One of my employees texted me yesterday, “I don’t know if you saw, but the Pope did a TED talk this weekend about needing to make changes to save the environment now!”
I watched his speech this morning. Its clear rallying cry?
That all nations and people must join as a worldwide community to save our planet. Coming just one week after the release of David Attenborough’s similarly messaged documentary, the call for change couldn’t be timelier.
Pope Francis entreats us to begin “… providing adequate nutrition for all, through non-destructive farming methods.” This goal, he says “… should become the main purpose of the entire cycle of food production and distribution.”
The factory-farming methods currently supplying the world’s meat are, in fact, more destructive than they’ve ever been:
They’re destroying rainforests around the globe at an unprecedented rate.
They force workers – amongst society’s poorest – to work in hellish conditions.
They completely disregard the animals’ living conditions before sending them to brutal deaths.
They produce nutrient-poor meat in plants that are often unsanitary.
The Pope communicates his keen awareness of all these problems with the following statement:
“In fact, the Earth must be worked and nursed, cultivated and protected. We cannot continue to squeeze it like an orange -¦ the way we produce; the way we consume; our culture of waste; our short-term vision; the exploitation of the poor and our indifference towards them; the growing inequalities and our dependence on harmful energy sources.”
Where did the false idea that the Earth has an unlimited supply of resources for us to take advantage originate? I couldn’t say.
But it seems to me that’s the attitude of most fishing fleets, oil tycoons, factory-farm investors and the people who insist on consuming their products.
Consumption means “the using up of a resource.”And we’re living in the Age of Consumption, exhausting the planet’s resources to the point of stupidity.
The urgency of the moment is clear: “Each one of us can play a precious role, if we all begin our journey today – not tomorrow – today.”
What can each of us do today?
The Number One step a person can take to care for the planet is to choose plant-based foods!