Cowspiracy: The Eye-Opener

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?

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Cowspiracy: The Eye-Opener

  1. Ahh yay!! You have no idea how happy it makes me to read this!! I’ve been veggie for a longgggg time- so if you have any questions or need any tips I’m more than happy to help! It definitely can get overwhelming when you find out something eye opening like about the meat industry and the environmental effects, only to just notice how everyone around you is not only blind to it, but aggressively determined to not know anything about it. Good luck with going veggie- don’t feel badly about missing some days- it’s what you do with the majority of your time and the direction you’re going in that really counts! I know a huge thing for me was meeting other vegetarians through meetup.com – really helped me with my confidence and just meeting other people who were on a similar path. Anyhow, congrats and welcome to my world! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome feedback, and very interesting to hear! And yeah I definitely agree that it’s the majority of the time that really counts, and the very classic saying applies to this; “if everyone just did a little, no one has to do it all”.

      I don’t know if I haven’t been looking thoroughly enough, but, spontaneously, I find it hard to find good alternatives and options here in Bangkok when it comes to veggie diets. In my native Sweden, you can find all kinds of choices when ordering in restaurants. Here, I first need to find A restaurant who has (good) veggie dishes, and then I need to go with the same meal everyday for lunch, because the rather limited number of dishes to choose from. Not ideal. So I guess I just need to look harder! But I gotta say, I feel way better after having vegetarian food than swallowing major chunks of meat and feeling tired afterwards for hours.

      By the way, have you also seen Cowspiracy? And is it because of the environment that you’re vegetarian?

      Like

  2. Sorry I meant to write back to this sooner but forgot!! I lived in Thailand with my boyfriend for a few months as vegans and we did okay! It’s hard to avoid fish sauce- and you probably already know this but if you add “Jay” to a lot of dish names they know it means veggie and will often make it with tofu instead of meat. I’m sure you already knew that but I thought I’d mention it just in case! I am completely obsessed with pad thai, so I found it pretty easy- but I was happy to eat pad thai for just about every meal!

    http://www.happycow.net/ is such a great resource for me when I travel- and Bangkok has quite a few all veggie restaurants- not sure if you’ve seen them!

    I haven’t seen Cowspiracy- I DID buy the dvd b/c I wanted to support them, but I find it so so hard to watch that stuff now. I’ve seen Earthlings and several others, but I know most of the facts now so watching it just makes me feel so disconnected from other people who don’t “get it”.

    I went vegetarian very young- age 10- and really it was just because I was very sensitive to death and loved animals, I was a very overly sensitive kid. I’ve stay vegetarian/vegan for a combination of the environmental impact and the treatment of animals as products- and the health benefits don’t hurt of course. Also I have pretty bad social anxiety and honestly having an immediate way to relate to a person really helps me- so I’ve found it a lot easier to make friends from veg meetup groups than anywhere else- so the social benefits for me have been good too :D.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You lived in Thailand? Cool! When? What did you guys do here? Where in Thailand?

      I actually didn’t know that “Jay” meant veggie, or what HappyCow was! I will definitely try that from now on – thanks!!

      I just googled Earthlings, and it seems very interesting, I might try that one out soon! I bet the main reason why people don’t like to watch movies like these is that they don’t want to realise facts and face the truth, and they tell themselves that animal abuse doesn’t exist.

      That’s really awesome that you can relate to likeminded people like that! If you feel very strongly about something, it can be very annoying when people don’t take it/you seriously. I’m no way a hardcore vegan (or even vegetarian) as you, but I really know what you mean!

      Thanks for awesome comments!

      Like

Leave a Reply, Dude

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s