“I’ve just watched Cowspiracy.” As I write this I realise that this is probably what everyone says when trying to explain it. You pause, you think, you try and put into words how massive and life changing what you have just seen and learnt will be for the rest of your life.
I had no intention of waking up that morning and becoming a vegan. While eating my breakie – scrambled eggs and bacon on toast – I decide to catch up on some Ben Brown, a global adventure vlogger I follow on Youtube. One of his latest videos mentions Cowspiracy and intrigued by how moved he was by it, I gave it a watch.
For those of you that don’t know, Cowspiracy is a documentary about one man’s journey discovering the widely ignored, devastating and unsustainable affects that animal agriculture is having on our planet. An hour and a half later, I’m sitting on the couch, unsure of what I’ve just watched. Most shockingly are the overwhelming statistics of just how unsustainable animal agriculture is and I can’t fully understand the enormity of it. Maybe most shocking is that this information isn’t absolutely everywhere for the world to see.
An example I can give you is that when I imagine the rainforest being destroyed, I imagine it’s for paper. The movie Fern Gully probably did that to me but I never questioned it and why would I, trees = paper. But in actual fact, 91% of rainforest destruction has occured to make room for animals to graze or grow soy in order to feed said animals. An interesting point covered is why this is being ignored by the major environmental organisations of the world; because they need funding and no-one wants to even think about the idea that in order for the world to survive, we need to stop eating meat.
And then I start to think. I currently live in a town on the outskirts of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia – a place I’ve been warned countless times won’t exist in years to come. An article I retweeted a while back warns “go now to catch their full beauty while you can!” And yet we just accept this. Yes, it will be gone. It is sad, but it’s life. There’s nothing we can do. I recycle my plastics, I turn the tap off when I brush my teeth, I’m doing my part aren’t I? Cowspiracy covers bigger issues I never knew existed. Issues that can be resolved NOW if we would all just be willing to educate ourselves. I’ve always been aware that the earth is thousands of years old, and I’ve also always been aware that in a decade or so, the Great Barrier Reef will be nothing compared to what it was just fifty years ago. Why have I never stopped to question why?
I don’t want to be a vegan, but how I see it now, I can’t responsibly support the agriculture industry by eating animal products. I’m not the type of person to be so heavily influenced by a single book, documentary or experience and I’m stunned at how this has affected me.
I still have research to do – to confirm that the statistics and facts are correct, to see if they’re from reliable sources and what challenging beliefs are. But I feel that even if the stats have been grossly over exaggerated and doubled, they would still be shocking enough for me to transition into a vegan lifestyle.
What I’ve taken away from this is that it’s not just about that one animal you kill to eat, its about the resources that go into feeding, raising, manufacturing that animal and how it’s directly destroying earth. It’s irrelevant if I want bacon with my breakfast.
If it weren’t for Ben I would never have seen Cowspiracy. Vegan Youtuber Freelee speaks about how beneficial this exposure is for the community – Ben and fellow new vegan vlogger Louis combined have a reach of over two million on Youtube alone and I’m sure because of the nature of the vlogging community, many other influencers will follow. With the support of Leonardo DiCaprio, Cowspiracy is now available on Netflix and I hope this is the push that the world needs to finally becoming globally aware of the destructive consequences of animal agriculture.
I could go on and on about the frightening statistics but instead I’ll just recommend you go and watch it.
What does this mean for me and Ocean Travelling? I love food, SO much, and it’s such a big and exciting part of travel and general life for me. I might do more research and realise it’s all bullshit and the stats are totally off and resume to my little recycling ways. But from right now, I am a vegan, I have to be. Luckily for me, next stop is Byron Bay on the east coast of Australia, vegan paradise. For the blog? I intend to continue to write about my travels, but as I do, educate myself to become more environmentally aware of sustainability and document my transition into veganism.
I wrote this almost instantly after watching Cowspiracy over two months ago now but never posted it. While I felt so strongly that it was the right thing for me to do, it was such a huge leap into a whole new lifestyle that has since snowballed into so many other interests such as animal cruelty, eco travel and other whole living options. I was worried it might be a fad but how can essentially saving the planet be a fad. Reading this two months on, I chose not to change a word of it to maintain my exact feelings at the beginning of it all but stay tuned for a three month transition update!
All of theses facts and figures can be found on cowspiracy.com.