James Cameron, famed director and well-known climate change activist, has a message for the masses: go vegan to fight climate change.
Cameron, who has been vegan for four years, spoke at a climate change summit in Los Angeles earlier this week about the impact of food systems and diet on climate change.
In an exclusive interview with Fortune, Cameron explains:
The thing that became abundantly clear to us when we met with the experts who are working in nutrition and energy sustainability and climate change is that we can’t actually meet our emission goals if we don’t address animal agriculture, and that’s the thing that’s been left out of the conversation.
This message is crucial because many people who care about the environment still have no idea that raising animals for food is so incredibly destructive.
But consider this :
Going vegan immediately cuts your CO2 emissions in half.
It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce just half a kilo of ‘beef’.
80 percent of land deforested in the Amazon is for raising cattle.
Factory farms grossly contaminate rivers and ground water.
While the widespread negative repercussions of animal agriculture is overwhelming, Cameron’s message is one of hope:
The simple resounding message is you will be healthier and your planet will be healthier based on a very simple thing that you can do today. And you’ll also save money because eating a plant-based diet is just frankly cheaper. It’s cheaper to produce plants. It’s less carbon footprint, less water footprint, less money footprint and better for you.
Of course, one of the best reasons and the most ethical one, to ditch animal ‘products’ is to prevent unnecessary animal suffering and death.
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If I were not vegan yet – I would go vegan for ethical reasons. One of which is that I am against hunting. The theft of life is immoral – and can never be justified under any circumstances. The entire world is now aware of the tragic circumstances that Cecil, a magnificent innocent 13-year-old lion, has been exposed to by yet again the unprofessional hunting fraternity. ‘Hunters’ – a complete embarrassment to society – aggressive, incoherent, violent, and vile. Cecil who was one of the stars of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. When we stay ‘stars’ – we mean that he was in the prime of his life, and life was not over according to Cecil. His will to live was on par with any and all human life. He was charismatic, and had good communication with both nature and man, he loved human contact, he was gentle, kind, and always obliging to professional photographers who were taken in by his composure, his eye contact, his body language, his freedom to express his love for the wild and the beautiful, and free. He was beautiful and had an unusual black mane which mystified visitors, set him apart from others – one was always able to recognise Cecil quite easily. He had a regal way about him, in the way that he walked in a slinky demur, how he blinked, and that loving look that he gave you – always charming. That was Cecil – so charismatic. A perfect gentlemen even in his own pride. Earlier this month, locals found the protected lion shot, beheaded and skinned. Authorities now believe that a local man was paid $55,000 by a western hunter to lure Cecil out of the protected park so that the hunter could ‘legally’ murder the lion on a local landowner’s property. Only wounding Cecil, it is believed that the hunter then spent two days tracking Cecil before killing him and taking a ‘trophy.’ The 48 hours of pain and the suffering is too hard to fathom. After investigation, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and The Telegraph are both naming Cecil’s killer as Walter Palmer, a dentist and known big game hunter from Minnesota. But this Is not the first time that Palmer’s name has been involved with illegal killings. There are recorded cases going back to 2006 together with other Zimbabwean officials as well as non officials, and perhaps it’s time for investigations to delve much deeper. In fact this would also be a perfect case for INTERPOL, which would uncover more leads. Hunters are intertwined with poaching – that is for sure, as in this case. They lend wildlife and conservation a really bad name. Unsurprisingly, the dental surgery of Walter Palmer has not fared well on social media. In fact, there’s been so much backlash on social media that the dental practice seems to have shut down for the day and all shades have been drawn. It is not surprising that Palmers clients are utterly disgusted – and we have seen comments that they shall never set foot in his practice again. The world has now seen him in action with innocent victims all over Africa – killing Cecil our family Lion, and other members – Rhino, Leopard, Buck, etc – his list of fetish for killing is chapters long. The lives he has drawn breath from is hopefully at end to which he must now answer for. Dear god may he never step foot on our land ever again to harm the innocent. Cecil leaves behind a pride of lions, including 24 cubs, who preservationists say, will now likely be killed by other lions. Cecil also leaves behind him so many humans who loved him so, appreciated and, who loved his nature, his free spirit, and who adored his companionship through the most amazing photographs that any wild individual could possibly display so freely, – educating the world how to love, and how to enjoy wildlife, the way it was meant to be. Live well Cecil – may your spirit live on and in all, for eternity and in the heart, of the good in man.
Walter Palmer: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know:
Cecil was left skinned & headless on the outskirts of the National Park.
The hunters tried to destroy Cecil’s collar to hide the evidence
Palmer faced prison time in 2008 for lying to a federal agent about the killing of a bear
Palmer was also previously accused of sexual harassment
Without blame – thousands of death threats have been made against Palmer on social media due to his unlawful conduct and violent psychotic behaviour against the innocent.
- For every kilo of shrimp on our dinner table, 52 kilos of other sea animals are killed and tossed back into the sea.
- When we buy shrimp from Thailand we support slave labour, men are bought, kept on fishing vessels, and forced to do 20 hour shifts.
- There are no legal requirements for the humane slaughter of fish (not that, that makes a difference, since there is no such thing as ‘humane slaughter’).
- In tuna farms, small tuna are dumped into netted pens, fattened on pellets of concentrated fish flesh, and killed if they don’t die first from parasites.
- 70 – 80% of the salmon marked ‘wild’ is actually farmed.
- In 55 years, humans have managed to wipe out 90% of the oceans top predators. These include sharks, Bluefin tuna, swordfish, marlin, and king mackerel.
- If these current trends continue, researches predict that agriculture will outgrow the supply of fishmeal by 2020.
- A 2006 study of catch data predicted, if fishing rates continue apace, the globes fisheries will collapse by 2048.
- Imported farmed shrimp is often filthy, containing antibiotics, chemical residues, mouse/rat hair, and pieces of insects.
- Research has shown that fish feel pain and stress, and fishing practices show evisceration, starvation and asphyxiation.
- Farmed salmon has 10x the amount of cancer causing organic pollutants than wild salmon.
- Farmed salmon is grey in colour, a pink colour and a fishy smell are artificially added.
- Chicken faeces is one of the main ingredients in farm fish feed.
- Farm raised mussels contain 6x more dibutlyin than wild mussels. Dibutlyin is used in PVC plastics and can impair immune system functionality.
- Between 2005 – 2010, 25% of food borne illnesses caused by imported food, involved seafood.
- 31.5 million tonnes of fish caught from the ocean each year is ground up for animal feed.
- 86% of fish is imported, half of those imports are factory farmed.
- 300,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises die each year after becoming entangled in fishing equipment.
- Around 73 million sharks, are thrown back into the ocean each year, with their fins cut off.
- 27 million tonnes of fish is thrown away each year. That’s enough to fill the Titanic 600 times.
- Farmed tilapia in China are fed pig and goose manure – this poop contains salmonella.
- If you were fed a plate of sushi alongside all the animals that were killed to get it to you, the plate would be over 1.5 meters wide.
- In 2009, illegal antibiotics were found in three types of imported fish from China.
- In Vietnam, fish is kept fresh with ice made from bacteria filled tap water.
- More than 28,000 sea turtles are captured each year in the skimmer trawl nets used to catch shrimp.
- 50% of swordfish caught are tossed back. 77% of those tossed back are already dead.
- Globally, illegal fishing is estimated to be worth as much as 126405500000.00 South African Rand.
- 20 of the worlds albatross species are under threat from illegal fishers.
- The fishing of wild salmon impacts 137 species.
- 20% of the weight of tuna catch is ‘chucked’ back as bycatch. Casualties typically include: turtles, rays, dolphins, sharks, and endangered albatross.
- Longlines with baited hooks can extend up to 81 kilometres. These attract and kill a huge range of sea mammals.
- Sharks kill 12 people per year. People kill 11,417 sharks per hour.
- 90% of the oceans large fish have already been fished out.
- In a year, Scotland’s fish farming creates as much nitrogen as the sewage of 3.2 million people.
The fishing industry is astronomically large, and it’s a sad fact after years of overfishing the world’s seas have been left in a situation where demand far outstrips supply. Fishing have caused untold levels of pollution, destruction and injustice. There are hundreds of notions to make the switch to going vegan, but above all, do it for ethical reasons. www.howdoigovegan.com
Some of the most credible critics are long time agricultural farmers and ranchers like Howard Lyman. People who grew up farming, milking cows and have been absolutely horrified by by the animals that have been turned into nothing but mechanical devices that, pumped full of drugs, the only emphasis is producing animal product…s as quickly and as cheaply as possible. The number of slaughtered animals world wide is over 60 billion annually. Just try to imagine the perverse plight of a farm animal that’s going to be slaughtered. A deeply sensitive, intelligent being. A cow, a turkey, a lamb, a pig for example. Once who knows what’s about to happen but he’s trapped, he cannot escape. Try to envision such a life if you dare call it that. Even for a few moments. Put a face on the ‘meat’. See who the being actually was on your ‘steak’. See who the being actually was on your ‘chop’. See who the being actually was on your ‘drum stick’. There are other beings in the world who are aware of the world and they are aware of what happens to them. And what happens to them matters to them. It makes a difference to their life from the inside. They have a biography not merely a biology, that they are somebody not ‘something’ and what happens when you have that awareness, you understand that those beings have no voice. They have no power. They have no constituency among themselves to speak for themselves , and so you understand that if they are to be heard, you must do the speaking for them. With animal consciousness you understand that your commitment to the vulnerable extends beyond the human family.
We’ve heard a lot of talk about evil, and we tend to have this vision of evil as fanatically passionate people, people who are either religious fanatics, or who are crazed and commit evil deeds and that’s all on our front pages and these are terrible things and we know that this is a terrible thing but having said that we tend to ignore the other kind of evil. Cold evil this is evil not done out of passion or out of prejudice or religious fanaticism. These are the cold institutional systemic evils that we see for instance in factory farming where billions and billions of animals are treated in an absolutely evil and terrifying way and yet it’s systemic. It’s hidden from view. No one is passionately stabbing them. It’s the system that’s evil. If the average person were to see what happens to create that ‘meal’ , he would be horrified. You need to continue to create that awareness.
TSE diseases have very long incubation periods and cannot be detected in their early stages and largely go diagnosed however are 100% fatal. The statistical information regarding these diseases is almost totally obscured. There ought to be mandatory reporting of CJD for example (to name but one), and consideration for autopsy ought to taken on anyone who passes from dementia for example. Proper studies are still not being done. Would you really know if you were eating a full blown BSE animal? A dangerous chance to take don’t you think? Think too about your family and your loved ones. Do you really want to continue to risk feeding them diseased ‘meat’ thus making yourselves ill constantly and open to diseases? With an incubation period that can last anything up to 40 years, you really do not want to watch your loved one suffer with any of the diseases passed on through the consumption of any animals and their bi products.
Turn to history for life’s lessons and encouragement and instruction. Be warned by what has happened to others and how much they suffer daily. If we look at how native American people were once fueled and treated by the conquistadors. When they were viewed as non-human beings, and when their blood was used to fertilize fields. It’s unthinkable today. When we look at slavery, when you could buy and sell and beat with impunity people of African decent. Unthinkable today. When woman couldn’t get divorced or own property or get an education or vote. Unthinkable today. What history teaches us is that a few good people who are determined and who are persistent, who don’t give up can change the world. So what we have to believe as activists is that we’re not going to do this tomorrow. The wall of oppression has to be taken apart a brick at a time. When we get a critical mass of people change will come. That’s how we ought to go to sleep at night and that’s how we ought to wake up the next morning. That ought to be our faith!
If we are going to deal with the problems that we are having whether they are health, the environment or the animal issues we have to do it in this generation. We are now up against the wall and we cannot afford to take a pass. We cannot say that it is up to somebody else to take care of this problem. It’s up to us right now to get involved. If we don’t there may not be a future for our children and grandchildren. All of those animals that we are killing are killing us. This is about the absolute survival of the human species. Spread this message for as long as you have breath in your body. Animals are waiting for us to become informed and to become enlightened. We have no choice but to go vegan.
A daunting, disgusting thought. Highly unbelievable – yet highly possible. ‘Meat’ is ‘meat’ – there is no difference between eating cow, or pig, dog or boy etc. All is morally wrong. All is cruel. All is unjust and purely disgusting. All is derived from violence. Make the connection.
A restaurant in Anambra, Nigeria has been closed down after its activities of selling human meat came to the knowledge of local leaders, says BBC.
Police were informed about the restaurant’s activities by local leaders and residents, where they rushed to the scene and were shocked to see two human heads; still fresh, oozing blood.
The blood was being tapped into a polythene bag, perhaps going to be served as a different delicacy.
The police arrested six women and four men in connection with the crime.
At the time of arrest, they managed to recover an AK-47 rifle, other weapons including sets of grenade, and several mobile phones.
“Every time I went to the market, I observed strange activities going on in the hotel. People who were never cleanly dressed and who looked a bit strange made their way in and out of the hotel, making me very suspicious of their activities. I am not surprised at the shocking revelation, “said one of the residents.
A local priest was taken aback by the revelations and couldn’t come into terms with having consumed human flesh. He reported to the police how he unknowingly ate human meat.
“I had gone to the restaurant early in the morning for breakfast. I finished my meal and was served with the bill, only to be shocked by the naira 700 (Sh380) charged. The attendant noticed my reaction and told me it was the small piece of meat I had eaten that made the bill scale that high. I did not know I had been served with human meat, and that it was that expensive,” he said.
For a long time reports have been going round in Nigeria that human meat is being sold alongside other meals at food joints, but this is the first time a restaurant is heard specializing in selling human meat only.
Going vegetarian is not enough. You have got to go vegan to stop the violence.
Some interesting facts about the ‘silk industries’ that will make you shudder:
While experts disagree over how much an insect can suffer or feel pain, most at least leave the door open on the question, and believe it is possible that insects feel something that we would call pain if we could know what an insect feels. An insect’s nervous system is different from a mammal’s, but they have a nervous system that transmits signals from stimuli and causes the insect to respond to stimuli, just as a human nervous system does. They avoid unpleasant situations, whether from a predator or uncomfortable heat. Just by studying human neurophysiology from the outside, would we conclude that people are conscious? Or would we conclude they’re just executing responses without awareness?
Silk is the fiber that silkworms weave to make their cocoons. To obtain silk, distributors boil the worms alive inside their cocoons. Anyone who has ever seen worms startle when their dark homes are uncovered must acknowledge that worms are sensate—they produce endorphins and have a physical response to pain. Vegans do not wear silk because it is an animal product that results from the exploitation of animals. Each year silk industries exploit billions of silkworms, spiders and other animals.
Silk thread is also produced by killing silkworms while they are in their caterpillar stage, just before they spin their cocoons, and extracting their two silk glands. The glands are then stretched into silk threads known as silkworm gut, which is used mainly to make fly fishing lures.
Some silk is made without killing the caterpillars. Eri silk or “peace silk” is made from the cocoons of Samia ricini, a type of silkworm who spins a cocoon with a tiny opening in the end. After metamorphosizing into moths, they crawl out of the opening. This type of silk cannot be reeled in the same way that Bombyx mori silk is reeled, and instead is carded and spun like wool. Eri silk represents a very small portion of the silk market.
Another type of silk is Ahimsa silk, which is made from the cocoons of Bombyx mori moths after the moths chew their way out of their cocoons. Because of the chewed-through strands, less of the silk is usable for textile production and Ahimsa silk costs more than conventional silk. “Ahimsa” is the Hindu word for “non-violence.” Ahimsa silk, though popular with Jains, also represents a very small portion of the silk market. Neither ‘peace silk’ nor ‘Ahimsa silk’ make it morally justifyable to continue to exploit sentients.
Vegans try to avoid harming and exploiting animals, which means that vegans do not use animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, fur, leather, wool or silk. Dropping silkworms into boiling water kills the worms causing them to suffer. Even eri silk or Ahimsa silk are problematic because they involve the domestication, breeding and exploitation of animals. Adult Bombyx mori silkmoths cannot fly because their bodies are too big compared to their wings, and adult males cannot eat because they have underdeveloped mouth parts. Similar to cows who have been bred for maximum meat or milk production, silkworms have been bred to maximize silk production, with no regard for them.
The so-called “silkworm” is actually a domesticated insect who, in nature, goes through the same stages of metamorphosis—egg, larva, pupa, and adult—that all moths do. Silk is derived from the cocoons of larvae, so most of the insects raised by the industry don’t live past the pupa stage, as they are steamed or gassed alive in their cocoons. Approximately 3,000 silkworms are killed to make every pound of silk.
Pharmaceutical companies have taken an interest in these insects, too, because they are perceived as inexpensive and easy to raise and can be genetically engineered to produce silk that contains human collagen. Silkworms have also been transgenically modified to spin fluorescent-colored silk.
The military and medical communities have been testing on spiders, hoping to harness the strength and flexibility of spider silk for suture thread and to create a fabric that could replace Kevlar. If they are kept together in captivity, however, spiders succumb to stress-induced cannibalism. Approximately 1,400 spiders are needed to spin 1 ounce of silk, so farming spiders has not been a profitable venture. Instead, scientists have experimented on goats by inserting spider-silk genes into their cells, causing the goats to produce milk that contains silk proteins. The military continues to fund this research, even though it has yet to produce a product that is commercially viable (it takes 600 gallons of milk to produce a single bulletproof vest).
Even if insects do not feel pain when dropped into boiling water, a death free of pain is still a death. Death penalty opponents focus not on the suffering or pain involved with the process, but the loss of life, which in itself is the ultimate loss. Regardless of the extent to which insects are sentient, conscious or emotional, avoiding silk prevents millions of animals from suffering and death.
Alternatives to silk— nylon, milkweed seed pod fibers, silk-cotton tree and ceiba tree filaments, polyester, and rayon—are easy to find. Go vegan – stay vegan.
The picture attached is that of the Bombyx mori moth.