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Young, Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg and climate change protest groups, such as Extinction Rebellion, are wasting their time.
They are passionately protesting, aiming at governments to act and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that kill our planet, but it’s us, the consumer, who is the real problem. The traveller, the meat-eater, the dairy-lover, the feeders of cats and dogs, the supporter of multinationals which have only one interest and it isn’t saving the natural world.
Let’s face it: we can point at politicians and companies to bring the change we believe is necessary, but as long as we consume polluting products, we keep these industries alive, and we are just as much part of the problem as our governments are. Why lay the power to change in the hands of politicians while we can do it ourselves? Today and not within five years. How can we expect governments to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 (one of the demands of Extinction Rebellion), while we keep on buying and driving cars, consuming animal products, and traveling by plane? It doesn’t make any sense.
As much as I admire the young Greta for her bravery to speak up and start the conversation about the climate crisis and the way she has reached an enormous group of young engaged people, I strongly feel we are on board of a ship that is sailing straight into the loud noise of treacherous, dark clouds. We blame the storm for being stranded when all we had to do was change track.
Disrupting traffic, blocking central places in European cities, and climbing trains, which Extinction Rebellion does, are not actions of “civil disobedience,” as they claim, but frustration bringing chaos that affect civilians like you and I—not the politicians in power or who want to be in power. It’s unrealistic to expect political action of those who make laws and regulations while we haven’t even started ourselves.
I know people say change at an individual level doesn’t help, but if we keep on pointing our fingers at governments who haven’t done anything to protect us from pollution and to stop species from dying, we completely overlook we are those who have the power to take political actions. Every single day. Political actions are for us to take, starting with the food we eat. We take the driver’s seat and determine the direction we want to go. We are the captains. We are the astronauts.
Never before have I realized that with fork and knife we can start revolutions. The effect of a plant-based diet goes far beyond a healthy body. It puts an end to animal concentration camps in the first place. Secondly, it would reduce 51 percent of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions affected by the feeding, transportation, digestion, and production involved in raising pigs, cows, chicken, and other livestock. Yes, it’s true, the animal agriculture industry is the biggest polluter of the planet. Thirdly, it would save wildlife habitat that is being occupied to grow food for livestock.
It’s time for us to evaluate and start using our forks and knives consciously. Choose a plant-based diet, buy locally farmed products, and feed our bodies with love.
Each year, 70 billion animals are slaughtered for human consumption. Imagine the tremendous impact we have on our world when we stop supporting this harmful industry.
I believe making the change to a plant-based diet is a healthy choice, for our bodies and for our planet. We all have a choice with our forks and knives. We have the power to determine what we consume. We must educate ourselves. We must choose to reduce our consumption of animal products drastically or by no longer consuming them. This asks for a change of our food cultures and habits, but it’s possible and a question of time.
Protesting and demanding governments to solve the climate crisis will never get us there as long as we don’t believe in our own powers to stop the world from further suffering.
With so much information available nowadays, we can no longer say we didn’t know about the damaging practices of animal agriculture on our environment. Neither can we ignore the miserable lives and suffering of billions of animals in the world before they end up on our plates.
I know there will always be those who are pretending to be asleep and refuse to wake up. Always. But that doesn’t stop us from changing by using the political power we have, starting with our daily food.
A brave girl and a bunch of rebels have succeeded in creating their platforms to speak about climate change. The wave of protests which they have caused across Europe persuaded me to choose another wave to surf.
We need to remove support from the systems of injustice, such as factory animal farming, and instead place support in systems of justice, such as plant-based food. I hope more of us will be ready to go on this journey.
The sooner, the better.