Science Reveals How the Brains of Social Justice Activists Are Different From Everyone Else’s

 By Erin Brodwin  June 26, 2014

science, reveals, how, the, brains, of, social, justice, activists, are, different, from, everyone, else's,
Science Reveals How the Brains of Social Justice Activists Are Different From Everyone Else’s
Image Credit: AP

Remember that time you chained yourself to a tree in college to prevent “the man” from cutting it down? Contrary to what everyone probably said, you may have been motivated more by logic than by emotion.

The news: People who are more sensitive to the ideas of fairness and equity are driven by reason, not just passion, according to a recent University of Chicago study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

For decades, social science researchers have focused on the role of emotion in activist movements. A 1996 study of the 1960s civil rights movement, for example, examined how Freedom Riders used songs and speeches to express anger, sadness and frustration and to encourage others to become involved in the movement on an emotional basis. Similarly, New York University sociologist Jeff Goodwin wrote in his 2001 book on the subject that animal rights supporters “describe their journey into activism in terms of their emotional attachment to animals.”

Image Credit: AP

As it turns out, when people who are more responsive to injustice see things happen that they find morally wrong, such as abuse or race-based inequality, their minds respond by accessing the sections of the brain responsible for logic and reasoning. When they view examples of people acting morally just, such as giving equal rights to a marginalized group or protecting animals from harm, their brains respond in the same way.

The details: A team of researchers led by University of Chicago neuroscientist Jean Decety monitored participants’ brain activity using an fMRI while they watched videos of people exhibiting morally good or bad behavior. One of the clips showed someone putting money in a beggar’s cup, for example, while another showed someone violently kicking the cup away. Those who said they felt more emotionally triggered by the action on the screen also exhibited more action in the areas of their brain associated with planning, organizing and logical thinking.  

“Decety’s contributions are clearly important and potentially foundational,” New York University psychology professor John T. Jost, who was not involved in the study, told Mic.

Image Credit: AP

Why it matters: The research suggests that human rights and environmentalist organizations could get more public support by appealing to people’s sense of logic and reason rather than to their emotions. Efforts to combat global warming, for example, saw a surge in public support after scientists and statisticians began publishing data about how much sea levels and temperatures would rise instead of sad polar bears on a floating iceberg.

Perhaps your activist alter-ego was more level-headed than you thought.

 

Source: http://mic.com/articles/92253/science-reveals-how-the-brains-of-social-justice-activists-are-different-from-everyone-else-s

Meat the hidden culprit of climate change

 

Several cows stare into the camera
PHOTO 

Moving to a completely meat-free diet would go a long way to tackling climate change.

PHIL WALTER: GETTY IMAGES

Most of us agree that action needs to be taken to address climate change, but when it comes to moving to a meat-free diet to drastically reduce emissions, suddenly we’re not so keen, writes Ruby Hamad.

The cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead famously said, “It is easier to change a man’s religion than his diet.” It is also, apparently, easier to change the entire world’s energy production.

Earlier this month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report, “Mitigation of Climate Change”, citing fossil fuels as the biggest source of emissions, with coal, oil, and natural gas the major culprits.

However, the panel also implicates animal agriculture, noting that“changes in diet and reductions of losses in the food supply chain, have a significant, but uncertain, potential to reduce GHG emissions from food production.”

Seventy per cent of agricultural emissions come directly from livestock – and about 37 per cent of total worldwide methane emissions – and it is clear that moving away from animal products is not just potentially significant but downright necessary.

The IPCC findings come hot on the heels of another study, “The importance of reduced meat and dairy consumption for meeting stringent climate change targets”, published in the April edition of Climate Change.

The study’s lead author argues that targeting the fossil fuel industry alone is insufficient because “the agricultural emissions … may be too high. Thus we have to take action in both sectors.”

In 2010 a UN report, “Priority, Products, and Materials” concluded that, “A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”

That report puts agriculture’s global emissions at 14 per cent, and while not giving an exact figure, the researchers warn that “animal products, both meat and dairy, in general require more resources and cause higher emissions than plant-based alternatives”. Subsequent research suggests emissions from livestock and their by-products may be much higher (even as high as 51 per cent). Even if we err on the side of conservatism and stick to the lower UN figure, it still indicates that agriculture is responsible for more emissions that all means of transport combined.

No one who cares about the threat of climate change is ignorant of the importance of renewable energy and a reduction in energy use. So why do we still have our collective head in the sand about the need to change our diet?

In an impassioned tirade against Earth Day (April 22), which he dismisses as emblematic of “the culture of progressive green denial”, The Nation’s Wen Stephenson calls for radical action, namely, “physically, non-violently disrupting the fossil-fuel industry and the institutions that support and abet it … Forcing the issue. Finally acting as though we accept what the science is telling us.”

I don’t know what Stephenson’s food habits are but, ironically, in a piece railing against denialism, he does not mention meat consumption once. It is rather extraordinary how we acknowledge the need to address climate change and then carry on with those very activities that are causing the damage in the first place.

While some media outlets do report on the link between animal agriculture and global warming, they also undermine the urgency by featuring stories on, for example, how to include bacon in every meal – including dessert. TV channels flog reality shows glorifying high levels of meat consumption, and fast food outlets compete to see who can stuff the most meat and cheese into a single, fat-laden item.

All as scientists warn of the need to move away from dependency on animals as a food source.

When those of us who are concerned by the devastating effects of animal agriculture raise the issue, somehow the focus shifts from saving the planet to respecting personal choice, as if the choice to eat certain foods is sacrosanct.

We have to compromise our personal preferences every day in the interests of public safety. Smoking prohibitions, speed limits, alcohol restrictions, even initiatives promoting recycling and “green” household products all affect our choices.

But, for some reason, requesting people reduce their consumption of meat is taken as a personal affront to their very being. Humans have been eating animals for so long, and in such large quantities, we think we are entitled to their bodies, regardless of the consequences.

Clearly, our dependence on fossil fuels has to change but it is quite remarkable that we actually consider restructuring our entire energy system as an easier and more viable undertaking than simply altering our food habits.

The Guardian’s food writer Jay Rayner unwittingly demonstrates this in his reaction to a University of Aberdeen study that found a worldwide adoption of a vegan diet would reduce CO2 emissions by a massive 7.8 gigatonnes. But, rather than take this on board, Rayner chooses instead to shrug his shoulders, declare that “the world is not going vegan any time soon” and condemn “self-righteous vegans” for “making airy proclamations about the way forward when [they] have no power whatsoever to make it happen”.

But why don’t we have the power to make it happen?

Even if we don’t all go completely vegan, surely the takeaway is that everyone should eat less meat and more plants, and not just on Meatless Mondays?

It’s easy to point the finger only at fossil fuels because this requires no major personal sacrifice. We can pin all the blame on big corporations, demand policy change, and then feel good about ourselves by declaring on Facebook that we are against dredging the Barrier Reef and we don’t support fracking.

But meat is different. Meat means we have to change. It means we have to sacrifice something we enjoy, something we believe we are entitled to. And most of us simply aren’t willing to compromise that entitlement, so we pretend that the idea of a worldwide shift to a plant-based diet is simply too ridiculous to contemplate. That’s if we even acknowledge the crisis at all.

So we sign petitions and attend demonstrations. Some of us even drive less, take shorter showers, and use eco light bulbs. But nothing it seems, not even the looming threat of environmental catastrophe, could compel a significant number of us to simply change our diet.

Ruby Hamad is a Sydney-based writer and filmmaker. View her full profile here.

 

Source: http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-28/hamad-meat-the-hidden-culprit-of-climate-change/5414894

We Animals

For today’s blog we catch up with Jo-Anne McArthur, subject of Canadian film maker Liz Marshall’s celebrated documentary “The Ghosts In Our Machine and author of the award-winning animal rights photo book “We Animals.”we_animals_01

VP: Please tell us about how We Animals came to be.

JM: The We Animals project grew from the realization that I could combine my two passions – my love for photography, and my love and concern for animals. As a photographer and writer, I could contribute to the animal rights movement, volunteer and support organizations around the world through my work, and inspire people to make kinder choices. Though I started We Animals around 2000, I really jumped into it after I did my first internship at Farm Sanctuary in 2003. That’s where I also became vegan and I realized that helping animals was truly what I wanted to do with my life.

VP: What was your inspiration for We Animals?

JM: I could pinpoint a few moments, which lead to what is now full time work with the We Animals project. In 1998 I was backpacking in Ecuador when I stopped to watch a macaque monkey tethered by a chain to a windowsill. He could neither fully enter the house, nor leave by the outside. He was trained to pick the pockets of passersby, and tourists were standing around, laughing as he reached, and taking photos. I took my camera out to take photos, but I realized that my reasons were different. They documented because they thought it was cute and funny, and I documented because I thought it was wrong, and wanted to share the image, thus sharing my opinion of what was happening. I felt that what I thought about the situation was important, that people needed to know. This is a theme throughout all my work. Documenting cruelty so that others can see, understand and change.

BreedingFacilityLaos-1817

VP: Can you give us an update on the We Animals project? What has transpired since the book has been published?

JM: The book came out in December 2013 and has received a lot of good press, and is being translated and published in Italian too. However, it remains a niche book – an animal rights photo book; a little coffee table book of horrors, really – so the books are slowly moving into people’s hands (and hearts!), rather than jumping off book store shelves by the millions! I’m travelling a lot with the book and with the film The Ghosts in Our Machine at the moment. The Ghosts film is a Canadian documentary about animals, and animal rights, and I’m the human protagonist of the film. One of the sub-stories of the film is me in the process of writing the We Animals book. The book and film together are a complementary to one another.

I’m also heavily into investigative work again, which means I’m on the road most of the time and working with a great team, documenting harrowing cruelty. As always, I can’t disclose projects until after they go public.

VP: What do you have planned next?

JM: Lots! My investigative work carries me until the end of the year and then I plan on disappearing for at least a month to regain my senses and get some sleep before starting again. But I’ll be doing this work – the We Animals project – for as long as I can; unfortunately there’s a lot of work to do on behalf of animals. The We Animals Humane Education Programs (www.humaneeducation.ca) are gaining visibility and popularity so I hope to be in classrooms, getting people of all ages inspired about animals, more and more often. There’s another We Animals book in the works, at the beginning stages, really, and I’ll aim for that project to be completed by 2019. In the short and long term, I really look forward to great collaborations with animal rights groups, and individuals, the world over.

Jo-Anne-McArthur-and-Orlando

The We Animals project was created by award-winning photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur who has been documenting the plight of animals on all seven continents for over ten years. Her documentary project, We Animals, is internationally celebrated and over one hunded animal organizations, among them Igualdad AnimalSea Shepherd and the Jane Goodall Institute, have benefited from her photography. Many organizations continue to work closely with Jo-Anne on campaigns and investigations. Recent awards and accolades include the 2013 Compassion for Animals Award; the 2011 Canadian Empathy Award (art category); one of CBC’s Top 50 Champions of ChangeFarm Sanctuary’s 2010 “Friend of Farm Animals” awardHuffPost WOMEN’s “Top 10 Women trying to change the world”; one of 20 activists featured in the book The Next Eco Warrior; and the “Shining World Compassion Award” by Supreme Master Ching Hai. Jo-Anne is the subject of Canadian film maker Liz Marshall’s celebrated documentary The Ghosts In Our Machine and her first book, also entitled We Animals, was published by Lantern Books in 2013. She hails from Toronto, Canada.

 

Source: http://www.veganpublishers.com/jo-anne-mcarthur/

EGO vs ECO

Superiority


ego_vs_ecoHumans have always believed that they are superior to all other beings and still continue to have this ideology to this day. They think they are superior to other species, genders, religions, races, etc. We’ve seen this behavior of superiority within spousal abuse, women fighting for equality, the Holocaust, lynching’s of African American’s in the western south, and even today with homosexuals. Why is it that we as humans are always mistreating the other beings that inhabit this earth along with us? Why does man think he has the power to control everything and everyone around him?

Humans believe that just because we have always been “hunters and gatherers” that it is the way we are supposed to live. People think that humans cannot survive without meat, and that we are designed to be carnivores. That is a very false statement.

Not only do humans think they need to consume another creature to survive, they also find joyin eating them, hunting them, killing them, caging them, testing on them, torturing them, and many more. What makes an animal inferior to human? We consider cannibalism sick and horrendous, yet we justify eating other beings of this earth as normal? If a man was to go out into the city, the home of thousands of humans, and shoot one in the head, bring him home, cook him and eat him, the man responsible would be sent to a prison and most likely a psychiatric hospital. Yet man does this every single day to animals. When you put it in that perspective, it really isn’t that different, is it?

People ask, “Well if we aren’t supposed to eat animals, why did God make them taste so good?” I’d just like to point out that humans that eat other humans are probably thinking that same thing. Second of all, animal meat does not naturally taste good. If you were to murder a cow in cold blood and eat him right then and there, I highly doubt you think it would be “tasty” and “enjoyable”. In fact, you would most likely die from consuming raw meat. Doesn’t that right there say something about what we were truly designed to eat? We are not meant to thrive off of something that NEEDS to be cooked properly and have spices and herbs added to it just so we are able to consume it. Unfortunately, the animals that humans consume go through a brutal process from the minute they are slaughtered, to the minute they hit your plate.

It’s disgusting actually how humans do this. When you see a chicken or a lamb or pig or a cow on a farm, you see an animal. You see them eating grass, and interacting with each other. They were born, they have families, and they have feelings too. So when we look at these animals the way we do on a farm, why don’t we see them as food? We don’t go to restaurants and order ‘one pig’ or ‘one cow’. No – we have created these terms to help us cope with the fact that we are eating another being, so we call them things like steak, pork and bacon to make us feel better, and guess what? It does. When you call a cow a steak while eating it, you feel less guilty. You can justify what you are eating because now that it is on your plate, it is food, not an animal. Well you’re wrong – it’s still an animal, just as a human would still be a human no matter whose plate it is on. But we beautify the idea of eating dead animals, and slice them up into such thin, foreign shapes that we completely forget and become so disconnected from the fact that it was once a living breathing creature. We have expensive restaurants that sell expensive food like caviar and veal. We glorify the idea that eating a dead bird on thanksgiving is a delicacy. We consider it a treat to go out and dine at these fancy restaurants as we indulge in the meat of a dead animal; but no one thinks like that when they’re eating it now do they?

Yet when there are animal attacks – sharks, bears, lions, etc – that harm and kill humans, these animals must be taken away or killed by us because what they did was so horrifying. Yet it is 100% okay for humans to do it for them in clusters, make money off it, and enjoy it because they think it’s “human nature” and “the cycle of life”.

Why do humans get sent to prison and sentenced to be executed for killing another human being, yet millions of animals are slaughtered and nothing gets done about it. How is this legal? And yes, humans torture and kill other human beings as well; it’s not just animals who have this inevitable poor fate. The only difference is that this behavior of killing another human is considered illegal and is punishable to jail and execution. Yet millions of animals are being slaughtered and nothing gets done about it.

I wonder what humans would do if animals could talk. If when you looked into their eyes they spoke to you. If they pleaded to you not to kill them because they had a family to look after, or a loved one to see. Would humans still shoot them in the head and viciously slaughter them? Probably.

People have grown up eating meat and consider it so normal that they never really take the time to realize how un-normal it really it. What I consider normal would be growing a garden and picking your own fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and all the other foods that come from the ground, because that way, there is no violence and no one has to suffer and die. What I don’t consider normal is going out of your way to go and kill an animal, have to cook it’s meat (because you cannot eat it raw.. or you’ll get sick and die) and then eating it. I’m sorry if you consider that normal, but I sure do not.

Most people who argue that eating meat is acceptable usually say that they get their meat locally and that the animals they eat are raised and killed humanely. Okay, first of all, how can killing another creature be humane? You are killing it and taking away it’s life. Second of all, that is not my point at all. My point is not how you are getting your meat and if it’s a good or bad way – my point is that we are all creatures of this earth and mankind brutally slaughters other beings to consume, simply for pleasure. (We don’t need to eat animals to survive)

Man is not superior. I had a friend say to me once that we are smarter than animals, and I just couldn’t help but thinking how wrong that statement was. Dolphins and wales are one of the smartest creatures in the ocean. They can communicate with each other through vocal signals, non-vocal auditory signals, visual signals and tactile signals, meaning physical signals. Dogs are so smart that they can sense when it’s going to rain, or even when their owner has cancer. Can humans do such extraordinary things? I didn’t think so. How can someone say another species is lesser than them when they don’t even know what that creature is capable of? People think so little about animals just because they cannot understand their language – but imagine if they could? What would they say to us?

Many people want to be shielded from the reality of where their food comes from. They turn away and cannot watch cows being slaughtered, or chickens being thrown into grinders. If you cannot even watch that, than you seriously should not be eating it. Yes I have watched those videos and I am fully aware of all that happens to animals. But do I eat them? Not a chance. Seeing those videos is the exact reason I don’t. And I think people are afraid of seeing that because they love eating meat so much that they don’t want that precious idea of food to be ruined for them. And I do not eat anything that comes from animals either because the process to get cow’s milk or a chicken’s eggs is just as bad as eating their meat. The same thing goes for wearing fur and leather, or using products that animals had to be tested on and murdered for. You think that $500 jacket is nice and elegant? Think about where it came from next time you idolize someone for wearing it.

For our entire lives, we have lived in this room that had a bright light bulb, but the blinds were always kept shut. Who needs to open the blinds when having the light turned on is so convenient for us? But now I have reached out of the regular comfort zone of most people, and I have opened those blinds, and what I have seen and learned has shocked me in the worst ways possible. We live in this room thinking that life is perfect under this falsely lighted bulb, but it isn’t until we open the blinds and are greeted by the unpleasant surprise of what’s outside that we suddenly realize what has been going on this whole time.  We have grown up believing so many lies and it’s awful how because we were raised that way, everybody thinks that way is normal, and that being a vegan is the weird/abnormal thing. Most people choose to keep those blinds closed and ignore what is going on around them. Most people keep those blinds closed as they prepare their chicken and steak for dinner that night.

Health Factors


Not only is it morally wrong to eat another creature, but it’s not even healthy for us. Humans are not getting the message that putting dead animals and animal by-products into their bodies is not helping them at all. Obesity rates and heart disease have skyrocketed in the United States, yet people still aren’t getting the message that it’s all about what you put into your body. And I’m not just talking about McDonald’s and Burger King – any meat is bad to consume, heavily processed or not. You cannot justify that your meat is healthy because you raised it yourself. The fact is, humans are not natural born carnivores – we are physically not designed to eat meat. Cow’s milk has been said to be ‘full of calcium’ and ‘good for our bones’, when in fact,countries with the largest consumption of milk and dairy have the highest rates of osteoporosis, which is the degradation of bones. Eating eggs increases your risk of prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, heart failure, diabetes, colon cancer, and many other diseases. “Eggs are the most concentrated common source of choline in the American diet, which may increase the risk of cancer emergence, spread, and lethality.” “Men who consumed 2.5 eggs or more per week had an 81% increased risk of lethal prostate cancer”.

foodinc2-jpgHowever no one would ever believe these facts because we have grown up being told that “eggs are a great source of protein” and “milk makes your bones strong” Well I am so sorry to break it to you but those are all lies told by the industry to make money. Adolf Hitler once said,

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

Don’t fall into the trap of the meat and dairy industries- learn and educate yourself. The best way to get protein, calcium and all your other vitamins and nutrients are through plant based foods, especially leafy greens. “They are calling Spinach the new Steak for the high amounts of iron and vitamins found in it”.

Unfortunately, we have grown up in a world that only cares about money and profit. That means lying to the public about where their food comes from, labelling packages with false information, and telling lies to the citizens that the food they consume is healthy just so they can make more money.

vegetarian

Energy, Fossil Fuels, and Global Warming


which-earth-do-you-want-live-in2

Another big factor that comes with the consumption of animals is the amount of energy used to feed them, breed them, slaughter them, and eat them. “Livestock are responsible for 18% of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.” Humans are making this planet worse and causing more and more global warming per year just from the captivity and slaughter of animals. When will people realize this is the only earth we have – there is no planet B. We are living in the 59thminute of the hour that is earth and we don’t know how much longer that will last. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsd1IT7ySfE)

The warning about meat and the environment isn’t coming from crazed hippies. It’s coming from people like the head of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who has openly identified eating less meat as an important step in combating climate change. Why? Because cows are more damaging than cars. We put far more energy into animals per unit of food than we do for any plant crop. The main reason is that cattle consume 16 times more grain than they produce as meat,so right there we have 16 times as much energy just to grow those crops, just so we can waste them on livestock.

But the energy use doesn’t end there. The livestock themselves take energy to process beyond the energy that goes into their feed. And then there’s refrigeration, including during transport, necessary for meat but not for grains and beans. And then there’s the transportation itself.

Every year, millions of animals that are raised for food experience terrible living conditions on industrialized or “factory” farms.  These factory farms are large, profit driven companies which view animals as units of production, rather than living creatures, and put efficiency and profits ahead of animal health and welfare. Industrial farms push for the maximum production from the animals regardless of the stress this places them under and the resultant shortening of their lifespan

Since the food industry is rapidly growing, animals that were once raised on pastures are now raised in foodlot where they are kept indoors most of the year and given feed formulated to speed their growth. Animals such as cows, goats and sheep have stomachs that are meant to consume grass. However since farms can’t always provide grass, these animals are fed grain and corn which can produce serious fatal digestive tract problems. They also add chemicals to the feed which can accumulate in animal tissue, potentially exposing consumers to unwanted chemicals such as veterinary drug residues and heavy metals. They also use pesticides which ‘bioaccumulate’ or build-up in the fatty tissues of animals which exposes the consumer to these chemicals. Exposure to pesticide has been shown to negatively affect reproductive, nervous, and immune system functions, as well as increase the risk of developing cancer.

Conclusion


It doesn’t have to be this way.

A whole foods plant based diet is essentially the best way to live. I am trying not to be biased because I too once lived a regular lifestyle. I used to eat meat, cheese, milk, eggs, etc. and thought everything was okay. But once I educated myself on these things, I found out how wrong I was. I am by no means trying to shame anyone’s eating habits or put down anyone’s style of living. I am however trying to get my point across that we are all equal, and that we can help this planet.

Go to your local farmers market, shop in the organic section at the grocery store, or even grow your own garden! I promise you that those options are 10x easier than catching an animal, impregnating them, milking them, cooking them, killing them after their babies are born or their eggs are hatched and so on. Not only are you helping animals but you are helping the planet, and most importantly yourself. Your body will strive off of whole foods and improve much more than it would on an animal based diet.

I have read many articles, documents, textbooks, and watched documentaries to know that the information I am telling you can be backed up and proven. I am not just some crazy vegan girl trying to persuade everyone to live like me. I am trying to make a change in the world, and even if it’s a small change that only affects a few people, at least it’s starting somewhere, and a little change is better than no change.

Vegan

Sources:

The China Study

http://www.sustainabletable.org/260/animal-feed

http://www.sustainabletable.org/274/animal-welfare

http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/environment.html

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/environmental-health-reasons-dairy.htm#page=0

http://www.rense.com/general26/milk.htm

http://nutritionfacts.org/2013/11/19/why-are-eggs-linked-to-cancer-progression/

http://www.dolphincommunicationproject.org/about-dolphins/dolphin-communication.html

http://www.youngagain.org/e7.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsd1IT7ySfE

Documentaries:
Earthlings
Vegucated
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
Forks over Knives
Food Inc.
The Cove
Black Fish

 

Source: http://thecolourfulkitchen.com/tag/global-warming/

Video

Global Warming: Meat The Truth

Climate Change and Global Warming – yes I know, it’s a hoax, it’s a scam and designed to keep us in fear and implement aCarbon Tax, as if we aren’t already taxed to death.

This video discusses an issue that is almost always overlooked whenofficials and science discuss climate.
What about the 90 BILLION animals raised for food production. The energy to grow their food, to feed them, to transport them, to slaughter and finally to your local grocer in the form of packaged flesh OR prepared / frozen meals and various by-products.

Let’s not forget these billions of beings produce massive amounts of feces and urine and it has to go somewhere. Negative health issues aside, this practice most certainly contributes to wide scale pollution and contamination of our air, water and land. The comparison in this film to cars and C02 emissions is to point out what is not being discussed.

The documentary Meat the Truth is the first major project undertaken by the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation. Meat the Truth is a high-profile documentary, presented by Marianne Thieme (leader of the Party for the Animals), which forms an addendum to earlier films that have been made about climate change.

Although such films have convincingly succeeded in drawing public attention to the issue of global warming, they have repeatedly ignored one of the most important causes of climate change, namely: intensive livestock production. Meat the Truth has drawn attention to this by demonstrating that livestock farming generates more greenhouse gas emissions worldwide than all cars, lorries, trains, boats and planes added together.

Source: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/meat-the-truth/

 

 

No meat, no dairy, no problem: is 2014 the year vegans become mainstream?

This year will see the German supermarket chain ‘Veganz – We Love Life’ opening its first branch in the UK, offering over 6,000 vegan products. The store is hoping to take advantage of increasing interest in non-meat, non-dairy food, with celebrities such as Jay Z and Beyoncé among those to have reportedly tried adopting veganism.

Most UK supermarkets already stock vegan products, but Veganz is the first dedicated chain store of its kind in Europe. Set up in 2011, the company hopes to open a total of 21 stores across the continent by 2015 to meet growing demand.

The choice of not consuming any animal products at all is currently being promoted by Mark Bittman’s book VB6, which takes a “flexitarian” approach – advocating eating a vegan diet before 6pm.

“By going 100 per cent vegan I think people are missing the boat,” said Mr Bittman. “The question is not how challenging you can make your diet but how sane you can make it; there’s nothing wrong with animal products in moderation,” he says.

“The problem is huge-scale industrial production of agriculture and, of course, our consumption of junk food – which may or may not be moderated by ‘going vegan’. What we need is for most people to move on the spectrum closer to a diet that includes way more unprocessed plants than we’re used to eating, and correspondingly less animal products and junk. ”

Veganism has long been plagued by stereotypes of it proponents. But what will dedicated full-time proponents of the lifestyle choice – its title officially coined in 1944 by founder of the British Vegan Society Donald Watson – make of the part-timers and the potential for it to become the latest fad diet?

Amanda Baker, senior advocacy and policy officer of the Vegan Society, is not overly concerned, and welcomed the potential for it to grow in popularity. “From our point of view, people are beginning to recognise the arguments that we have been making all along,” she said. “We all teach our children that it’s wrong to harm animals unnecessarily and a plant-based diet can be really healthy.”

The Vegan Society estimates that there are at least 150,000 vegans in the UK. With a population of around 63 million, that’s less than one per cent, but the term “vegan” will soon have legal status. In 2010 the European Parliament adopted UK Food Standards Agency labelling guidelines and, following a five year period for compliance, civil suits may be brought against anyone misusing the term from 2015.

This is yet more welcome news to the Vegan Society. “Veganism is a lifestyle and an ethical way of looking at the world. It is a human right to be vegan and a protected philosophy,” said Ms Baker.

“We enjoy our vegan lives and we want others to share the benefits. It helps to have people talking positively about it, especially high profile figures like Bill Clinton and Al Gore.”

However, there remains a disjunction between the principles of veganism adhered to by devotees like Ms Barker and the standards kept by the more casual believers.

The Vegan Society defines the lifestyle as “a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose.” Yet Bill Clinton has admitted to eating fish or eggs once a week and Beyoncé dined at an LA vegan restaurant in none other than a fur coat earlier this month.

 

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/no-meat-no-dairy-no-problem-is-2014-the-year-vegans-become-mainstream-9032064.html

The Forgotten History Of Human Zoos

 

By Staff, PopularResistance.org

Racism is deeply embedded in our culture.  Slavery of African people, ethnic cleansing of Native Americans and colonialist imperialism are seeds that intertwine to create racism that still has impacts today.  One example of the sad human history of racism — of colonizers seeing themselves as superior to others — is the long history of human zoos that featured Africans and conquered indigenous peoples, putting them on display in much the same way as animals. People would be kidnapped and brought to be exhibited in human zoos.  It was not uncommon for these people to die quickly, even within a year of their captivity. This history is long and deep and continued into the 1950s.  Several articles below with lots of photos so we can see the reality of this terrible legacy. KZ

Through the 1950s, Africans and Native Americans Were Kept In Zoos As Exhibit

Throughout the early 20th century, Germany held what was termed a, “Peoples Show,” or Völkerschau. Africans were brought in as carnival or zoo exhibits for passers-by to gawk at.

Brussels, Belgium in 1958

Only decades before, in the late 1800′s, Europe had been filled with, “human zoos,” in cities like Paris, Hamburg, Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Milan, and Warsaw. New York too saw these popular exhibits continue into the 20th century. There was an average of 200,000 to 300,000 visitors who attended each exhibition in each city.

Carl Hagenbeck of Germany ran exhibits of what he called, “purely natural,” populations, usually East Asian Islanders, but in 1876, he also sent a collaborator to the Sudan to bring back, “wild beasts and Nubians.” The traveling Nubian exhibit was a huge success in cities like Paris, London, and Berlin.

The World’s Fair, in 1889 was visited by 28 million people, who lined up to see 400 indigenous people as the major attraction. The 1900 World’s Fair followed suit, as did the Colonial Exhibitions in Marseilles (1906 and 1922) and in Paris (1907 and 1931) which displayed naked or semi-naked humans in cages. Paris saw 34 million people attend their exhibition in six months alone.

Just four years shy of the 20th century, the Cincinnati Zoo kept one hundred Sioux Native Americans in a mock village at the zoo for three months.

Ota Benga at Bronx Zoo

In 1906, the amateur anthropologist Madison Grant, who was the head of the New York Zoological Society, put a Congolese pygmy Ota Benga, on display at the Bronx Zoo in New York City. The display was in the primate exhibit, and Ota was often made to carry around chimpanzees and other apes. Eugenicist and zoo director William Hornaday labeled Ota, “The Missing Link.” The public flocked to see the display.

Benga shot targets with a bow and arrow, wove twine, and wrestled with an orangutan. Although, according to the New York Times, “few expressed audible objection to the sight of a human being in a cage with monkeys as companions,” controversy erupted as black clergymen in the city took great offense. “Our race, we think, is depressed enough, without exhibiting one of us with the apes,” said the Reverend James H. Gordon, superintendent of the Howard Colored Orphan Asylum in Brooklyn. “We think we are worthy of being considered human beings, with souls.”

In 1906, the Bronx Zoo kept Ota Benga on a human exhibit. The sign outside of her fenced in area of the primate exhibit read, “Age, 23 years. Height, 4 feet 11 inches. Weight, 103 pounds. Brought from the Kasai River, Congo Free State, South Central Africa, by Dr. Samuel P. Verner. Exhibited each afternoon during September.”

These sorts of, “human zoos,” continued even later. The Brussels 1958 World’s Fair kept a Congolese village on display. Even as late as April 1994, an Ivory Coast village was kept as part of an African safari in Port-Saint-Père (Planète Sauvage), near Nantes, France.

In Germany, as late as 2005, Augsburg’s zoo in Germany had similar exhibits. In August 2005, London Zoo also displayed humans wearing fig leaves, and in 2007, Adelaide Zoo housed people in a former ape enclosure by day. They were, of course, allowed to return home at night, unlike many of the earlier incarnations of these racist displays.

Many people console themselves with the belief that the racism of yesterday remains safely in the past. But the echoes of the, “human zoo,” into recent years show that this is far from the case. The racism of the past continues to bleed through into the present.

 

Read more here:

Source: http://westcoastnativenews.com/the-forgotten-history-of-human-zoos/