One of my favorite authors is Jonathan Safran Foer. His book “Everything is Illuminated” was a brilliant master piece, and the adaption to screen was expectedly horrible. When Foer released the book “Eating Animals”, I was already a vegetarian, but for years to come I passed on the book as christmas gifts, birthday gifts etc because its message was both essential and brilliant at the same time.
My wife and I had the opportunity to see one of his talks in Stockholm last year, and even though he seemed somewhat reserved and maybe a little bit boring in person, his intellect was razor sharp and entertaining.
It so happens that my wife works for a foundation, The Influence Film Club, that helps highlighting documentaries of essence, on various topics. She got word that there would be an adaption of “Eating Animals” out soon, and I didn’t have very high hopes for it. I got really upset when watching a pre screener at home in bed, simply because it was disturbing footage, but then she did the Q&A at Tempo Film Festival and I decided I wanted to see it again.
After the film, director Christopher Dillon Quinn was present to answer questions. The input he gave to some of the stuff we saw in the film, was equally interesting. For instance, criticism could be raised that it’s an american perspective, but the truth is that they had found out it’s actually a global one. Americas large corporations actually have placed their offices in Europe because the animal laws here are more liberal. Another anecdote that really stuck with me, was one of his film crew got so upset from visiting one of the labeled “organic” farms, that he called his wife and ordered her to through out all dairy they had in the house. Seeing the truth behind animal protein based foods, not as units but as suffering flesh and blood, should be enough for anyone who say they care the least for animals. But also; the turkey farmer Frank in the film, they had meassured the amount of protein in his turkeys compared to the ones in the supermarket. Basically you have to eat six of the commodity farmed ones, to get the same protein content as one of Franks.
I have been a vegetarian for about 17 years now, and found vegetarianism through the Hare Krishna movement. Simply put, if we’re all spiritual animals and we all have our dharma (lot in life), it is in our nature to consume what the animals give (i e milk, eggs etc, though eggs are not to be consumed by Vaisnavs) but not to take their lives, since all life is precious. It is easy to understand why vegetarianism is of importance in India. The cow is of more value alive to a family or even a village, than on a plate. Even meat eaters consider meat a luxury, rather than a staple. And even though I am torn why it would be more merciful to kill a buck at his prime age, just because he’s running free in the forrest, when you can opt to not eat meat, it is more in our nature as hunters and gatherers to consume meat as a luxury and for survival when left out of options, than as a God given right. And if you’re a born again Atheist, you should be very aware of the fact that meat consumption of today stems from a Biblical order where man were made master of all other animals.
Ironically, after spending almost a year begging my wife, who is a true Southerner and thus an avid meat eater, to become vegetarian, she came home after a pre screening of upcoming film “The Game Changers”, a documentary on athletes on plant based diet, realizing she fell for the meat industries old bullshit about protein, and now wanted us to become vegan. Nothing made more sense to me, and it was somewhat a relief to me to have someone to take that final step with.
Because a plant based diet is not just about animal care, it’s about your health and the future of our planet. And to me personally, I don’t care if you eat meat, but I think it’s important to look for a sustainable consumption. In a very short future, Da Matteo owner Matts Johansson will release a sort of manifesto to showcase his ongoing and endless involvement in small scale production and sales. Where the supply and demand chain is benefitting the capitalist structure, making the world a small village online, it is a healthy counter culture to shop vegetables, meat and dairy from local farmers. That awareness should be omnipresent within the speciality coffee community, not just for coffee farmers, but for the future of our planet.
NP: Earth Crisis Slither