Worldlog Week 45 – 2009

6 November 2009

Increasingly more people are recognising the need to consume less meat, one of these people being Al Gore! This fact was a huge omission from the film “An Inconvenient Truth” which provided direct stimulus for the Nicolaas. G. Pierson Foundation, the Party for the Animals’ scientific arm, to make a film called Meat the Truth to fill in the gaps.

Al Gore proved time after time that he was not prepared to cover the issue of meat consumption and Mad Cowboy Howard Lyman suggested it could have something to do with the fact that he has a large stake in the cattle farming industry. But the die has finally been cast, Al Gore is advising everyone to eat less meat. He has drastically curtailed his own meat consumption, is eating more fruit and vegetables and has called British climate tsar Nicholas Stern’s call to vegetarianism ‘legitimate’.

Gore expounds the reduction in C02 emissions and water use that eating less meat can effect, as well as its health benefits. I’m am extremely pleased that Al Gore has aligned himself with the advocates of a more plant-oriented society and I expect that within the foreseeable future Dutch politics will also come around once they move out of their initial phase of denial.

This week saw the release of an interesting book called ‘Eating Animals' from a writer named Jonathan Safran Foer. Up until a few years ago, Jonathan Safran Foer switched between vegetarianism and eating meat. When he became a husband and a father he asked himself: ‘why do we eat animals?’ And ‘would we eat them if we knew how they ended up on our plates?'

In Eating Animals, Foer uses a brilliant blend of philosophy, literature, science and undercover journalism to research the different stories we tell ourselves to justify our eating habits – from folklore to popular culture, from family traditions to Western myths – and he shows how these stories keep us in our ignorant state.

Eating Animals is a strong and morally-driven work, full of generosity and caring for both animals and people. It is a stimulating and challenging book about the stories we are told and the stories that need telling.

For those who are interested, the book is on sale in English and Dutch.

This week we organised a reading by Dos Winkel for the Party for the Animals members. Dos Winkel is an oceanic ambassador who uses is fantastic photos to gain attention for the dramatic situation the world’s seas are in. As he is an underwater photographer, he has seen mangrove swamps and coral reefs – the home base for hundreds of species of fish – disappear like snow under the heat of the sun and he sees how the waters are becoming empty as a consequence of overfishing.
Our members were excited to be at the reading. I am extremely grateful to Dos for the attention he calls to the worrying state of the world’s oceans. As I wrote in the Worldlog for week 43, our scientific arm is busy working on a film about overfishing the oceans to shine more light on the subject!

See you next week!