland hospital Oncology department. The funds from last year’s event allowed them to buy flash new chairs for the day-stay unit (where patients receive chemotherapy – some treatments can take several hours), and free wi-fi for patients to use. I love that I can contribute to making someone more comfortable during what can be an ugly treatment process.

Let me be perfectly clear: Cancer sucks. But there are a couple things I don’t like about Dry July.

First is the insinuation that we all have a drinking problem. One of the two mission statements is: “Raise awareness of drinking habits and the value of a balanced healthy lifestyle”.

Alcohol is not bad so long as you are an adult about your consumption. “Everything in moderation” as Julia Child used to say. I believe you can have alcohol as part of a balanced healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, anyone who says that New Zealanders have a worse drinking culture than anywhere else is misinterpreting the numbers. In fact, alcohol consumption has been decreasing for several years in a row.

I will admit I was thinking that giving up alcohol might lead to my loosing a few kilos. But the reality is that I didn’t actually drink that much to begin with. 1 drink with dinner, maybe 2 on weekends does not add up to much. And the replacement of juice isn’t going to offer much of a calorie reduction.

The second issue I have is that the hospital is under funded to begin with. It’s too bad that Auckland Regional Cancer Centre needs to fund raise in the first place. But, since they really do need the additional funding, I just wish it were done in a different way. How about asking smokers to stop smoking for the month? Or one of those 3-day walks that they do for breast cancer (so long as the majority of the funds really do go to the Cancer centres.)

But this is a beer blog so I won’t go down that rabbit hole.

Basically, the whole thing has just made me grumpy. I enjoy beer. I enjoy wine. I am an adult making adult decisions about what I drink and how much. Giving up alcohol for a month has not changed my mind or made me see the error of my ways. It just makes me sad that it’s such a good cause but such a shit way to fund raise.

Wanna donate anyway? Here’s the link: https://nz.dryjuly.com/profile/barbarajoppa


About beeriq

I am formally from San Francisco Bay Area in California where I lived for 17 years before moving to New Zealand. I now have my NZ citizenship. I am a huge fan of craft beer and wish everyone would pay attention to what they eat and drink.
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2 Responses to Dry July

  1. Working in the wine industry as I do, means I hear many viewpoints on Dry July – and we all agree with your sentiments about Cancer Fundraising being a great cause, one we are all happy to support. A couple of (perhaps flippant) ways I have heard liquor industry folk are supporting Dry July…. ( I hope they are donating $$ also)… drinking Dry River wines and calling it Dry River July (!!) and, more doing this – drinking only Dry wines, ones with a residual sugar content of less than 1.5%. Works for them! Me, I’m drinking green tea. Works for me! Heather Battersby, winejobsonline.com; liquorjobs.co.nz

    • beeriq says:

      Thanks for the ideas. I could have approached this many ways. And it’s not like anyone is policing me (except myself). I think my frustration comes largely from the implied assumption that we all drink “too much”. Like we should all realise, after being on the wagon for a month, that maybe “I don’t need alcohol after all” or “I can have fun without drinking”.

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