Meat Consumption with Greta Thunberg

Afterthought On Greta Thunberg's Latest Video With Emphasis On Meat Consumption

May 27, 2021

Millions have died from COVID-19.

The fact that up to 75% of all new diseases (Zika, Ebola, Covid-19, you name it) come from other animals is a self-evident sign that we should never mess up with animals [1].

Meat is a touchy subject.

I personally experience some backfires when I engage with this topic with my friends. I try not to let them feel that I, a vegetarian, enforce my “ideology” on them.

Most of us are humanists [2]. In the humanist culture, we don’t like being told what to do and we believe that everyone has the right to choose. As time passes, I talk much less about it too because I am a humanist, everyone has the right to choose.

What about animals?

What about their rights, thoughts, and feelings?

Do they have the right to choose?

Needless to say, we all know the theory of evolution by Darwin. If you look at the phylogenetic tree of life, mankind is merely just a very tiny part of all life history: We are not so different, nor special from other animals.

Some animals plan for their future [3], forge friendships that last for decades [4] (humans lose in this case).

They play [5], they help each other [6]. They show signs of empathy [7]. Just like you and me.

In the UK, animals are formally recognised as sentient beings under the law for the first time [8].

What is sentient? It is being able to perceive or feel things.

But, 99% of the animals in the US are found in confined factories [9]. Just like you and me during that few weeks of Movement Control Order, but for them it lasts through their lifetime.

Pigs, for example, are more trainable and intelligent than dogs [10]. Culturally (non-muslim), we eat pork. In Yulin (玉林狗肉节), it is also culturally accept to eat BBQ dogs! But media call them “barbaric” & “野蛮” [11].

I don’t see a huge difference between eating pigs and dogs.

Both are sentient beings.

Both feel pain.

If you slaughter any of them,

both bleed miserably,

both feel agony in their subjective mind.

Am I judging you for eating meat? Of course not. You can continue eating meat like you usually do, and I eat plants, because it's my choice. I can’t possibly enforce my diet on you, right?

That’s exactly the humanist approach.

But, what if I tell you, if we continue the way we farm and make food, clearing land to grow food, we’ll run out of food, literally [12].

The current meat industry is just simply not sustainable.

We just simply cannot maintain it [13].

Why can’t we maintain it? Well, sadly to say, Earth doesn’t expand and 83% of the world’s agricultural land is used to feed livestock that only account for 18% of our calories [14].

It just doesn’t make sense. However, we still do it for the momentary economic prosperity (eg. Brazil) [15].

"Our relationship with nature is broken. But relationships can change. When we protect nature - we are nature protecting itself."

Greta Thunberg, activist

Most of us can do something. We have a choice.

According to the UN, it's very crucial and important to switch to a plant-based diet as a global citizen. The less meat we eat, the less trees that have to be cut to support the unsustainable meat industry [16].

We can change the way we farm.

We can change what we eat.

We all can do something.

It’s no longer up to you, it’s on you if you can help to make a change.

We depend on you to make a change.

Afterthought: I only practice vegetarianism starting 1/1/2021. I initially wanted to try it for a year. My main motive was the concerns about the environmental impact of the meat industry. I had lived my whole life eating meat, a LOT of meat. I hated vegetables and lived for hotdogs. I treat this change in diet like going to the gym. It’s a healthy habit and I need to keep it so that it’s called a habit!