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Himself (Sierra Club):
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I have never written a film review before, but was inspired to by reading some of the negative ones attached to this film (fortuantely all the recent ones have been overwhelmingly positive). I can agree with the early reviewers that there may be some statistical inconsistencies in this film. However, they are radically overshadowed by the overall message, which is all too accurate. In fact, I am curious why those reviewers did not focus on the most salient points, which came from studies conducted by the World Health Organization and the United Nations? For example, the WHO concluded that going vegan does more to reduce greenhouse gases than switching from a gas guzzler to a hybrid, and the UN had similar findings...
I first heard about these issued in 2001, when a friend loaned me a video of author John Robbins speaking about the inefficiency of meat production (among other issues it creates). Later, I heard of the UN and WHO studies, reading articles that up to 70% of farmland in the US is used to grow grain or corn to feed to livestock. These animals have been multiplied at an unnatural rate to feed our whims, and what to mention all the insane cruelty, hormone injections, waste production, ruining oceans (see the film), etc, but the water and land use to raise these animals for several years far exceeds anything that is remotely sustainable. When you kill one of these sentient, feeling creatures to satisfy your taste buds, you also get only 1 or a few meals out of it. Just imagine how many people could be fed off that land if there were no livestock to feed?
The reality is that most people think they cannot survive as a vegan. They lack the will power or something. Well, I had many middle school students go vegan when they learned about this important topic, and most of them are still going strong as vegans. There are countless successful athletes who are vegan or vegetarian, and you will certainly be at less risk for coronary diseases, arterial plaque (see "Fat Sick and Nearly Dead 2" for medical evidence), colon cancer, and many other diseases. Even osteoporosis is reduced among those who eat a healthy plant based diet. It turns out the acidity of meat signals our body to pull calcium into our bloodstream to balance it - and that the only available calcium comes from our bones. There was a Harvard study showing fewer hip fractures in China and third world countries with far less dairy and meat consumption. The calcium in leafy green vegetables is simply far more digestible.
One other point I can't help but make...many of the greatest thinkers of all time have concluded the necessity of abstaining from meat. Many religious and spiritual leaders have as well, usually for the same reasons. You will therefore be in great company if you can but make the sacrifice for the sake of life...
Here are a few quotes:
"A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral." ― Leo Tolstoy
"I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men." ― Leonardo DA Vinci
"It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind." ― Albert Einstein
"Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace." ― Albert Schweitzer
"People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times." ― Isaac Bashevis Singer
"By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet." ― Thích Nhất Hạnh, The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology
"Ethically they had arrived at the conclusion that man's supremacy over lower animals meant not that the former should prey upon the latter, but that the higher should protect the lower, and that there should be mutual aid between the two as between man and man. They had also brought out the truth that man eats not for enjoyment but to live." ― Mahatma Gandhi
"Elsewhere the paper notes that vegetarians and vegans (including athletes) 'meet and exceed requirements' for protein. And, to render the whole we-should-worry-about-getting-enough-protein-and- therefore-eat-meat idea even more useless, other data suggests that excess animal protein intake is linked with osteoporosis, kidney disease, calcium stones in the urinary tract, and some cancers. Despite some persistent confusion, it is clear that vegetarians and vegans tend to have more optimal protein consumption than omnivores. " ― Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals
Anyway, please see the film and try not to let yourself discredit the whole thing if you find one or two statistics that might be a little off.
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