Documentary Eating Our Way to Extinction Promotes Plant Based Eating For The Environment
"Eating Our Way to Extinction" is a timely documentary with an urgent message and backed by a host of Hollywood names. Narrated by Kate Winslet and supported by Leonardo Di Caprio, this documentary is much more than a fleeting video message.
This is a movement that focuses on the action as much as it does information. Social media presence, a dedicated website, and even a plant-based meal planner make up just some of the surrounding parts of this purpose-driven documentary.
So, what is the core message? Well, in short, the way we currently eat is not working and needs to change. Breeding, raising, and killing animals for our food supply is breeding more damage than food.
Plant-Based Diet - Our Future?
A plant-based way of living, similar to Veganism, is a cruelty-free way of living. For some vegans, it is about food and eating a plant-based diet but for most, it’s a way of life in which cruelty-free clothing, cosmetics and practices are part of everyday life.
So, why are these trends important for our future? A meat-dependent diet requires land and fertile land at that where grass can grow for animals to graze. A dairy fuelled diet requires large numbers of animals who produce methane gas and the use of chemical fertilizers to feed them. Plant-based or Vegan practices like relying on sustainable food, clothing, and general living greatly reduce an individual’s contribution to the warming of the planet.
What’s Happening on Planet Earth?
The documentary ‘Eating Our Way to Extinction’ breaks its urgent message down into a series of ecological facts. Percentages presented to people who doubt critical, negative changes on the planet are necessary to prove to all the effect we are having on our only home.
Here’s what’s happening on planet Earth today:
Biodiversity loss means that species of animals and plants are depleting across the globe. The planet depends on biodiversity to function as a healthy habitat for us human beings and the animals we share it with. Whether people realize it or not, humans depend on all species of animals to survive.
The planet is made up of interdependent relationships in the form of ecosystems. These ecosystems, when functioning correctly, allow us to maintain clean air, water and have quality soil that is dependable for crops. Ecosystems are therefore the core of our materials and resource supply, yet we are continuously destroying them.
Overfishing has led to the loss of species, reefs have lost corals at a rapid rate and the acidification of the oceans is causing our oceans to slowly die. Ocean acidification is caused by an increase of C02 in the water and other gases changing the PH balance of the water and damaging the chemistry of our global waters.
The answer? Stop ecosystem destruction now and work on rebuilding.
Water & Food Security
The growing demand for food across and the methods by which we produce it are not in alignment. Due to current Western diet trends, a meat dependency, humans will run short of food due to water shortages. For example, in the USA alone livestock uses 56% of fresh water in order to function and produce meat and dairy products.
Global Warming – Methane
Although CO2 is often cited as the major contributor to global warming, methane has a major part to play too. This gas is ‘28 times more heat-trapping’ than its CO2 counterpart over a 100 year period. Methane comes from livestock mostly on our planet and their waste products in particular from cattle raised to produce beef.
The solution involves organic practices of farming plus the introduction of plant-based diets to help slow warming due to methane.
Climate change is a hot topic in global news today as natural disasters continue to flourish across the world which scientists confirm are due to a climate shift caused by humans. Warming of the planet threatens crop yields and risks more extreme weather events which are already appearing more frequently. Human impact on the climate shows up in many forms but one long-term change is currently affecting the people of Madagascar in a detrimental way.
Madagascar is the first country in the world to face a famine directly linked to climate change. Located in the Indian ocean, the island of Madagascar has not seen rain for months and is facing the worst drought seen here in 40 years. The people of this island do not contribute to climate change but are feeling the effects of the actions of the rest of us. Aridity levels in the region are increasing as the global temperature rises. Most of these people are now eating insects and cactus leaves to survive the never-ending drought and crop failure.
From polluted water supplies to untreated sewage and waste from agriculture, the world's water is under constant pressure from pollution. Under the water, the damage can be seen with lifeless coral reefs now being termed as ‘dead zones’. Nitrogen is a dangerous emission and is now called the greatest cause of pollution, but where does it come from?
In the US, agricultural practices are the cause of 80% production of nitrogen in the surrounding environment. These practices related to maintaining livestock also include the use of fertilizers for growing food for these animals, not humans.
Deforestation & Desertification
The human need to satisfy a meat-based diet is causing the destruction of forests and deserts. As mentioned earlier in this article biodiversity refers to the dependence of one ecosystem on another, yet we are choosing to cut down trees and farm irresponsibly.
Deforestation contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as trees needed to trap greenhouse gases are cut down to make way for farmland. In 2018 it was confirmed that half of the world’s tropical forests are now gone due to deforestation practices.
Desertification is due to fertile soil being overused for the purpose of farming or salvaging wood for fuel. Grass cover, plant growth and farming potential disappear as a result. Soil on earth can hold more carbon than the atmosphere but over time due to desertification the world's topsoil has depleted dramatically and the amount of carbon it holds has dropped also leaving it sitting in the atmosphere.
How We Can Help
Raising awareness is one method of acting but actions always speak louder than words. Leading by example through a plant-based diet and/ or a more vegan way of living each day is one way we can contribute to the health of planet Earth. The Eating Our Way to Extinction Movement asks the public to trial a 14-day guided plant-based diet. Other ways to help are to plant a tree and to inform yourself through dedicated events, podcasts and signing up to their newsletter.
Where to Watch
To see the documentary in full you can visit UK and US cinemas where it will be shown from September 16th. Visit the website to find out a cinema theatre near you which is showing ‘Eating Our Way to Extinction’ and book your tickets now.
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