After finishing the last bite of his tasty chicken kebab, Michael Ofei began looking for a movie to watch with his wife Masa that evening.
Although real-life horror wasn’t really the couple’s thing, they settled on Shaun Monson’s 2005 documentary, Earthlings. Its attractions were Ellen DeGeneres’ recommendation and Joaquin Phoenix’ narration.
And its topic?
Earthlings takes a deep dive into all the ways humans depend on animals to meet their needs for:
and (last, but certainly not least!) nourishment.
Before starting the documentary, Michael couldn’t have known that he’d just eaten his last bite of animal-based food. But 208 minutes later, he and Masa embraced veganism. They’ve never looked back.
Their vegan advocacy began with The Minimalist Vegan blog. In 2017, they published their book The Minimalist Vegan. Its stated goal?
We’re passionate about simplifying. However, we feel that the minimalist concept… can be enhanced with the addition of vegan principles… In many aspects, both ideals look toward the same goal: being conscious of exploitative and wasteful practices to protect our health, the environment, and the lives affected by unrestrained consumerism (whether human or animal).
They’ve arranged Minimalist Vegan so that even slow readers can complete it in a few hours. I read it during my trail hike this afternoon.
This passage, in particular, made me pause and think:
“Speciesism is as unacceptable as sexism and racism. If you feel compassion towards a domesticated animal, why not others?”
The authors have also inspired me to look for more ways to cut back on my consumption. Before buying anything in the future, I’ll be asking ask the same two questions they do:
“Will this contribute to my happiness?
Will it add simplicity to my life or take it away?”