Last weekend, me and my girlfriend watched this
movie documentary called Cowspiracy; a documentary about the food industry in general, but the meat industry in particular, and its effects on the environment. The movie was truly interesting and kind of eye-opening, and have famous environmentalists such as Leonardo DiCaprio serving as producers in one of the new cuts.
Surprisingly, if you’re not very much into that stuff already, the effects from the meat industry worldwide is pretty much the bad guy when it comes to global warming, not CO2 emissions. Like a very old, senile man, I’ve forgotten the exact figures, but I’d guesstimate that the movie made clear that the meat industry is a 60-something-percent contributor to global warming, as opposed to 14-something-percent represented by various gas emissions. In other words, if we, as a human species, really want to save our planet from global warming and its inevitable consequences, we need to stop supporting the meat industry and really don’t give the reduction of greenhouse gases any priority.
It isn’t particularly surprising that I – and I’m certain most of you as well – didn’t know about this, since we’re constantly bombarded with the “emissions of greenhouse gases are the only villains in this horror movie and we need to reduce those emissions, like yesterday, or all our cities will become Atlantis before we know it” propaganda from the media.
Also, even though I’m pretty sure most of us don’t really know how and what negatively affects our environment the most, I’m at the same time damn sure that most of us, in the back of our heads, know that there are some freaky shit going on when we grow our livestock, and how badly the animals are often treated – even though the label states “ecological”, “sustainable”, or something with the very trendy word “green”.
For instance, I’ve always kind of known, deep down, that the meat I’m ordering in Burger King, McDonald’s, or even in the local restaurant around the corner, is probably filled to the brim with various conservatives, additives and antibiotics – but I’m still ordering it, looking the other way, and ignoring this horrible fact. For instance, did you know that it takes over two-thousand litres (over 500 gallons) of water just to produce one hamburger? Insane. And here I was thinking that cutting down on shower-time would help.
The movie follows one of the producers and directors of the movie, Kip Andersen, as he tries to seek out organisations such as Green Peace, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, and Rainforest Action Network for answers as to why they’re not addressing this fact on any of their websites. In essence, all the content on their sites is all about reducing gas emissions and saving our trees. And although those things are very good and they should continue to pursue those goals, they say nothing about the meat industry. Which is kind of weird, because they, of all people and organisations, would surely know what the key contributor to global warming would be, right? Clearly, it isn’t the emission of greenhouse gases, but the meat industry is the one caught red-handed here.
So, besides recommending that you watch this movie and educate yourself a little, I’m here to tell you that, starting from Monday five days ago, I’m on a vegetarian diet for the week. My girlfriend already started her veggie diet last week, finished her trial successfully, and is now continuing on her second week. I’m not saying that she is, or that I will be, a complete vegetarian from now on, but I’m at least trying it out for a short while.
It’s funny, the same day as I started my veggie experiment, the ever-so amazing site called Wait But Why released this article, titled “Is it Ethical to Eat Meat?”, where the author first formulates a long, well-thought question or statement, and then follows up with a reply, discussing the topic.
“Why the hell would you give up meat – it’s so tasty, man!”
On Monday at work, when me and my colleagues discussed what we should have for lunch, we, as always, came to the conclusion that we should head down to the local place where they serve tasty Thai food. However, their vegetarian options are not especially impressive, and also kind of non-existent. So, I announce very proudly that I’m on day one of my veggie-week, and suggest that we should go elsewhere.
One colleague asked, “why the hell would you give up meat? Where would get your nutriments from, if not from meat?”.
I was actually kind of surprised that I felt surprised from her question. Now, I don’t wanna go ahead and pretend I’m ultra-veggie, or super-into veggie diets and so on, but come on, was she really claiming that meat is the only source of protein and other nutriments? I guess it’s ignorance or she just didn’t want to realise facts.
This is not the first time I’m surprised by other people’s thoughts and reactions to topics I like to talk about, where the usual response is demeaning shoulder-shrugging and a little smirk that says I’m crazy or “over-thinking” things. Whenever I try to “educate” one of my colleagues about something I think is good to know, he usually counters with “are we going out this weekend?”. Ugh.
“Is the video about two of humanity’s most mind-bending questions more than 4 minutes long!? Then I don’t wanna watch it, even though it may be incredibly interesting and might change the way I look at things and how I perceive life itself. *smirkingly shrugs shoulders*”
– Idiot Colleague
Reincarnation only applies to spiders – not pigs, chickens or fish
Yesterday, I was attending a Christmas lunch arranged by the Danish-Thai Chamber of Commerce with some of my other colleagues and a few bosses. Sadly, I had to cheat a little and was kind of forced to eat meat if I was about to eat anything at that lunch, thus making my veggie week unsuccessful. However, my conscience is fine, since I will make up for it on Monday, knowing that I had done all I could and that the grand total still will add up to one week of no meat.
Anyway, this lunch was set in the ambassador’s garden – that’s outdoors – in Bangkok, which means that the place was literally crawling with small, yellow spiders. I – completely forgetting that the locals (the waitresses in this case) believe in reincarnation – fucking smash one of the spiders with my
head hand, causing the waitresses in the vicinity to look at me in disgust. I was then told – and reminded – that they don’t believe in killing anything, not even small, intruding and annoying insects crawling across your plate.
That’s all noble, and I guess I made a small mistake. However, I stopped thinking that as soon as they started loading all the hams, chickens, fish fillets, meat balls, and all other dead animals on the buffet table just before they rang the dinner bell.
I guess the idea of reincarnation only applies to spiders and not pigs, chickens or fish?