"Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret" is a documentary that did a lot last night to help the arc of the moral universe bend towards justice. Cowspiracy premiered last night in San Francisco to a rousing, cheering, standing ovation for the intrepid filmmakers, Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn.
Sanathana Dharma, meaning "Universal Righteousness" and popularly known as Hinduism, is truly the science of enlightenment. At its core, it is based on the simple principle, "Let Go." Its fundamental premise is that every human being is entitled to be enlightened, to reach that natural state of perfect happiness or "Ananda." While happiness itself is boundless and therefore, the quest for perfect happiness is eternal, the lifelong journey on that quest is surely the ideal human experience.
Gandhi was fighting for the independence of India. We are now fighting for our survival and for the survival of our children and grandchildren.
Gandhi inspired the people of India to make that one simple change, to take that voluntary step of changing their clothes. We need to inspire people in rich societies - specifically, all people who have access to the internet - to take that voluntary step of changing what we eat, to go vegan.
Unless the "Meat Moderates" abandon their plateaued positions and switch over to veganism, the vegan revolution will not occur and the deforestation of the Amazon and the Congo will continue apace. Just as the civil rights revolution could not occur fifty years ago until the "White Moderates" showed up at the Washington Mall and supported civil rights wholeheartedly.
In his memorable opus, "Why the West Rules - For Now: The Patterns of History and What They...," Ian Morris contends that the existential question of our times is whether we, as a global civilization, evolve towards utopia or careen towards oblivion.
When environmental activists don't talk about food consumption, but leaflet people about low-flow shower heads that save 5 gallons of water per person per day, they are missing the big picture and are doing the public a great disservice. Food is the big elephant in the room that overwhelms all other daily activities in our industrial culture.
It is very clear that fossil fuel use is going to decline and perhaps end during the 21st century in response to climate change. It is also very clear that a global shift towards veganism will occur during this century to save ourselves from environmental catastrophes and the worst impacts of climate change.
But where should our priorities lie? Should we focus on weaning ourselves from fossil fuel use - go solar, go electric, etc., or should we focus on weaning ourselves from meat, dairy, fish and egg consumption, i.e., go vegan?
The off-site social for the Fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in Berkeley, CA, was standing room only. I was excited at the chance of connecting with many climate scientists who contribute to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and in particular, I wanted to find Vegan scientists to invite to the Veganic Summit that we're planning next year.
You have probably heard about Bill and Lou. They are the oxen who served the community of Green Mountain College (GMC) in Vermont for 11 years until Lou stepped into a woodchuck hole and worsened his left leg injury. Since Bill and Lou could no longer serve as farm animals for the college, the students and faculty of the college decided to eat them. They are to be slaughtered and their bodies will be served up to the students and faculty during World Vegan Month in November.
Former Vice President Al Gore, the unofficial leader of the world environmental movement, is not yet vegan. Just today, the New Yorker magazine reported that Al Gore was the chief guest at an eight course dinner event in Las Vegas earlier this year, featuring blinis with caviar, cocoa encrusted beef tenderloin and blue cheese panna cotta.
Wouldn't it be amazing if the Dalai Lama follows up his words with this concrete action and urges his Facebook friends to go Vegan? With signatories of the Durban Addendum such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ela Gandhi (the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi), Bishop Geoff Davies, Sheikh Saleem Banda, Cardinal Napier, Rabbi Hillel Avidan and others setting examples alongside, the world can truly begin to see the unity and healing that we desperately need.
Happy Cows and Pink Elephants are on my mind. After last month's encounter with Al Gore and the Pink Elephant of animal agriculture that he's largely ignoring in his climate change slide show, I've been bombarded with emailed reverberations from the "Happy Cow" column that Nicholas Kristof wrote in the NY Times on Sunday.