Al Gore has taken a lot of heat from vegan advocates for ignoring the connection between meat production and greenhouse gases. In “An Inconvenient Truth” he avoided the topic entirely.
But in a recent interview, he finally makes the connection explicit, blaming climate change partly on, “The shift toward a more meat-intensive diet.”
Many vegans, including myself, have been saying for ages that you can’t be an environmentalist if you eat meat. But it’s a difficult message to share especially when environmentalist groups such as Greenpeace aren’t talking about how the meat and dairy industries are the biggest environmental problem we have. How is it expected that someone who doesn’t follow the science or statistics to ever draw upon the conclusion to be Vegan for the planet?
There is a lot of evidence around the concept of cognitive dissonance when it comes to eating and producing animal products. Cognitive dissonance is a type of mental discomfort experienced when one holds two or more conflicting beliefs at the same time or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas or values.
We become uncomfortable when new information comes to light about how meat and dairy production are destroying our planet because the beliefs, traditions, rituals and values we’ve held for so long are being confronted. It’s easier and less stressful to just look the other way.
I urge you all to do what makes sense to you and what gives you peace when making daily lifestyle choices and to share, create, inspire and inform those around you about this incredibly important issue.
There’s a lot you can do, get as informed as you can by reading what is on this site and others I’ve linked to. Watch movies, read vegan recipe and lifestyle blogs also. You can post and share your inspiring vegan meals on the Global Vegan Facebook page or Instagram account and tell the world that you’re an environmentalist who is doing everything they can or that you’re a vegan who cares for our planet!
Environmentalists do eat meat, but they wont for long.
Paleo…..sigh. Its’ the nightmare of my vegan dreams. The Paleo fad is everywhere I look at the moment, especially because Facebook ads have picked up that I’m a bit of a foodie. I also have a few ‘friends’ who love a dash of Paleo. It’s a bit of a slap in the face, not just personally but for animals and the environment and I wonder if the Paleo champions realize the consequences of their diet?
What makes Paleo so appealing is that initially health-wise people get results. However this is definitely more likely to be the result of eating a less processed diet rather than sticking to the out-dated Paleo rules, which you can do on a vegan diet also. I have to momentarily tip my vegan hat to their health promoting policies of eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and cutting out dairy (a small win!). However what I have real beef with (sorry) is their promotion of meat, meat and more meat!
We have long standing research that shows a diet high in animal products causes all sorts of diseases, whereas there is no long-term data to suggest that a Paleo diet is healthy. And caveman data doesn’t count because none of them lived past 30 because they got eaten by Lions (or something). Speaking of the lack of research around the Paleo diet, there where many types of diets prevalent during the Paleolithic era depending on location and availability of food. Massive sweeping assumptions have been made to suggest that a meat rich diet even occurred. Carbohydrates from plants are the preferred fuel for the brain and body and relatively easy to gather in Paleolithic era, more calories for less exertion.
So lets assume that the people of the Paleolithic era did eat ass-tonnes of meat. How does that translate to our modern environment? The way that animals are farmed, treated and pumped full or hormones and antibiotics takes away from the potential health benefits of the good ol’ days. They would have eaten wild animals, the meat today is very different.
Another thing that makes me sad for those who have been bewitched by the Paleo fad is they cut out (or greatly reduce) legumes and grains! I love legume and grains! So sad! Whole legumes and grains provide fiber, vitamins and minerals that are essential for a balanced and healthy diet.
The environmentalist in me is also fearful for the planet. To sustain a large portion of the world on a Paleo diet we would need the resources of two earths. At a time when we really need to be doing everything we can to help the environment, promoting a diet with high levels of meat consumption is kind of irresponsible, especially since everyone can be super healthy on a vegan diet! There’s no need for meat, it’s killing our environment and promoting disease in our bodies. l like to believe that we’ve gained some intelligence in health and the environment since the cave-man days.
According to the Oxford Dictionary a hippy is “a person of unconventional appearance, typically having long hair and wearing beads, associated with a subculture involving a rejection of conventional values.” So by this definition, the opposite of a hippy, a “non-hippy” would be a person of conventional appearance, typically having short hair and not wearing beads, associated with a mainstream culture involving an acceptance of conventional values. Ok, so I’m down with being a hippy now, if it means that I can question conventions and stand up for what I believe in, regardless of cultural traditions, sign me up (also sounds like I don’t have to cut my hair too, awesome!) I think most people on some level question conventional values and are involved in some alternative culture. Are we all Hippies then?
My instagram account got trolled by someone going by the name of lovers_of_speed_and_performac. Their account consisting entirely of images of cars and memes that humiliate people who buy environmentally conscious cars. I’m not sure how this person came across my account, it appears as if they were looking to provoke someone who has a different view to theirs. The comments left were harmless, “hippie”, “needs some beef”, “bull”. But it did provoke me into thinking about why people deny the science behind climate change and feel so threatened by a vegan lifestyle that they feel the need to add “some beef” to the conversation. So far I’ve come up empty.
Have you ever been called a hippy because of your beliefs and actions?
Have you noticed anything strange on your television or in your newspaper? The denial or often the complete absence of climate change news via the mainstream media is truly puzzling. The topic is often referred to as the ‘climate change debate’. But what is the debate? There is no debate. 97% of climate scientists agree not only that climate change is happening but that it’s man made. So the question is, who would benefit from denying climate change? Could it be that the people who own the media companies also own the coal mines?
If you think this is messed up join The Peoples Climate March this weekend and check out Avaaz.
For a more humorous and eloquent take, check out today’s episode of The Trews below.