I hadn’t intended to write this post today, and its something I don’t think I would have ordinarily have considered writing as it is quite a controversial topic and I expect it may receive some backlash.
Last night I watched Cowspiracy. I’d previously watched half of this documentary but was able to sit down last night and watch the whole thing. I will be honest and say that it has left me feeling a bit disappointed. Which leads me to where I am today, sitting in front of my computer, trying to finish off the blog I was meant to post yesterday. However, I feel I need to get this off my chest so here I am writing this post instead.
First and foremost; I am not a vegan. I wouldn’t even class myself as a vegetarian. I eat meat, sometimes. I have no rule for when I do eat meat, but I primarily have a vegetarian diet. I eat vegetarian because I care about the environment and the effects of animal agriculture on our environment. If I were to eat meat, it would only ever be free range or organic. I am not ruling out being a proper vegetarian later down the track, but at the moment, this is working for me.
But back to Cowspiracy…
The first 45 minutes to an hour were great: it was informative, interesting and captivating. I wanted to learn more about the issues it was raising. As I mentioned earlier I am very concerned about the effects animal farming is having on our environment. Global warming is a major concern for me and I absolutely do not want to see the likes of polar bears or orangutans going extinct in my lifetime, let alone the lifetimes after mine. I agree wholeheartedly that something needs to be done about it and at the moment a vegan lifestyle is a great way to contribute to the repair what we as a species have done to the planet.
I was watching the documentary with a few other people, one of whom would make comments like ‘This is making me hungry for meat’. I am not 100% sure how truthful this particular comment was; I know the person pretty well and I suspect a lot of the reasoning behind the comment was to get a rise out of me. But this is where the documentary let me down. It was very pro-vegan. I have no problem with vegans and I respect them massively. But when you sit your average Joe meat eater with an ‘I don’t give f**k’ attitude down to watch this documentary I don’t think promoting an overwhelmingly pro-vegan view is the best way to go about encouraging a lifestyle change.
You may argue, ‘why are they watching it then?’. But shouldn’t documentaries like this be catered primarily to the meat-eating public? To those whose opinions they want to try and change? That’s where the documentary makers are wanting the biggest change. If raising awareness of the contribution of animal agriculture to global warming is the goal of the film, and to stopping eating meat is the solution… the vegetarians and vegans have already given it up. The last 30 minutes or so of the documentary is based around the changes that you as an individual can make to benefit climate change issues. The only option that they give you was to become vegan; they even went as far as to criticize the Meatless Mondays campaign and went on to say that eating less meat in general isn’t going to help.
When you’re trying to invigorate radical widespread change and for the entire world to be vegan; as much as I hate to say it, its not a plausible answer. Criticizing people who eat meat and those who are consciously making an effort to eat less meat is not the answer, and when your average Joe does comes along to watch documentaries like this and are given an all-or-nothing solution is definitely not going to help; even vegetarians aren’t getting it right. Yes, I agree that a vegan lifestyle will foster the most amount of change, but if veganism isn’t right for you, why on earth would they not suggest some alternatives? If everyone reduced their meat intake to 1-3 times a week, surely that would make a difference; how could it not? I haven’t bought meat for 3 months, are they telling me that this change isn’t making a difference?
I am an environmentally conscious person. I always have been. I was brought up to be. I care about our planet and all of its creatures, humans and animals. I want to help the planet and I am trying in my own way to do that. I will adopt some more techniques, cut down on dairy as well and do my best. But at this stage of my life, I am not ready to commit to be a vegan. Does that make me a horrible person who is killing our planet? I don’t believe that it does.
Until next time,