Something of a shift has occurred in a matter of days, following a number of months pondering the effects of Simon Amstell‘s Carnage (2017). For 23 years I lived happily, and healthily, as a non-meat eater, without giving thought to the continuing habit of consuming dairy produce. And then I watched Carnage. Milk became a no-no immediately–the notion of “cow rape” had never occurred to me before (have you ever asked yourself how it is that cows can produce milk endlessly?), but having watched the film (described as a comedy, a “mockumentary”) I found it hard to look at a bottle of milk without feeling disgusted.
Yet I continued to eat cheese, eggs, cream, custard, and other such products. I grew up being told about the health benefits of milk, in particular, and that it does wonders for teeth and bones and stuff. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. There are a number of experts who believe dairy products to be a major contributor to all manner of illnesses and diseases–see Food Choices (2016), Forks over Knives (2011), and Cowspiracy (2014). And then there are the ecological issues related to animal agriculture, which state that raising animals primarily for reasons to do with eating them, and the stuff that comes out of them, is the number one driver of major climate catastrophe (not CO2, as we are told, endlessly). The problem is to do with the Methane (amongst other things) that is produced as a by-product of the 70 billion or so cattle that inhabit the planet. Methane levels can change relatively quickly, and so unlike CO2, which takes decades for its levels to fall, there is the opportunity to make drastic changes to our planet’s future: but that requires people to stop eating animals and the by-products that come from them.
And finally, there is the thought, though many people won’t want to consider this, that on a daily basis, for decades and decades, we, as a species, have committed genocide, sending cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and other animals to death camps to die horrible, inhumane deaths: just like Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka…
And that is why I have made the full leap into a wholly plant-based diet: or Veganism, if you will (the V word aforementioned).