Why I Challenge Dr. Gail Bradbrook To A Debate

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The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum
— Noam Chomsky

The animal agriculture industry kills an estimated 1.04 - 2.77 Trillion animals each year, most of them wild animals. This frenzied killing is the LEADING cause of the Sixth Great Mass Extinction that is ongoing today. An estimated 60% of all wild animals were killed between 10K years ago and 1970 and 60% of the remaining wild animals were killed between 1970 and 2014. That is, 84% of the total biomass of wild animals had been wiped out by 2014, mainly to support animal agriculture. Yet strangely, Dr. Gail Bradbrook, the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, continues to promote animal agriculture interests in her public talks. The leadership and membership of Extinction Rebellion clearly view stopping animal agriculture as a fringe demand. While Extinction Rebellion has over 200K members on its Facebook page, its Animal Rebellion Facebook page has just over 1300 members. Therefore, what exactly do the other 198.7K members of Extinction Rebellion think is the leading cause of mass extinction? While browsing through the media images of Extinction Rebellion events in order to answer this question, I felt a sense of deja vu all over again.

I had seen this framing story play out before with respect to climate change. Vice President Al Gore and the scientists and government officials at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had been framing climate change as a fossil fuel problem for decades before I became aware of it. I joined Mr. Gore and got “trained” by him in November of 2006. During that training, I asked him a simple question,

If the land that is currently being used for animal agriculture is returned to forests, can we not reverse climate change?

In response, he turned to Roy Neel, his chief of staff, and asked,

How did this guy get in here?

Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project is singularly focused on fossil fuels and omits any mention of animal agriculture. Of the 541 slides that Al Gore provides the trainees at the Climate Reality Project, there are ZERO slides on animal agriculture. At the UN Climate Change meetings, the vast majority of the delegates consume animal products. At the American Geophysical Union annual meeting, which hosts the largest gathering of climate scientists in the world, the main course at the banquet dinner I attended in 2015 was a steak dish. Therefore, is it any wonder they wont admit that animal agriculture is the LEADING cause of climate change and going Vegan is the most effective response to address it?

Framing climate change and mass extinction as a fossil fuel problem discourages the public from taking effective grassroots action by going Vegan en masse. It is a weapon of mass distraction. If Extinction Rebellion is truly sincere about halting mass extinction, it is time for its leadership to join a public debate on whether Animal Agriculture is the LEADING cause of mass extinction as well as climate change.

A debate is not infighting. It is clarifying matters for all of us who have the same objective: halting biodiversity loss, reversing climate change and achieving total Human, Earth and Animal Liberation. An animal exploiting economy is fundamentally Speciesist, Colonialist, Racist and Patriarchal and I respectfully decline to go along with Dr. Bradbrook's version of such an economy, no matter how much she humane washes it. Humane Speciesism is just as unacceptable as humane Colonialism, humane Racism or humane Patriarchy, and even embodies all of them. A system change that continues to enslave and exploit “others” is no system change at all.

Jane Velez-Mitchell has kindly agreed to moderate the debate on Saturday, Oct 26 at 9am Pacific Time. I am actively preparing for the debate. From Dr. Gail Bradbrook, so far, we have heard crickets.

In any case, if Dr. Bradbrook fails to turn up for the debate, I will be making a webinar presentation and Jane will moderate a Q&A with the public on this topic at the same time on Oct 26. Please stay tuned!

Sailesh Rao

Dr. Sailesh Rao is an Electrical Engineer, systems specialist, Climate Healer, author of "Carbon Dharma: The Occupation of Butterflies" and "Carbon Yoga: The Vegan Metamorphosis", and Executive Producer of "The Human Experiment", "Cowspiracy," "What The Health” and “A Prayer for Compassion.