This post is part of the Live Your Legend blog challenge. I want to be more involved in the LYL community (and hopefully win a ticket to WDS).
What really makes me angry in the world is that wealth and “wants” are the priority. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last four years researching climate change, factory farm cruelty, droughts, health issues, environmental devastation and more. I’m surrounded by good people with families who I’m sure care about the future… yet, they are not fully informed or motivated to make any changes.
Are we just hearing “blah, blah, blah” when climate scientists talk about rising ocean levels destroying large coastal cities? Or, do we think these events all over the world are not connected? Although 97% of climate scientists agree that we are headed for calamity… we ignore these signs for the most part, maybe thinking there is nothing we can do.
We know population growth is on the rise, and that now China and India are now using more fossil fuels and resources than ever before, but we continue to do things the same way we have done in the past, and expect that everything will just work out. We are going into uncharted territory here with the amount of resources available for more people than ever, within my kids’ lifetimes.
For those just meeting me, I write and draw about eating for the future. Eating is something we do at least 3 times a day, and we vote for our future with every choice and purchase. It is estimated that our dependence on livestock, and their grain and water requirements constitutes more than all transportation combined. It is connected and affects all the major issues I mentioned.
Pretty big deal. So why are Americans eating an average of 200 lbs of meat/year over twice the 75 lb/year world average? Look to who is profiting from the sale of meat, dairy and eggs. 99% of our meat comes from Factory Farms. Factory Farms were designed to squeeze every bit of productivity from animals by making them grow faster, have less space, and die sooner for as much profit as possible. Over 80% of the meat production in the US are owned by just a few giant agribusinesses who buy up smaller brands to look more organic…. Tyson, Foster Farms and Perdue. They will do everything in their power to protect their own interests.
Until we start caring about what these billion-dollar companies are doing, they will continue to hide the truth from us with politics, ag-gag laws, pollute our water without penalties, send chicken to China for processing and back to sell without even labeling it, subsidize their products with our money, and waste water, rain forests and land. We will have to eat less meat to change the world.
I’m not touching on the antibiotics being overused to keep these animals alive in close, unhealthy conditions or the known health and safety issues to people. I’m also not talking about the over-fishing, destroying the oceans. So many reasons to avoid an inefficient and cruel system.
I’m angry because we can make a difference, yet we choose our desire to eat bacon, or convenience of using cow’s milk, over the most important issues which will affect ALL people and animals. The worst consequences you can imagine.
In order to be effective in making change, I have to keep this anger in control. I choose not to rant about these issues or put people in such a defensive position they won’t listen. The anger does keep me motivated, but I direct that towards the factory farms, not those who have not yet understood. We can find a common ground there. I will use the skills and talents I have been developing over the last 20+ years, and use design, art and illustration to catch the attention of people numbed to the graphic photos and bored or immune to statistics, articles and numbers. I will help people and organizations who are making a difference in the world.