Boyfriend came for the weekend. I couldn’t sleep because I didn’t exercise today. Usually if I exercise, I sleep well. He pops in another documentary. Of course he sleeps, while I engage in another documentary, Cowspiracy (2014).
Cowspiracy in a nutshell is about our impact on deforestation, pollution, global warming, devastation of the oceans, and killing of all species is due to agriculture. What does that mean to me? Well, I support agriculture by eating meat. Yes, the one thing us Americans and people of the first world like to do — we eat meat. Not all, but majority of us do and it is affecting Mother Nature.
If you haven’t seen the trailer or the doc (short for documentary) yet, I would highly suggest it. Here’s one from YouTube.
You can also read all the facts that they have drawn up from their research they have read that is publicly available for the world to see at their Cowspiracy website. Let me list a few that really made me think.
Transportation exhaust is responsible for 13% of all greenhouse gas emissions. 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.
If we really thought about it, campaigns and other environmental organizations have been telling us to only think about changing our fuel — but “transportation exhaust only is responsible for 13% of all green house emission.” Whereas, “livestock and their byproducts account for at least … 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.”
Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2 on a 20 year time frame.
“Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2 on a 20 year time frame,” what does that mean? Cow dung my friends and possibly the farts and burping. Methane is not only produced by transportation of coal, gas, and oil but it comes from agriculture. Why is methane so horrible? Well, methane traps more heat than CO2 does. It makes me wonder, if we just stopped having large amounts of agriculture, we could stop the polar ice caps from melting. This is a scientific deduction of the facts that I listened to from the movie.
5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes. 55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture.
Uhh, need I say more? Being from California, we are told we need to limit our water usage. While our once green gas turns a pale yellow-brown, the water that is needed for humans, wild animals, and plants are being used for agriculture — which encourages the slaughtering of animals. One thing I love, animals. I can’t believe being 30 years old, I still condone slaughtering of animals by eating their flesh. I make myself believe that it is ok if I don’t let anything go to waste. But it’s a self-talk I tell my self so that I can feel good about the fact that I let animals die and live in brutal conditions for the sake of feeding my overly-nourished body (this is a nice term for fat). *Disclaimer* I am not trying to say obese people are the cause of global warming or we contribute to the death of animals on the daily. I am just trying to say that I have realized that I do not want to take more than is needed from this earth.
As a dietitian, I never actually considered being vegan. You would think as a dietitian, that I would consider being vegan because a plant-based diet is beneficial in lots of ways, but just like me being overweight, I wasn’t ready for it. When you’re a person who doesn’t have confidence in yourself, you don’t really care about taking care of your own temple. But my mindset has changed since quitting work. I am thinking less about profiteering, although money right now would benefit me greatly, but I am thinking about the latter picture of it all. This quote impacted me the most from the Cowspiracy website:
Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life.
My slogan had always been, “Moderation is the key to a healthy lifestyle.” But I am thinking of changing my ways for the better of mankind and mother nature. I don’t really care about myself and well-being as much as I do now. The older I get, the more I realize the impact of my one body delivers to this world. I never condoned veganism, I actually disliked vegans because they paraded around and was bullying people on how to live and what to eat. But through the eyes of the directors of this doc, my eyes were opened. I also think, my mind wasn’t ready at the time to change or be open to other people’s suggestions. As I work on myself and my self-confidence, I am realizing more that, if I don’t change, there will be nothing to look forward to in the future.
I am actually considering to change to become a vegan. It’s going to be rough on me because right now, my lack of income doesn’t promote a vegan lifestyle plus being of Korean descent… it’s only nature of me to love meat. It’s ironic, you would think vegetables would be cheaper than meat, but sometimes meat is cheaper than vegetables, especially at restaurants! And eating meat alternative food products don’t come at a cheat price either. I also don’t want to support buffets. This is going to kill my boyfriend, his family, and friends but I just can’t condone over-consumption of food anymore.
A lot of dietitians become vegetarians or vegans because they do it for their own health, majority of the time. But I am trying to follow a movement that may be the answer to all this climate change. You see, I used to love waking up to fall foliage, then winter would come and I would have to be under 3 blankets, and then spring would follow and I would take out my rain boots and umbrella. Summer would come and go and we would enjoy it as summer. And now, summer is year round here in California and I can’t enjoy it because I don’t miss it. I miss all the other seasons. Yes, I could move to another state that actually brings all four seasons, but that’s not the solution. The snow caps on California mountains are less and less. The rivers, lakes, and waterfalls are less majestic as each year passes. If I ever have kids, I want to show them the nature I grew up in and not this devastating drought.
So if any of my family and friends actually read my blog, I hope you would help me in my path to becoming a vegan. It’s going to be hard because I love cheeses like mozzarella and pepper jack. I love muenster (I have a pack of pre-sliced muenster in my fridge right now).
Being a vegan requires extra income I don’t have at this time. But I am thinking about that above quote that impacted me so much — where if I chose this route of veganism… I could save water, produce less CO2, save vegetarian grains for others to eat, protect and or possibly regrow forest lands, and save an animal’s life each and every day.
**Update** While being a total vegan seems like the solution, but people don’t just change with a snap of the finger. Instead, I found it very difficult as I watch YouTube videos about people’s travels eating sushi and other amazing foods around the world. I am a foodie at heart and it would be very difficult for me to become 100% vegan. Rather, I decided when I could afford it to buy from sustainable meat farms, farms that give a loving life to the animals that give up their lives for us, and eat less animals products overall. For someone like me, being 100% vegan isn’t plausible. Instead, I want to consume everything that the animal has sacrificed and not waste it. Also, to not waste food. We over-buy, over-consume, and over-waste. I want to reduce my carbon footprint by eating less and what is appropriate for my body. And, I will try to eat more vegan/vegetarian foods by creating more dishes that have less or no animal products in them. As a Korean-American, being 100% vegan isn’t for me but I want to make an impact somehow by creating an outline of the goals I try to succeed in. Yes, I have one foot in and one foot out, but change happens little by little and you can’t expect a 180 right away.
Change doesn’t happen with us barking orders and judging one another to lead your type of lifestyle. Change happens from within and others will mirror it if you are loving, patient, and kind. As Ellen DeGeneres would say, “Be kind to one another.”