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An Inconvenient Sequel Doesn't Talk About Animal Agriculture—and That's Absurd


#1

An Inconvenient Sequel Doesn't Talk About Animal Agriculture—and That's Absurd

Rachel Krantz

When I spotted fellow vegan James Cromwell in line for food at an advance screening of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, I couldn’t help but try to talk to him. Recently arrested at a protest against SeaWorld, the Babe and Six Feet Under actor is a remarkable environmental and animal activist.


#2

And this article by Kate Arnoff in The Nation within the past week

The Missed Opportunities of ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ Al Gore’s latest film draws climate change back into the political limelight, but fails to draw connections between environmental and economic justice.

There’s a compelling case to be made that taking on climate change could transform the lives of people still reeling from the fallout of the recession, and respond to both the ecological crisis and the economic pain that drove many to vote for Trump. An Inconvenient Sequel—Al Gore’s latest documentary—never makes that case, opting instead for at-length explanations of glacial ice melts and the sausage-making behind international agreements. As both a film and a political treatise, its biggest problem might be just how much the story revolves around Gore and his outdated view of how politics work.

Gore didn’t contest the 2000 election and we have had all that followed. Including the wars, Bush and Obama with his neo liberal policies, and now Trump. Is Gore still aligned with money and the establishment? How many hundred million dollars has he made since 2000?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the approach mirrors the campaign Hillary Clinton’s team ran last year. Democrats doubled down on showcasing Trump’s vulgarity to try to win, convinced that Americans would come to their senses if only they knew how depraved he really was. Likewise, Gore goes to great pains to point out the obscenity of the climate crisis. Fond of saying in recent press junkets that “every night on the evening news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelations,” he plays the role of dutiful tour guide through a battery of disasters and sobering statistics.

Is there money to be made?

Gore’s not alone in this. A small cottage industry has emerged in the Trump era of aging and establishment-friendly politicians hoping to forge their legacy on climate change—all of them adamant that investors’ self-interest will make Republicans come to the table. Mike Bloomberg, perhaps the most Wall Street–friendly mayor in New York City history, just coauthored a book on why not all hope is lost for the climate. “Companies are one of the big heroes here,” he told NPR’s Steve Inskeep in April. “What you see is big companies doing things that are good for the world because their customers want it, their employees want it and, most of all, their investors want it.


#3

Krantz, like many who throw around generalizations about killing, butchering, distributing and preparing animals for food does not distinguish the difference between corporatized agriculture and sustainable agriculture. Vegan and vegetarian diets that come from corporatized sources are as bad for the biosphere as omnivore diets. Corporatization versus sustainability is the central issue we should be dealing with - how we kill animals and plants for food - not whether we should.


#4

An equally large omission was any mention of OVERPOPULATION. The inconvenient truth that dare not speak its name. Recently the Guardian showed a graphic depicting the relative impact of various lifestyle changes on climate change (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/12/want-to-fight-climate-change-have-fewer-children). Change your lightbulbs, don’t use plastic, don’t have a car… etc. etc. including go vegan. And greater than all the others put together was, you guessed it, HAVE FEWER OR NO KIDS. Any chance of hearing that message any time soon?


#5

I’ve been vegan 15 years, and vegetarian 20 years. You can ask any of my family and friends, and they’ll tell you I’m super inconvenient.


#6

I started eating 1/4 cup of organic brown rice with organic carrots. peas or green beans, and corn with some garlic and peppers.

Meat is surprisingly not necessary,


#7

If you study what most thinkers write you will find that population is not the problem.

Excessive consumption by relatively rich people is the problem.


#8

Would you care to cite some of the “most thinkers”? This topic is kryptonite for the Left. Even Bill McKibben, who mentioned it in his early work “The End of Nature” (1989) says not a word about it anywhere on 350.org.


#9

Overpopulation of those with enormous wealth is the problem, or inequality if you will. As someone said I think, it’s how people live, not the size of families. It comes down to government policies. For example, Bill Maher posted a great video on Facebook that highlights Denmark’s recycling program where 96% of plastic bottles are recycled vs 30% in the US. The gov’t needs to encourage and ensure more equal and sane ways of living.


#10

Every time a discussion starts about personal actions to address climate change it quickly degenerates into finger pointing: drivers vs. meat eaters vs. people who have children. It doesn’t give cause for optimism.


#11

Exactly. I’d like to see these western white vegan snobs tell all the rural pastoral cultures in he world - from the Dineh shepherds of the western US to the Sami of Finland to the cattle and goats raising in most of Africa to the Bedouin of the ME, to the dairy chesses and yogurts that are important to Hindus - that their raising, milking, and eating of animals must stop. Humans have always been omnivores going back to H. erectus and meat has been the most important protein source for their survival.

This article is a classic example of someone inserting their pet agenda into the critical issue of global warming. No wonder the right wing considers global warming to be a “socialist agenda”. The burning of fossil fuels are the cause of human CO2 emissions. Meat productions can have a large carbon footprint due to the refrigeration and transportation requirements if produced far from the consumer, but if produced locally, the carbon footprint was no worse than local vegetables.


#12

Don’t forget that those several billion people in India and China aspire to “improve” their lifestyle to be more like that of a North American (including more meat eating, car driving, TV watching etc.). There are simply too many people eating too much stuff. If we don’t make a correction voluntarily, be assured that a correction is being made by Gaia, which will continue until the problem is solved. And If you think recycling is a panacea, I invite you to read “Wasted World” by Bob Hengeveld.


#13

You make a good point. Overpopulation is a problem then, at least in some countries. Recycling isn’t a panacea by any means, just an example how better policies can be crafted for sustainability


#14

Have you ever been to India or China? How do you know what their cultural attitudes are regarding meat in their diets?


#15

Almost all human carbon emissions are coming from countries with stable or even declining (but mostly affluent) populations.


#16

Recently watched the 2015 film “Inhabit - a permaculture perspective” (took it out of the library). It amazes me that ‘inconvenience’ gang never advocates for a different methodology to replace and improve upon the thousands of years of human experience.

The importance of continually fielding alternative ideas and studying the successful instances of people whose consciences demanded that they leave the current predatory capital model behind - is invaluable not to mention invigorating


#17

How Increased Meat Consumption In China Changes Landscapes Across The Globe

How Increased Meat Consumption In China Changes Landscapes Across The Globe
By Beth Hoffman Dramatic meat consumption in China is responsible for reshaping landscapes in west hemisphere. Meat eating is al… | |

“with 1.35 billion people in the country, China now consumes double the amount of meat we do in the U.S…”


#18

Gore has a penchant for ignoring “inconvenient truths”, doesn’t he?

Hanging chads, and carnivoric homo sapiens, among others.


#19

That is just not true. While those of us in the West use many more times as much energy and resources as those in the poorest third world countries, the overpopulation of those countries is decimating the habitat of most of the world’s remaining populations of large wild animals. So, I guess that those who say there is no overpopulation problem in places like Africa do not care that we may be the last generation to get to see those creatures in their natural habitats, because we only care about more people, not ALL of life on Earth. Even if the number of people per square mile is not all that extreme, what matters is the carrying capacity of the land, and in most of those areas, the climate and soil conditions do not naturally allow for populations as large as we are seeing.

There is not one single major environmental problem we face that would not be vastly improved by drastically lowering human population. It’s just that no one in a position of power and authority is willing to even allow for the discussion. That will be the end of all of us.


#20

…and personal responsibility, as he used as much Electricity, just to Heat his Pool, in 2016, as the Average American Family uses in 6 years.

If you factor in his entire home, he uses as much Electricity in one year as the average American Family does in 21.