My friends laugh when I say, “I’m confused about food!” – but it’s true. I don’t even know where to start! In a world of contradicting views on food, diet and the truth about where our food comes from – surely any conscious person would be?…
When I cut meat out of my diet, I really took the initiative to educate myself on the meat industry not only in terms of animal welfare and the benefits of a vegetarian diet, but in terms of the environment also. This led me on to watch, ‘Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret.’ The fascinating documentary, by film-maker Kip Anderson, explores animal agriculture as the most destructive industry challenging the planet at present.
Throughout the film, Kip outlines:
Animal agriculture, and in particular cattle ranching, is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution and is responsible for more greenhouse gases than transportation. In addition, animal agriculture, “is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill.”1
The film goes on to explore the issue and I was shocked to see that leaders in the environmental movement, for example, charities and NGO’s, appear to refuse to discuss animal agriculture. I started to question my faith in these organisations and soon realised the alternative motive and financial agenda between the animal agriculture industry and governments. I was even more shocked to hear of the terrible things that had happened to environmental activists, trying to raise awareness about the damaging effects of the industry.
I was a keen Geographer throughout primary and secondary school, and chose it as one of my A Level subjects and so have always been interested in the environment – I tried to think back to modules based on climate change and global warming and yes, animal agriculture barely got a mention whereas transport and fossil fuels seemed to be at the for-front of the discussion. It seems from a young age, we as society are fed mis-conceptions about the truth behind humans destroying the planet.
My findings from Cowspiracy led me to investigate the dairy and egg industry and continued to read about the health benefits of cutting those groups from your diet as well as the bitter truth of factory farming. I then turned to the so-called, sequel, to Cowspiracy…’What The Health.’
What The Health, explores the link between diet and disease and the billions of dollars at stake within the healthcare, pharmaceutical and food industries if the world stopped eating the very foods that are killing them.
To elaborate, I was blown away and shocked by some of the horrific statistics outlined in the film. Such as, processed meats including bacon and sausages being in the very same category as cigarettes in terms of products that are a leading cause of many diseases and cancer. Even more shocked where the very same charities creating awareness for these diseases and cancer are the same charities promoting a diet that includes such processed meats. CONFUSED. I felt frustrated that these organisations refused any kind of discussion or interview on the topic also. Again, similarly to Cowspiracy, it soon hits you that without millions of people on prescription drugs, suffering from disease, cancer and diabetes – billions of dollars would be wiped from the economy. F*cked up and controversial concept – but true.
That is just a glimpse at what ‘Cowspiracy’ and ‘What The Health’ explores, without a doubt, ground-breaking documentaries that people NEED to watch.
I recently started eating eggs again for the first time in 6 weeks, (Full post: First time eating eggs since February ) However have since learned the truth about ‘free-range’ eggs – horrified, I haven’t touched them since. When I think of free-range, I think of happy, healthy chickens, running around outside, laying eggs as they please. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. On finding this, I was completely dis-heartened and felt so guilty about the eggs i’d been eating. My family have only ever bought organic, free range eggs but from a supermarket which source their eggs from farms that inevitably need to make a profit. I felt really confused because, chickens lay eggs anyway, even the unfertilised ones, so why waste them?
I’m lucky enough to work in an eatery where local eggs are bought responsibly from tiny farms where the chickens really are running about outside. So I shared my thoughts and confusion with other conscious staff members who had realised the truth about free-range eggs, similarly to myself. I reaally enjoy eating eggs so I was gutted to hear the truth, however, one friend at work, has a bunch of really happy chickens which roam free in her back garden who lay eggs as they please – so i’m sooO grateful that she’s going to start giving me a box of eggs here and there.
At the end of the day, I think it is about making conscious choices – I wouldn’t be able to kill an animal for meat therefore why should anyone else do it for me? I wouldn’t be able to inject dairy cows with hormones to make them produce milk for me so why should I consume that product in the first place? I wouldn’t be able to step foot inside a farm of unhappy chickens trapped in pens to produce eggs at an un-natural rate, so why would I buy eggs made in that environment?
Think before you buy…
Thanks for reading,
(PS: I’m aware this is a very controversial topic and many people have slated the documentaries I have mentioned above – but these are my views at present. The least you can do is educate yourself before making your choices…)
1 – http://www.cowspiracy.com/about/