Climate change is finally starting to get the attention it needs, with artists, musicians, actors and politicians alike speaking out about how we need to combat the problem. No matter how much we’d like to deny it (we’re looking at you Senator Jim Inhofe … and Ted Cruz, oh and you Marco Rubio), climate change is happening and we need to raise awareness for how to combat it.
Hey now, I would bury my head in the sand but it’s just too darned hot.
Which is why global agencies are looking into the primary causes of the problem. What have they found? Well, aside from the usual suspects that spew carbon into the environment like industry and transportation, animal agriculture is one of the top contributors to the problem; the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while other organizations like the Worldwatch Institute have estimated it could be as much as 51 percent.
That’s also not to mention that deforestation and land clearing for agriculture came in at 17 percent. Not to downplay the awesomeness of your hybrid car, but ALL transportation came in at 13 percent.
So, we know that animal agriculture is an enormous player in the degradation of this planet of ours and that a global shift toward a plant-based way of eating would help to lessen its impact. Right? We mean, you’ve heard all about that in the news and in political speeches and at climate change rallies and stuff, right? What? What do you mean everyone just wore recycling t-shirts and advised you to turn the water off between tooth brushings?? Why won’t anyone talk about this?
Shhhhhh…if we treat climate change like Voldemort and just not speak of it, it won’t be true.
Surely, the 2015 incarnation of Live Earth, co-founded by Al Gore and Kevin Wall, will make this apparent! Clearly and event of this scale with Mr. Inconvenient Truth himself behind it will tackle the problem in all of its complex glory and really get to the “meat” of the problem, so to speak. Over 100 musical artists will perform across seven continents, with the goal of the 24-hour festival being to collect one billion signatures urging world leaders to adopt a new climate accord at the Paris conference at the end of the year.
And they’ll be serving up meat on the menu. Really? James Cameron said it best when he observed, “You can’t be an environmentalist, you can’t be an ocean steward without truly walking the walk and you can’t walk the walk in the world of the future, the world ahead of us, the world of our children, not eating a plant-based diet.”
When it comes to the Live Earth event, Morrissey is weighing in too. The former lead singer of The Smiths penned an open letter to the former vice president regarding the decision not to draw attention to the whole issue effecting our earth and it’s pretty awesome. In its entirety, it reads:
Dear Mr. Gore and Mr. Wall,
I am writing to ask you to do the one thing that will do the most good for the planet and the majority of its inhabitants: not serve meat or dairy products at Live Earth 2015. I don’t mean offering a vegan option – I mean not serving animal products at all. Otherwise, the event will make no sense – it’ll be “greenwashing.” Serving meat and dairy products at an event to combat climate change is like selling pistols at a gun-control rally. Your responsibility is to alert people to a crisis, not sell out to the vendors responsible for it.
Not only is it possible for venues to provide a 100 percent meat-free menu – as is done now at every concert venue in which I perform, including Madison Square Garden, where I have a show at the end of June-it’s also a moral duty.
We already know that raising animals for food is a leading cause of climate change and that moving toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat climate change’s worst effects. Animal agriculture severely affects the world’s freshwater supply and is a major contributor to global greenhouse – gas emissions, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and air and water pollution, among many other harmful effects.
Since you can’t miss the fact that meat consumption is killing the planet – your own sponsor organization, the United Nations, states this – and since venues can and will cater vegan food for events, if you choose to serve animal flesh at Live Earth, you’ll be making a mockery of the very concept of the event, in which case it should be renamed “Dead Earth: We Contributed!”
Don’t be a denier of the causes of climate change. You know the facts. Make the right choice.
We can only imagine that Al Gore was all, like, “Uhhhh…”
And then Kevin Wall was all, “Errrrr.”
And Morrissey was sitting over there like, “Yup.”
Hey, when you’re right, you’re right. And on this particular issue, Morrissey is right.
Tragically, this isn’t the only massive case of hypocrisy enshrouding the event. As it turns out, corporate sponsorship by Unilever (yup, same company that makes Hellmann’s mayo and sued a company for making vegan mayo without eggs) is also being touted all over Twitter as a super awesome fit for an event intended to promote a global shift toward responsibility for the climate. Apparently buying products chock-full of vitamin palm oil, 100 percent of your RDA for petroleum and a healthy dollop of horrifying chemical additives in aerosol form translates to saving the planet.
We were going to ask if they were proud of themselves, but they beat us to the punch
There’s a word for when corporations and organizations spew a bunch of eco-friendly sounding jargon in order to cash in on consumers who are genuinely concerned with helping the planet and that’s greenwashing. It’s incredibly damaging, not just to the event or initiative being greenwashed and the loss of credibility that comes with it, but to the issue in general as people become genuinely confused as to what should be done to help make a difference.
If the message being sent is that all we need to do to stop climate change is watch a concert while consuming products that are largely contributing to the issue that concert is being held for, the entire event has failed. What’s the point of even having it? To line corporate pockets? For political gain?
A wise person once said, “We need to put a price on denial in politics. People need to stop financing denial.”
Oh snap. That was Al Gore.
Honestly, Al Gore has done an incredible amount to walk the walk for climate change. The man is even vegan himself. We applaud him in being a positive voice for this issue and making efforts and strides where others in politics have chosen to ignore the issue. We just have to question – why go halfway now?
So Green Monsters, are you ready to call out LiveEarth? Get on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and any other social platform out there and share this message:
Hey @LiveEarth animal agriculture is the leading cause of #climatechange. It’s time to #EatForThePlanet! http://www.onegreenplanet.org/eatfortheplanet/
Al Gore is right, the time for climate change denial is over … so why ignore your plate?