Although containing many definitions was coined in the year 2000 and manifested “The Great Acceleration” in human activity. It is defined as a proposed epoch that begins when human activities and behaviour begin to have a significant global impact on Earth’s ecosystems. (Week 1 Lecture, 2015)
It is also important to question what denotes human activities and behaviour. Our environment or our actions? Human behaviour, although currently displays a strong connection with technology, still appears to reside throughout history. The way we have been raised, the ‘cultural story’ we are told time and time again about food, diet and culture obtain detrimental affects on our environment due to our poor diets and the technologies around our actions that cause a deterioration in our ever-growing society. On the other side of the spectrum, the Anthropocene not only in the context of human behaviour and our relationship to our technological behaviour, also raises the idea of: we as humans destroyed our own global world? Shouldn’t we possibly try to resolve it?
‘Art the New Media’ by Shirley Chen along with Roger Nelson’s Carbon Arts extract extrapolates the strong belief of environmentalist art activist Natalie Jeremijenko that the power of change is within the hands of the public. (Nelson, R. 2014) In order to create change, we need to be the change.
Being a vegan, I have definitely taken on this strong belief especially through learning about the production and consumption of meat and dairy on both the environment and ones health in the way we function, think and behave. Raising animals for food is the single greatest human-caused source of destruction to our environment, especially amongst our rainforests.
“Every second we lose an area the size of two football fields
Every minute we lose an area 29 times the size of the Pentagon
Every hour we lose an area 684 times larger than the New Orleans Superdome
Every day we lose an area larger than all five boroughs of New York City
Every week we lose an area twice the size of Rhode Island
Every month we lose an area the size of Belize
Every year we lose an area more than twice the size of Florida”
“If present rates of destruction continue, half our remaining rainforests will be gone by the year 2025, and by 2060 there will be no rainforests remaining.”
Raising animals for food is the largest source of greenhouse gases (in the form of methane and nitrous oxide) than all of the carbon dioxide excreted by automobiles, boats, planes and trains in the world combined. (Peta, 2015) It is the largest source of land use and degradation, which in all is the number one source of water pollution and rainforest deforestation.
(Culinary Schools. 2007)
It also contributes to ocean dead zones, air pollution habitat loss, and species extinction. When we include all the resources that go into raising animals for food such as the land, fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides, fossil fuels and freshwater, (Singer, P. 1990) animal agriculture is shockingly inefficient and a costly and wasteful use of our limited natural resources. Climate change is largely caused by carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions, in addition to water vapour, and raising animals for food is one of the most significant sources of these emissions. (YourDailyVegan, 2015)
Videos that are linked below are ones in which aided my journey into becoming vegan, for the animals, overall long-term health and specifically the environment.
Cowspiracy… The Film
The Vegan Matrix: A Guide to Veganism
Eating Vegan to Save The Environment
Putting this off for another generation just isn’t feasible. My extreme passion for the environment and health has lead to me being a vegan and I share so much value in the ability to live a life of change. We are the new generation that can be the change to thus create change and fix up the detrimental affects of global issues around the world one piece at a time.
As Albert Einstein said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” (GoodReads. 2010)
- AnimalsFlorida 2012, “The Vegan Matrix: A Guide to Veganism”, Internet, viewed 20 October 2015, available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0wpz_GtcyU>
- Culinary Schools. 2007, “Veganism & The Environment”, Internet, viewed 20 October 2015, available from <http://www.culinaryschools.org/yum/vegetables/>
- GoodReads. 2010, “Albert Einstein Quotes”, Internet, viewed 21 October 2015, available from <http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/224638-nothing-will-benefit-human-health-and-increase-the-chances-for?page=2>
- McKnight, T. 2014, “Want To Have A Real Impact On Climate Change?”, Internet, viewed 21 October 2015, available from <http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/04/climate-change-impact-vegetarian>
- Nelson, R. 2014, “Our Agency is Powerful: Future Foods for Humans and the Planet”, Internet, viewed 20 October 2015, available from <http://www.carbonarts.org/articles/our-agency-is-powerful/>
- Peta. 2015, “Fight Climate Change by Going Vegan”, Internet, viewed 20 October 2015, available from <http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/global-warming/
- Save The Rainforest. 2001, “Save The Rainforest”, Internet, viewed 20 October 2015, available from <http://www.savetherainforest.org/index.htm>
- Singer, P. 1990, “Environmental Destruction”, Internet, viewed 20 October 2015, available from <http://www.veganoutreach.org/whyvegan/environment.html>
- The Vegan Activist 2015, “Eating Vegan To Save The Environment?”, video recording, YouTube, viewed 20 October 2015, available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjAI-vJTXjM>
- Week 1 Lecture, 2015
- Yanqui Mike 2009, “Cowspiracy… The Film”, video recording, YouTube, viewed 20 October 2015, available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqZTaaGSKg0>
- YourDailyVegan. 2015, “The Environment Argument: Can Veganism Save The Planet?”, Internet, viewed 20 October 2015, available from <http://www.yourdailyvegan.com/environment/#>