For the Love of Animals

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For the Love of Animals (Week #40)

The What:

World Animal Day often slips by on the calendar without notice. In 1931, October 4th was declared an animal rights and welfare day by a convention of ecologists in Italy. We have made some progress since then by outlawing certain animal cruelty practices in manufacturing, agribusiness, gaming, racing and animal husbandry.

We love, care and provide our pets with substantive, healthy lifestyles and yet many fail to grasp how little we care for animals outside this family circle. Daily, our dietary, fashion, personal products and other consumptive choices directly impact eco-systems, the environment, global communities and species extinction.

This week I want all of us to re-examine our dietary “wants” versus “needs.”

The Why:

“Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.”

You may be familiar with Bill McKibbens, Do the Math, explaining humanity’s demise if we exceed an additional 2 degrees celsius warming globally, 565 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere, and five times that in the 2,795 gigatons carbon reserves of the oil companies.

A tiny house friend of mine forwarded a link for the movie Cowspiracy: A sustainability Secret, a few weeks ago and I have not been quite the same since seeing and understanding the impact of our global love of beef, burgers, pork and chicken. I suggest you see it now, live streaming on netflix. Thank you Leonardio de Caprio for producing this.

The effect of diet on CO2 emissions, oil, land and water use. From the movie, Cowspiracy

The effect of diet on CO2 emissions, oil, land and water use. From the movie, Cowspiracy

Throughout my long life I have changed my diet. Having been brought up in the Midwest as an omnivore (17 years), I quested for a more nourishing, healthy and satisfying diet that was Buddhist in nature (non-violent). Like many of my generations women, I have experimented with being a vegetarian (12 years), a macrobiotic (5 years), a fruitarian (4 years), an ovo-lactarian (3 years), and have been a flexitarian for most of my existence (25 years). I am committed to become a full-time ethical Vegan by the end of the year!

Skipping meat once a week is like changing a lightbulb in your house to stop global warming. A small step, but it is not enough to stem the tide. Five years ago I moved mostly to fish and seafood twice a week, and ate meat (free range, local farms only) a few times a month, if at all. I am starting with a 30-day Vegan challenge today.

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I think my love of animal secretions (milk and dairy) will be the most difficult practice to wrap my heart, head and body around. After all, I grew up in the grain, meat and cheese belt of this heartland. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Why not join me?

From the World Animal Day twitter account

From the World Animal Day twitter account

THE HOW:

Three easy steps:

  1. Watch the movie, Cowspiracy, streaming on Netflix.
  2. Try the 30 day Vegan Challenge from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
  3. Get back to me on this page and let me know your thoughts and challenges.

THE DEEP DIVE:

Streaming on Netflix, the movie, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

Doing The Math

How to improve your pet’s lifestyle

MARINE SPECIES CUT IN HALF IN LAST 40 YEARS

 

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