What a day yesterday was- here in Montreal, in New York City and in many other cities and towns worldwide. If your were there or if you have read the newspaper this morning you know that I am talking about The People’s Climate March-Marche Mondiale Pour Le Climat.
Monique Muise of The Gazette reports:
The march was keyed to a gathering this week in New York City where the world leaders will discuss how to tackle climate change…. The event drew Montrealers of all ages and professions, who waved sign calling for an end to the world’ reliance on fossil fuels and major reduction in carbon emissions around the globe.
People who keep track of these figures, estimate that there were around 3000 peaceful demonstrators in Montreal and more than 300,000 in New York city. Impressive? – no doubt. But were they protesting for the right kind of change?
According to Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn, and their seminal documentary, Cowspiracy, The Sustainability Secret, these demonstrators have been intentionally misguided. The sad and frightening facts presented in this movie reveal that nonhuman animal agriculture is the number #1 driver of greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, rainforest destruction, species extinction, ocean dead zones, and freshwater usage. I would say that pretty much covers every human created environmental issue on this earth.
So, while we in North America are busy doing as we are told by washing out and recycling our jars, tins, and tetra packs, driving smaller cars perhaps, using cloth shopping bags, composting, collecting water in our rain barrels and so on, the planet is on the fast track to destruction with the delivery to our plates of nonhumans as food.
I wasn’t going to attend the march, because, even though I recycle, I was suspicious of whether or not it was real and whether or not it could possibly make a difference in our anything goes, profit driven society. Would my sorting and separating make any tangible difference when I am forced to buy appliances that are designed for planned obsolescence? When I would go out of my way to have my appliances fixed, I would be gouged for a part that cost almost as much the item itself. There seemed to be no accountability on the part of free enterprise and the government.
But then veganism and documentaries like Forks over Knives, Veducated, Sharkwater, The Ghosts in Our Machine and now Cowspiracy entered my life and my consciousness. I now know that we are being duped at the cost of great suffering to nonhuman beings, wild and domesticated, in order to protect the bottom line of power and money of big business, environmental groups and government.
So, I have a different, valid reason for attending the march. I will march for those who have no voice, for the nonhumans and for the earth. To this end, I met my new found vegan friends Jimmy, M. and L. at La Panthere Verte (plant based, of course) for a little pre-march chat about what veganism means to us. There were several variations on a theme with a heartfelt consensus that the ongoing unconscionable enslavement of nonhumans needs to stop now. If addressing the issue of the real cause of the destruction of this planet and educating people about the facts, while maintaining a positive presence in the face of misinformation can contribute to this, I am on board one hundred percent.
My friend L. who is a passionate, enthusiastic and devoted vegan, asked me why I thought so many more people attended yesterday’s demonstration as opposed to a demonstration we attended in June calling for the closing of all slaughterhouses in Quebec. It is puzzling, but I think there is an answer.
People who attended the climate march yesterday have followed all the rules set out concerning combating the pollution of this earth. They are recycling, biking, using LED light bulbs, turning down the heat, cutting water consumption, using less plastic and so on. Nothing more than this is being asked of them and yet the problem continues to escalate. So now, it is up to the government and environmental agencies to fix things, to reduce our carbon footprint, to enact environmental laws that protect our waters from industry and chemical runoff, to save the planet. How can we make the powers to be listen and do their part? We will demonstrate, we will demand change.
But here is the sticky wicket. If we march to support the closing of slaughterhouses, then we would all have to question our own values about eating nonhumans as food, We would have to be ready to make what people think of as a big change. By adopting a whole food, plant based diet we, not the government and big industry, have the power to positively alter the course of history for all animals, nonhuman and human alike, and for the planet we share. But, the first thing we have to do is admit that using nonhumans for our own purposes is, in the words of my granddaughter, “…not nice!”. We would have to acknowledge that our traditions based on a meat eating culture need to be discarded and that kindness and compassion are the driving forces of this change. And sadly, that is exactly what we are not prepared to do.
Annie’s Vegan View
The fix is found in the food choices we make and the money we spend on those choices.
If we lead with our hearts, we will recognize, in an instant, that we have no right, inherent or otherwise, to use nonhumans for our own purposes, whether it be as food, clothing, furniture, entertainment, tradition or experimentation.
When we reconnect with our kindness and compassion, we free those who were never meant to be enslaved, we save our planet and we give a gift to ourselves-the gift of understanding, the gift of internal peace.
May all beings be happy and free.
10 thoughts on “People’s Climate March”
I definitely think this will require change at a governmental level. Think of our recycling: we get fined if we mix our compost angles with our trash, and are only allowed a certain amount of curbside garbage. This has no doubt increased composting and recycling. Imagine what could be done with rules about consuming animal products! Hopefully, that time will come. Congrats on participating in your second march!
Compassion and caring and love cannot be legislated, Allison. And even if it could be, it would not work long-term because people would be doing it for the wrong reasons.
The solution, as is almost always the case, lies in education and honesty. People today have no desire to live consciously or honestly. People view their meat, eggs, milk, etc. no differently than they view a box of crackers – completely detached from the animal. Because conscious thought of the animal source – and of the reality of the animal’s circumstance – is highly uncomfortable, and brings thoughts of personal guilt. Unfortunately, the ‘solution’ to this dilemma which the majority of people most often use is to simply not think about it, rather than to live consciously and honestly.
The emotional – and even intellectual – disconnection between the family dog or cat – which the family loves and protects – and the cow or chicken that the same family sits down to eat is nothing but a blatantly dishonest and voluntarily unconscious way to live.
I’m afraid that all we can do is to educate people about the facts – ugly and uncomfortable as they are -, to hold people accountable for their selfish choices, and to challenge them to live honestly and consciously.
Great post, Anne – many great points made.
Welcome to my site and thank you for your comments. Choice is key here and I believe that we all are capable of making that choice. My greatest wish is that people could stop for a moment to realize that other beings on the earth form families like we do and these families are important to them. The cow and her baby, the bear and her baby, the dolphin and her baby, the sparrow and her baby. If we could tap into that for one second and really see instead of just look at these families, we would all be like James McWilliams who became vegan after seeing a picture of a baby calf being ripped from his/her mother. He said to himself, “No More” http://james-mcwilliams.com/
I am looking for a grassroots people’s collective, “No more” followed by a resolution to treat the planet as we treat all beings with whom we share it-with respect, love , kindness and compassion.
I would like to believe that governmental legislation could and would make a difference, but after seeing Cowspiracy, I am not so sure. I think I read somewhere, that after the beginning of mandatory recycling, the overall consumption of so called products increased and that facilities designed to process the fruits of our recycling labor could not handle the incoming product. I believe that the key is less consumption and the right kind of consumption-the kind of consumption in which we both believe: that is,plant food consumption free of the status quo enslavement and exploitation of nonhumans. I include in this all other forms of nonhuman animal consumption such as clothing, furniture, entertainment, tradition, experimentation, medication….
The government then has a responsibility to see that our consumption of plants is sustainable. I just read this morning that Canada is number one in deforestation. If this is true, then how can we rely on the govt to protect our planet?
Thanks for your words of encouragement about the march. It was definitely worth the sore legs and feet.
I love your latest blog and all your blogs but wow! each time I read I feel an overwhelming lump in my throat and a very heavy sadness… but I won’t dwell on this because I know that with Cowspiracy… I feel something will shift =) Thank goodness because it can feel pretty unbearable at times… What some humans are doing to the nonhumans and the planet and the massive cruelty, violence and oppression! Keeping things under-wraps and misleading the masses!! all for the huge profit margins…
Thanks for your support both on my website and on the street when we march and in the plant based restaurants where share our ideas and hopes.
I remain hopeful that things will change.
Eek, this is how far behind I am! My apologies, and I’ll try to catch up further this weekend if life events don’t get in the way again, sigh.
As for relying on the government, with someone like Stephen Harper at the helm that’s not going to get us very far. I honestly believe that future generations will one day come to view him as one of the prime ministers who caused Canada the greatest harm, if only because he doesn’t even believe in climate change and doesn’t care about the environment. Or perhaps he does, but cares about profit and power far more. I won’t go on though as I find that once I start a rant about him it’s hard to stop, snort, but are you familiar at all with The Council of Canadians? They’re quite vocal and active, and are doing some good things.
No worries! Always happy to hear from you when you are able.
I am not very political, but my son, who is much more knowledgeable in this area than I am, never has anything good to say about Harper.
I gave not heard of The Council of Canadians. I will have to look them up.
I don’t think we could ever rely on the governments to create change in this area. Unfortunately there is too much profit to be made in these practices and the animals lives will always be bottom of their lists in order of priority. I think, sadly. it is up to people like us who care and are compassionate to lead the way and to teach others through education and by example. I don’t listen to the governments anymore. They are all corrupt and I would rather live my life going my own way which is down the road of compassion for who I see as ultimately my earthly brothers and sisters, human and non-human alike. These big corporations might realise one day that we can’t put a price on the planet or compassion.
Thank you for marching for the planet and the animals. It sounds like you had a good day and met some interesting like-minded people along the way. I have yet to attend a march but it is on my, “to-do-list”.
I think we need to continue to bombard people with the facts. They cannot argue with those. If we persist in challenging people to look at their choices and try and get them to live instead with respect, love kindness and compassion we will be on the right track for change.
I have never been a very political person, but now I find myself enraged at the governmental policies which discriminate against nonhuman animals and the reticence of politicians to change the status quo.
The facts are indeed out there for anyone who cares to listen and I hope that more people do as time goes on – for the animals, always for the animals.