By Christopher Tydeman
If we really want our future generations to live in a clean and sustainable home, we must stop this meat addiction.
I was asked to do a movie review by Jillian, which brought me back to the more serious and heart-centered side to my journey into a vegan lifestyle. I saw a documentary last April titled, Vegucated, and just watched it again on Netflix. I remember watching the movie Forks Over Knives several months earlier but was not as moved to action as I was with this film.
The premise of Vegucated is to educate about the importance of a plant-based diet in regards to health, but it takes it a step further to address the environmental and ethical impacts of animal factory farming. The film’s creator makes this a human story by taking three different previously meat-eating people on a vegan journey for six weeks. They are introduced to vegan foods, travel to witness factory (and family) farming practices, and learn about environmental degradation that is a result of our increased animal farming needs.
At the time I watched this, I was already a vegetarian but still ate fish and eggs. I became vegetarian initially for health reasons, but also was feeling into the spiritual aspects as well. After watching Vegucated, all of this just clunked inside me, big time. My heart was open and I felt the emotional and ethical ramifications in not going all the way. Like the people in the movie, I was transforming. I could not consciously continue half-assed.
Of course, like those in the film, it has been a transition. A part of me still missed meat and eggs. They represent my childhood and past social gatherings. They were a way a part of me felt love from my mom and dad. Memories of barbequing with my father and having breakfast made by my mother. They also represent societal acceptance. If you don’t eat meat you are considered odd, or a communist. These are emotional connections we have to our food. I have “cheated” a few times. It is all part of a transition. We must negotiate with parts of us or else we are just paving over their emotional needs. To be honest, it hasn’t been all that difficult because of that negotiation. I have had a burger once since I became vegetarian and fish and chips a couple of times since choosing to be vegan. I met a need with a negotiation and the desire for those foods is on its way out the door.
Watching Vegucated a second time really allowed me to let in the environmental impact that increased animal farming is having on our planet. This is no small truth. If we really want our future generations to live in a clean and sustainable home, we must stop this meat addiction. That is exactly what it is…an addiction. We do not need animal protein. It was necessary for a part of our evolution, but somehow it got stuck in our collective consciousness that we are carnivores. So the more people that inhabit this planet, the more meat is produced. More meat means more space needed to graze, more water, more methane, and on and on. Along with our dependence on oil, we have a dependence on animal protein. Both will have huge impacts if we don’t turn it around. This is not crazy talk. It is just plain science.
Okay…a part of me clearly needed to vent. Thanks for taking that in. I feel I am preaching to the choir in this blog, but if you know someone who is not sure about this whole vegan consciousness, have them watch Vegucated. If you are vegetarian, you may want to do the same just to feel the parts about dairy, fish, and eggs. It will change you. I promise. If there are other documentaries you know about I would love to hear about them.
Christopher Tydeman has been embracing the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life off and on since August, 2010. He is a SoulFullHeart facilitator-in-training, author on this blog, and he hosted the SoulFullHeart Experience Radio Show. For more information about the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life, visit soulfullheart.com