I just got done watching these films: http://www.weather.com/weather-films/shows/brink/ep06.html
I was raised to love animals, and to respect the earth. I have taken that education and furthered it, learning a lot more about the atrocities committed in the world every day. Some days I get so sad, what I see a set of films like these, because how do you change it? Please don’t miss-understand me, I still eat meat, and I am no radical, preaching that humans need to short themselves for the benefit of the animals. This situation doesn’t need to be radical one way or the other. All beings CAN exist in a respectful circle on this planet, they have done so for a long time before the human epidemic.
Before I move forward presenting a solution, let me end all arguments about the worth of animals. It doesn’t matter whether they are sentient. It doesn’t matter that humans are at the top of the food chain. Beliefs do not matter, and no religious context gives any person or group of people the right to dishonor the earth, BECAUSE, we all live on the earth, and if we do not figure out how to appropriately manage it’s resources, the human VIRUS will continue to perpetuate and destroy the host (the earth), it is inhabiting. Therefor, it is not about being an activities (although those folks deserve a lot of respect in my opinion), it is about education. It is about gaining a critical mass of educated people, who practice good, balanced, sustainable habits to respect the earth, and for those people to spread the word into communities less educated.
First, REALIZE: Start by taking a step back and realizing that you don’t know everything. I don’t know everything. In fact, I challenge humanity to find a single human being that knows EVERYTHING. Therefor, since this person doesn’t exist, we have to rely on each other’s knowledge and work together to get this done. When many brains are brought together, there is often conflict because of various opinions, however, it is EASY to admit when you’re wrong if you do not loose sight of the goal and when those who are right do not rub in the fact that you were wrong. Forget about who’s right and wrong, put aside pride and work towards a better world.
Second, UNDERSTAND: understand where you’re money goes, and vote with your dollars. Research where a certain grocery chain gets their animal products, and how the animals are treated. Places like The Meatrix, and The Venus Project are a good start, not to mention each one of the foundations listed in the videos linked above. The World Wild Life Fund is another one, and so many more.
Third, PRACTICE: At first, springing for the pricier free-range animal products will be taxing on the wallet, but it is the surest and quickest way of impacting how animals are treated. Kill the market for cheap products made with disrespect. Do not go to zoo’s, aquariums or any other entertainment-based animal showcase, but rather to sanctuaries, wild parks, or game reserves, and give them the same money you would have paid those who are profiting from animal’s suffering. Do not buy factory products made from animal parts, but opt for hand-made products, as they use better parts, from animals which have been raised in better ways. Artisan’s know factory produced animals and their parts do not last long.
It feels weird to read about animals and their parts, being discussed as commodities, isn’t it? I mean, every time I put on my leather motorcycle jacket and go for a ride I realize I am wearing a few cow’s skin. Cows which used to be alive, living, breathing animals. What if that jacket was made out of Dolphin skin?
As you continue to follow the REALIZE, UNDERSTAND, PRACTICE cycle, you will become more curious of where all of the things you use on a daily basis comes from, and so, hopefully, the global understanding of consumerism will increase. When you get angry at discovering a new fact concerning a product you consume which disrespect the earth, her great forests and ecosystems, and all the animals that live on her (you being one of them), do not get mad, for it will get you no where. Put that anger into action, into figuring out how substitute an alternative for that product or service which will not harm the earth.
We can not rapidly decrease the amount of consumers on the earth. That would be genocide. We can not regulate the consumerism, for that infringes on people’s freedom, so the only option to have a better world is to continue to educate, so that people can see the error of their ways, and make the choice to play their individual role in making this world a better place.