On April 20, we happened to be in Houston TX on our way home to Victoria BC. The same day, Houston’s Rice University was screening the movie ‘Racing Extinction’. And to top it off, my inspiration # 2, right after Elon Musk, Leilani Münter, was going to be there as well. I was VERY excited to meet her, the ‘vegan hippie chick race car driver’ and environmentalist who drove the Tesla with the big projector and electroluminescent paint in the movie.
I had watched ‘Racing Extinction’ before. It made me cry then; it made me cry again in Houston.
It’s a documentary about the vast number of species on earth that are going extinct – without many people even knowing or paying attention. But it’s not about the extinction of animals only. Ultimately, it’s about the future of the human race, of the danger of turning this earth into a place that will become less and less livable for future generations. Yes, parents, that means your kids! The movie explains why methane is so much more dangerous to the atmosphere than CO2, methane being produced en masse by… cows! It explains why we can’t hope to live when the oceans are dying, which they are; that the danger of climate warming is not just the melting polar ice caps, but also the melting permafrost. We’re doing something to this unique earth that might collapse the system we depend on for life. But there’s still hope. There’s still things we can do to stop where we’re headed. I won’t go into it here further. Watch the movie, it’s an eye opener.
People will react differently to seeing the movie. Maybe some will share their experience with friends, or start donating to conservation societies, or become involved locally. The options are endless. I think it will be hard to just go home and continue as usual. This was my reaction:
When I watched the movie, I realized that the most special moments during all of our travels had always involved animals: The bubble-feeding humpbacks while sailing to Alaska, the young grizzly trying to chase our motor home in the Yukon, the “gliding” sting rays in Williams Bay, Exumas. And so many more, unique and special encounters. I realized, how much those animals actually mean to me, and the fact that I am seeing them in the wild. It made me realize, that I don’t only care about my dog Kye, but about all animals. (Well, some a little less, I don’t think I will ever really like spiders, but I do appreciate their work! ;-)…)
At the end of the movie there’s one piece of information that only now truly sank in with me:
“If every American skipped meat and cheese just one day a week for a year, it would be like taking 7,600,000 cars off the road.”
And here we were thinking that switching to an electric car and installing solar panels could make a difference. Well, it does, in many ways. One person, one household, one car at a time. And hopefully, more will follow. But there’s still more I can do, obviously.
Up to now, I thought I couldn’t give up on meat, thought pork shoulder on the BBQ and bacon and eggs for breakfast some mornings would be important. Part of me wanted to become a Vegetarian for some time now. I went through some failed trials. I believe I failed, because one part of me wasn’t ready yet. I had found the following image on the web, and though I truly agree with it, it didn’t change anything:
The first crack in my attitude happened when we caught a fish in the Bahamas, just a few weeks ago. It pained me to watch it die. Actually, I couldn’t watch it, I walked away. I ate it anyway. But I didn’t forget.
Nowadays, it is difficult to see the connection between the meat on the plate and the living animal. Watching ‘Racing Extinction’ made the difference for me. It opened my eyes to the beauty of all animals on the planet. The images of the last, now extinct Kauai O’o bird will stay with me. The last male, who kept calling for a female. The female who never answered. Because there was none left. Watching ‘Racing Extinction’ opened my eyes about the sadness of animals being killed for food or going extinct for other reasons. Now, I don’t see a piece of meat on a plate, I see a dead animal.
‘Racing Extinction’ calls on everybody to #StartWith1Thing, just one thing, whatever it is, it’ll make a difference. While in the Bahamas, my #StartWith1Thing was to clean up the beaches, especially from plastic. I didn’t do this so humans could enjoy a clean beach. I did it for the ocean animals, so that the plastic would not end up in the animals’ food chain.
Having left the Bahamas recently, my next #StartWith1Thing is to stop eating meat of any kind and to try to avoid dairy products and eggs as much as I can. I’m a Vegetarian now.
Challenge yourself. Let me know what your #StartWith1Thing is or will be.
At this point, we’re about a week away from home. Once we’re back in Victoria, I will invite my friends for dinner and a movie. Guess what we will be watching! And eating! 😉