Monday, June 27, 2011

I herd u liek dolphinz

I really hope at least one of you got that reference.

Have you seen The Cove? I've heard from a lot of my omni friends that once they see it, they're totally disgusted by the brutal slaughter of those innocent animals, and that they just want to hug and/or save all the dolphins. However, none of them ever make the connection with other animals. I'm pretty sure I've told everyone I know that they need to see Earthlings, but from what I've heard (or rather, from what I haven't heard) none of them have seen the whole thing. Really, all they're interested in doing is saving the dolphins.

Except they're not saving them at all. When you go to zoos, circuses and places like Sea World, you're supporting - nay, FUNDING - the exploitation of animals. Animals that were meant to be in the wild. Animals that were taken from their homes in the wild. Animals that really really don't want to be living in a bathtub.

But Steph, you say, I don't go to the zoo or the circus and after seeing what goes on with the dolphins, I'd never even think about going to Sea World. I'm doing all I can for my finned friends, right? Wrong.

If you're buying any animal products, whether it's factory farmed or organic, free-range, grass-fed, humane, walked-itself-to-the-slaughter-house-cause-it-was-so-damn-happy-to-die-for-you, you're contributing to the greatest contributor for global warming. Thought biking to work made you green? Not if you're still eating animals. A vegan in a hummer has a smaller carbon footprint than a meat-eater on a bike, because the meat industry puts out more greenhouse gas emissions than all of transportation combined. That's not from some crazy vegan organization, that's from the UN, and they advocate transitioning to a vegan, plant-strong diet to help slow down climate change. How does that affect the dolphins? Well, if you're putting out more emissions with your cheeseburger than with your car, then you're responsible for more greenhouse gases being put out into the atmosphere, like CO2 and methane. Greenhouse gases trap some of the heat from sunlight instead of having it come down and go out through the atmosphere back into space. Of course, our atmosphere would trap some heat anyways, but the greenhouse gases exemplify this effect, hence the name greenhouse gases.

More greenhouse gases -> more solar radiation being trapped in our atmosphere -> more heating of our planet -> rise in temperature of the oceans -> change in salinity and acidity of the ocean

Did you know that when you combine water with carbon dioxide with water you create an acid? Did you know that happens in the atmosphere? Did you know that falls down to the earth as acid rain, and can cause damage to soil, forests, aquatic life and even buildings. Some of this would happen even if we all went veg and stopped driving and grew our own food and lived as nudists in trees or whatever, because of natural processes like when lightening strikes and volcanic eruptions and, you know, breathing or "respiration," but Mother Nature sure didn't plan on us adding to it, or else all this stuff wouldn't be happening.

Before (source)

After (source)

Even the tiniest change in the pH of water in our oceans (and streams, rivers, lakes and whatnot, because everything is connected. Remember that) can throw off the whole ecosystem. Because of global warming, the oceans are getting hotter and the pH is changing. This is doing some major damage to coral reefs. Coral reefs are like the rain forests of the sea, thanks to their high biodiversity (though they are unlike rain forests as rain forests are carbon sinks, as in they absorb a great deal of carbon dioxide, but coral reefs are not). Remember when I said everything is connected? (You better! It was in this paragraph, for crying out loud) Well, when you kill off one species, you end up throwing off the whole ecosystem. It's a delicate balance, and if you eliminate (or add in) something, it throws everything off.

We've all seen that chart, or at least something similar to it, right? If a portion of the cycle is taken out, then the group below it may grow out of control, and the population of the one above it may start to decline. If it's gradual and natural, then the ecosystems can adapt to find balance. However, if it, it being climate change, is happening as quickly as it is now, the ecosystems don't have the opportunity to fix themselves and are on the path to total destruction. Add overfishing to that and we've really got a problem.

How does this relate to our dear dolphins? Well, if they don't have food because their food doesn't have food (and their food doesn't have food, and so on and so forth), then they'll, you know, die too. They might also get caught in fishing nets, especially tuna nets. Doesn't it seem sick and cruel to kill animals for food, and then kill innocent animals that most people wouldn't dream of eating in the process? Or maybe that's just me.

It's not just about the animals, though. Even if you eat plants and only plants, you still might be contributing to environmental destruction. Since this post is getting pretty long winded (did you expect anything less from me? ;) ) I'll save that for another post, more specifically the post I told you about on honey and bees, if I remember correctly.

Can you guess what the next post is going to be about? I don't mean bees and honey or dolphins, I mean what connects the two.
Have you seen The Cove or Earthlings? I want to do a post on all the documentaries I've seen, because I love them all so much. Have you seen any you think I should see?
What have you done to save the dolphins? Are you for saving the environment, or do you have bigger fish to fry?*

*Pun intended ;) IMO, saving the environment is the single most important thing we can do. Going vegan (not junk-food eat-Oreos-and-tofu-all-day vegan, but the kind I'll talk about in the bee post) is the best thing you can do for the health of the environment, the animals, and people. It's okay if you don't agree with me. Just know that there are a number of people who do, and whose opinions are backed up by science and stuff. But that's just me.

Fun things to check out, some of which are kind of unrelated but not really, because like I said, everything is connected. Every single decision you make has an effect on everything else in the whole world. Don't for a second think you're insignificant:
The Cove

Earthlings <- You can watch the whole thing online! I've seen the whole movie and the trailer a few times and I still cry every time. Open yourself to change. Don't be afraid. Change is inevitable, so resisting it is only going to make it harder. You'll only wish you had made the change sooner. It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.

FLOW: For The Love of Water <- What got me into documentaries and, you know, caring about stuff. Actually that's only partially true. I saw Meet Your Meat, which got me caring about animals. FLOW got me thinking about things other than the animals that used to be on my plate.

Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist <- I still have yet to see this, but the trailer really gets me going. It may or may not have something to do with my choice in what I want to do with my life. Again, more on that later.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society <- If I could choose my dream job, it would be volunteering for them. Seriously. Possibly more on that at some point, like if I do an "About Me" post. Would you guys be interested in that?

Warming oceans cause largest movement of marine species in two million years

The ocean is totally screwed <- In brackets there should be "As long as we keep doing what we're doing"


  1. Thanks for this amazing post, you wrote about such a difficult and important thing. When I speak to my friends abotu carbon imprint and things like this, they only give me a funny look and say things like "Oh, stop it, I don´t understand chemistry/physics/etc." and they just roll their eyes :/ But it is such an important thing to realize and live by!
    People are often disgusted by the meat industry after seeing various documentaries, but the only thing they do is that they say "Oh, that´s gross!" and that´s it. They don´t change their thoughts, their behaviour, they just thing it is gross, but it somehow doesn´t affect them..
    I haven´t seen those documentaries you wrote about, but I´ll try to find them somewhere. Documentaries of this type are not usually played in my country, it is like a "taboo". I would be really interested in reading your opinions on the documentaries you have seen!
    Saving environment is a main thing to do if we want to make our Earth last longer and our lives as well, but there are many people who talk about it and only few people who actually do something fo it!

  2. Great post! So many people pick and choose what they support, but it IS all connected. You can't support the environment without considering a vegan (or AT LEAST vegetarian diet). I hadn't heard of earthlings, but will check it out once I'm out of work. Your vegan arguments are always so logically written, I love these posts and can't wait to read more.

  3. thelittleveganbakerJune 28, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    Thanks Allie :) I always get people telling me they're humanitarians and care about people so they don't have time to care about animals, but there are people in third world countries who are starving, while the steak you're nomming on was fattened up with grains that could have fed and saved those people. It really is all connected.
    Good to know that they make sense. I'm always worried that people are just going to read my posts and be like WHAT THE EFF IS SHE SAYING, I DON'T UNDERSTAND, no matter how many times I look them over myself. And don't worry, there will be more ;)

  4. thelittleveganbakerJune 28, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    I totally agree, Lenna. And if they do understand it, they just assume that someone else will do something, like the government, but when have they actually done something to change? In pretty much all instances where a change has taken place in society, it's started from a small group of citizens, not some big corporations or the government. They don't change unless we change first. "Be the change you wish to see in the world," right?
    I know so many people who get grossed out by stuff like that but after a few days they get over it and keep doing what they were doing before. I kind of want to shake them and tell them to wake up and embrace change. Eventually we're going to have to change our ways. I'd rather do it now, because it's gonna be easier now than later, and there will be less shit to clean up if we change sooner than later.
    Hah yeah, I've seen all the documentaries either online or on TV, but they're not on the mainstream channels that everyone gets. I kind of wish they were, because more people need to be exposed to this. If I didn't see them, I'd be clueless, but I spend way more time looking for information than most people ever would, though even when I find something I want to share, people will still be reluctant to hear me out. I'm not trying to make your life miserable, people! I'm just trying to help so I can make it better, and it's not just a coincidence or sheer luck that it goes beyond you to help others.
    Hah yeah, cause in point: Al Gore. Too inconvenient to talk about veganism, eh?

  5. I love this! Way to go Steph! When I started to watch Earthlings for the first time I freaking BALLED my eyes out, and I don't think I've ever cried during a movie before. It breaks my heart. :(


  6. thelittleveganbakerJune 28, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Hah thanks, Whitney :) I seriously can't even watch the trailer without totally breaking down.

  7. Wow! What a great post! So glad I came across your blog via Lenna. I can so relate to this post. I am vegan too, so we are definitely on the same page. I was vegetarian for a while before turning vegan. I chose to do so because I love animals too. I live in Florida about an hour or so from Sea World. Yikes!! However, I have never been there and will not be going at all. I so much agree with you about “living in a bathtub.” Plus, tricks for food? No thanks. And what kind of message is that sending to kids? Animals are just for our entertainment? I know that they do some rescues, but that shouldn’t justify keeping animals for entertainment purposes. As you can see, we are so on the same page! By the way, I did see “The Cove.” Very heartbreaking, but a must see. I love all that Ric O’Barry is doing for the dolphins (I’m wearing the bracelet to support the cause). Also, Sea Shepherd is doing all they can to save the whales without violence. I love watching the show “Whale Wars.” Anyway, I haven’t seen Earthlings though, so I’ll have to see it. Also, great points on how the choices we make can have an effect on the entire ecosystem. Well, thanks for all your doing. I am an animal advocate too, so if you get a chance, hope you drop by my blog. Have a wonderful week!

  8. thelittleveganbakerJune 28, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Thanks, Donna. I haven't actually seen a full episode of Whale Wars because we don't have Animal Planet, which is the saddest thing ever because of all the TV I would want to watch, I think that would probably be one of my top channels to see. I'll make sure to stop by your blog :)

  9. thehealthycupcakeJune 28, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    "The Cove" was absolutely sickening and it is disgusting what humans can do to other animals :( I still haven't watched Earthlings, but I think I need to just do it. I am a big fan of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's podcast Vegetarian Food for Thought and just listened to the podcast about (not) eating fish, and even vegetarians who "just" eat other fish, like tuna, contribute to dolphin deaths!! It IS all related and I wish that this information was more mainstream.

    I find it very disheartening that if I try and share what I've learned, I'm looked at like I'm a nut job. However, I have to remember that I was not always a vegetarian and until recently still was a "I just eat fish" vegetarian. Actually, it was after "The Cove" that I realized I could never eat another fishy again.

    And I sooo want to see Flow! I saw the trailer then forgot about it, so thanks for reminding me :)

  10. Oh yeah, people always count on government and "higher powers" when it comes to changing something and making a revolution in our thinking, living, behaviour, environmental health etc... But what does the government do? It helps the industry to get more money. And the industry won´t get money from banishing meat production and slaughter, so they will get all the support to get their billions of dollars and people get their "nice" packed slices of meat and we are all happy, aren´t we?
    People often close their eyes before the truth and they tell things like "Well yes, when I saw the documentary, I was totally grossed out, but hey - what could I possible do? One man doesn´t change the world!" Yes, I agree, very rarely does one man change anything, but that does´t mean we should stop trying! When there is one man/woman, others will come and join him/her.

  11. thelittleveganbakerJune 29, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

    It all has to start with one person.

  12. thelittleveganbakerJune 29, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    I was reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer last night and there was an ENTIRE PAGE of sea animals that are killed as by-catch just from tuna, and the list included tons of whales, turtles, dolphins and sharks. Even sea horses :'(
    I need to listen to her podcast. I'm horrible with podcasts, though. I always subscribe to them and get into them for a few weeks and then totally forget about them.

    FLOW is totally amazing. I'm never buying bottled water again.