Racing Extinction

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Strap in, this will probably be a depressing post.

Did anyone else happen to watch the documentary aired on Discovery last night, Racing Extinction? If you did, want to come over and cry with me and swear we're only go to eat tofu for the rest of our lives?

I was a mess last night. I still feel a little hungover from the intensity of the documentary today even.

I won't do the show justice by trying to recap it in a short little post here, so do yourself a favor and watch it. Look online, or demand, or hulu, or whatever. This is 2015, we know how to access things when we really want them.

Then tell your friends to watch it and your family and everyone else. Because we're at that point where it's not too late, but we're pushing it. We're scarily close to pushing the problem over the edge. So I say we all make a pact to start with our "one small thing" and try to save the animals in this world before we officially kill them off for good.

The endangered animal market is out of control. I had to close my eyes like a child during so many parts of this documentary because I just couldn't watch. And it's not just the fact they're killing so many animals, it's how they do it. It's slow and inhumane. And sometime it's only for a part or two, the rest of the animal just goes to waste.

Ugh. I can hardly talk about it. How did we get to this? Or have we always been here and I just never noticed? I don't know.

But one thing I love about this doc is that they continue to state that we can still turn it around, not all hope is lost. Not yet anyway.

For me personally, I know I need to stop eating meat. Truthfully, I feel like such a hypocrite for loving animals like I do, but still making the choice to eat them. Now don't get your panties in a bunch here, I'm not saying you can't love animals and also love meat, I'm simply saying FOR ME. For me it feels wrong.

I've made several half ass attempts to give up meat. The longest I've gone is five days, but I always come back to it. In the past year I've consciously decreased how much I eat, I mindfully take off at least one day, and on the weekdays I usually only eat it for one meal. But I really want to get to the point where I don't eat it at all anymore.

When the dog eating festival was going on in China this past summer I was so sad and angry and lost sleep about it (even mentioning it now makes my stomach drop.) I wondered how people can be so disgusting and barbaric? But then I flew somewhere and I saw a girl walking a pig on a leash in the airport (a super cute pig I might add) and I felt like such a hypocrite. I eat pigs and cows almost everyday, and to some people, those animals are like their dogs.

So who am I to judge?

And welcome to my mind right now. It's just a messy battle up there.

To make things even more complicated, did you know livestock produces more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector?

If every American skipped meat and cheese just one day a week for a year, it would be like taking 7,600,000 cars off the road.

Read that fact again. I took it straight from Racing Extinction.

If you have kids, or someday might have kids, you need to think about the planet we're leaving them. Because right now we're not giving them much to work with.

And this is why I don't watch Discovery. It screws with my head.

Now I need to go listen to N'SYNC Holiday music for the next 36 hours to get back into my holiday joy mode.

Happy Holidays. Happy Saving The Planet. Let's do better.

42 comments:

  1. I'm sitting next to you in the waiting room at the Crazy Brain Hospital. Seriously, the idea of eating meat/giving up meat haunts me. I call myself an animal activist (and I would run into a burning building for any dog, cat, or goat) but then I go and eat a burger. Or I only stock my house with cruelty-free products but I'm cool with crab legs at the beach. Ugh. I know I need to give it up (and I swear I will), but there's so much to think about. I'm going to have to watch this documentary and cry it out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Okay girl. I'm with you. Or at least, I WANT TO BE. Remember when I asked you what that weird white looking thing was on your Chicago hot dog and you admitted it was foie gras? Shamefully? I felt bad for asking. I know you felt bad too.

    It's hard. We are animal lovers AND food lovers. I want to enjoy a great piece of prosciutto and enjoy my steak as much as the next one. But .. but .. but.

    I don't know. Can I be on this ride with you? Please? I think I need support. I don't know what to do.

    THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS. THANK YOU FOR BEING MY FAVORITE BLOGGER ALWAYS AND ALWAYS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no no no no no no no it wasn't my foie gras hotdog. it was my friend's. <--- sounds like such a lie. anyway, i still took a bite :( thank you for bringing up this shameful poor choice of mine.

      Delete
    2. Oh Jesus!!! Omg NOT MY INTENTION!!! Ok I feel terrible. Gonna go eat my salad now. Meatless I swear!!!!!!

      Delete
  3. I love this post. That movie changed my outlook and I loved/hated it. I also posted a recipe for bacon jam today sooo... But I'm trying and you're trying and that's what counts right?

    ReplyDelete
  4. In 1999 the guilt of eating animals finally broke me and I've been a vegetarian ever since. Like you, I avoid the zoo, I find it to be one of the saddest places. But I couldn't stop myself from thinking about the animals there, or in the circus, or in shelters where I got my dogs. Something didn't feel right within myself to decide which animals were okay for consumption and which ones weren't. It wasn't easy at first, of course. Now it just feels..normal. I miss chicken wings, and ruebens, and meatloaf, sure, but when I think about where that meat comes from, it saddens me. Meatless options are so much better today than they were then, thank goodness! I saw the promo for this documentary, and I'll admit to being afraid to watch. I know it'll break my heart. I wish you nothing but the best, Taylor. Whether you go meatless or not, your readers all know how much you love animals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is such an insightful and also very kind comment, thank you Lora!

      Delete
  5. After watching about 500 documentaries about animal agriculture and about the environment, I went vegetarian (and sometimes vegan ... that's harder) and honestly after about 8 months, I don't miss meat at all and I don't crave it. In fact, it grosses me out now. It only takes about 2 months to really get past it (or at least that's how it was for me). I'll definitely search for this documentary! Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I wish you could see me sitting in front of my laptop trying to collect my thoughts. If someone walked in they'd think I'm trying to re-write the Declaration of Independence. Between another shooting and trying to save the planet, sometime I think life would be easier if I wasn't such a thinker. (I couldn't think of any other way to put that without it coming across as being really affected with myself) Thinking about how terribly we're treating our planet overwhelms me and then I start to feel lost about how I can begin making changes in my own life. I've come to find it's baby steps. So take a deep breath, listen to some Nsync Christmas music, and take baby steps, Taylor. And thank you for reminding me to rethink my meat loving habits.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would really love to talk to you personally about your viewpoints on animals one day, because I feel totally conflicted and it sounds like you would be a great person to talk to. Seriously, I have so many questions and thoughts and I would love to bounce them off of someone at some point.

    ReplyDelete

  8. Have you seen the Ted Talk about becoming a weekday vegetarian? It really changed my outlook. After I watched it I decided my boyfriend and I would try it out and honestly, it hasn't been so bad. It feels like a good step in the right direction. On the weekdays we eat fully vegetarian and we allow the weekends to have whatever. I think so many people get stuck on that "I'll never eat this again" thing and then don't change their diet at all. This way you don't have to say "never again" but you still make a bit of a difference.

    You should check out the video if you haven't!

    http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_weekday_vegetarian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is such a good idea. I do a part time vegetarian thing too. Small changes can add up, especially if we all make them!

      Delete
    2. "I decided my boyfriend and I would try it"

      /shudder

      Delete
  9. I always find myself identifying really hard with your more personal posts, I feel like i'm fighting this same give up meat battle as well. I do well for awhile, and fall back into it. Thanks for being so honest with the internet.

    ReplyDelete
  10. A great first step is finding great vegetarian food. I've been using the Thug Kitchen cookbook which is actually Vegan and its amazing. Mostly all normal ingredients ( nothing to fancy from the health food store). And the recipes pack a huge flavor punch compared to a lot vegetarian cookbooks. Maybe someone could get you that for Christmas?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Taylor, I've loved your blog for years but I find this post very uninformed. Considering everything you see in a documentary as fact is like believing Kylie Jenner's word when she says she doesn't have implants. In addition, calling people who eat dogs barbaric and disgusting is, quite frankly, disgusting. Have you ever been to such a country? I traveled in Laos and dogs are treated like farm animals, and yes, eaten. Why? Because they are one of the limited options of protein available. People in this country are among some of the poorest in the world.

    Keep doing what you do, just keep an open mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did I mention I'm easily swayed by powerful documentaries? I can get a little emotional at times :) also yes, I know I know my views can be somewhat close minded about animals (especially dogs, I'll take being called disgusting about it) I also went on to point out I can be quite the hypocrite and I'm aware of that, and working on it. The pics I saw (on the internet of course, not always best source) of dogs in certain countries were not on farms, but in sad cramped cages. Made my heart hurt. Then again I also get sad about farm animals. All said, I appreciate you leaving your opinion in the manner that you did.

      Delete
  12. Strongly disagree with the above post--you can get protein from a million other things besides meat--but I digress...

    I have been vegetarian now for 4 years. Like you, I couldn't stand that I loved animals so much, yet still ate them every day. It finally got to the point where I researched, watched documentary's, and realized that that animal's pain wasn't worth the burger in my stomach. And now I know I could never go back--and I feel so much better eating real food that comes from the ground, not from a butcher shop. Try it again for a week, then another week, so enough you'll be open to a whole new world of food that tastes so good, is better for you, and is better for the earth and all the animals on it.

    And I agree with the girl who said Thug Kitchen was great. We use it all the time because their recipes are simple, hilariously written, and so so good.

    I promise cutting out meat isn't that hard. And it causes a ripple effect. My brother and sister in law became vegan, then I went vegetarian, then my husband did, then my mom, and then my 2 best friends. It makes holidays and going out awesome too when everyone else is on board :)

    I love your blog and I LOVE your passion for animals. You do so much good for animals already.

    I have Racing Extinction on my DVR and I plan to watch it this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Do you want help shopping/cooking/eating out in Chicago for vegans (and on a budget)? Been doing it since I was born, I've never eaten meat and I cut out dairy awhile ago. I'm happy to chat with you about all the options :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love animals too. But I also don't have a problem eating them. I love watching deer. I think they're beautiful. But in a lot of areas their populations are out of control and there are a lot of negative impacts because of it. My husband shoots one deer every year I my grandparents ranch. He processes it onto sausage and ground meat himself and it feeds us for a year. I haven't bought hamburger meat in years (outside a restaurant).

    I think there's a balance that needs to be found. People are indeed very wasteful in general. But idk that a few people going vegetarian is going to solve anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being from Nebraska, I completely understand what you're saying about the problems that happen when deer population gets out of control. This doc doesn't suggest vegetarian habits for animal rights reasons, it's more because of the methane problem that has to do with livestock.

      Delete
  15. Not eating meat has been one of the best decisions of my life. This was such a great post!

    ReplyDelete
  16. These are all the reasons why I'm a part time vegetarian. Like Mark Bittman's Vegan before 6 except I havent figured out how to give up cheese or honey before 6 yet. I'm taking baby steps to sustainability on my own terms. I think everyone should.

    http://www.sweetloveandginger.com/why-i-became-part-time-vegetarian/

    ReplyDelete
  17. I totally get where you're at right now! I experienced the same feelings three years ago. I remember the last day I ate meat - the day before I watched Earthlings. It's on Netflix, watch it!! But make sure you have tissues ready...

    ReplyDelete
  18. I didn't watch the documentary but I'm kind of confused how endangered species and becoming a vegetarian are linked? Is it just because raising livestock is bad for the environment? Because the animals we're eating probably aren't in danger of extinction.

    If it is just the greenhouse gas thing, I'm really curious how big of a problem livestock is (or if it's just the documentary producers trying to be dramatic). Like, for example, when I Googled greenhouse gas emissions and livestock, I found a site saying that biggest source of emissions associated with livestock is feed production and processing. (http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/197623/icode/) Does that mean if we all stop eating meat and start eating tofu, the emissions from making feed for cattle would be replaced with emissions from making tofu? I literally have no idea ahah… Maybe the documentary explains it, and I'm the ass who didn't watch it. I'm sort of skeptical of documentaries like that though, because they have a way of twisting any stat to say what they want it to say. And when it comes to something as serious as me not eating steak tacos anymore, I take everything they say with a grain of salt.

    Anyway, this comment isn’t supposed to be saying your post is wrong. It’s cool that you’re so passionate about it. Plus, your post was interesting enough that it got me Google-ing things like livestock greenhouse emissions. So that’s a win. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More endangered species will continue to die off as larger amounts of livestock continues to pollute the world with methane gases. More people eating meat = a need for more livestock = more methane. At least that's what I took from it.

      Delete
  19. I don't see any problem in eating meat, but I have a huge problem with animal/livestock cruelty (if that makes sense? I think in a dream world, there could be a balance). It's so sad to think about how animals are treated, and honestly I try not to think about it too much or it's just overwhelming.

    Also the greenhouse gas issue is very alarming. I think us Americans are just far too wasteful and over indulging in general. We don't NEED as much as is produced.

    Thinking about all of these issues makes me feel so small. Documentaries really mess with my head too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm .. Lol. Ps this is one of those posts I definitely go back to the comments later in the day for. Lots of perspective here.

      Delete
  20. Loved your post Taylor! I am an unusual case. Being a stubborn 11 year old who loved animals I decided on my own to be a vegetarian much to my parent's dismay. As I got older (around 14) I found out I was anemic and needed to get protein or be forced to take vitamins. I decided that chicken and turkey was tolerable to eat. Now at 26, the only meat I eat is chicken and turkey. I don't eat seafood or anything from the water. I think maybe it's a texture thing? It is all just gross to me. I tried eating a burger a few years ago and couldn't get passed one bite, it felt so gross. People always ask me if I miss meat other than chicken and turkey, but I honestly haven't had pork or steak or anything since I was 11. So I really don't miss it at all. Like I said, loved your post and it's a great cause.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have a love/hate relationship with documentaries because I'm so emotional! Animals are my favorite. However, I'm not e vegetarian. Caleb and I try to do a vegetarian meal once a week at least! We don't eat a ton of red meat, mostly chicken. I don't know that I could ever go full-on vegetarian, but I applaud anyone who can :) whatever you end up doing, is what's best for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Should have watched Twinsters instead.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I watched this too and i made a post about it yesterday lol!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Big fat NOOOOPE to your comment, Lynsay. I can't believe anyone would defend what goes on at Yulin.

    There's a world of difference between an animal (ANY animal) being farmed for meat, slaughtered humanely, and consumed like you described in your comment...and the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. What happens there is the definition of barbaric and it stretches across cultural boundaries. During the days-long festival in Yulin, the torture of live animals is celebrated. Live dogs are set on fire (to enhance the taste of the meat) and routinely have their limbs cut off while they are still alive and able to feel every painful sensation.

    Taylor did not mention dog meat farms, but specifically the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.

    Check your facts.

    ReplyDelete
  25. If you haven't seen Cowspiracy, it might be the documentary that gets you to finally give up meat. Instead of taking a look at the livelihood of animals, it looks at it from an environmental perspective. I don't eat meat often, probably fish 1x per week, but now I eat it even less.... It helps when you have the message coming at you from several different perspectives. The shock-power is also quite effective...

    ReplyDelete
  26. Careful for the documentary blackhole. I've been a vegetarian for almost 4 years (fine, a pescatarian) and it's mostly because of the environmental stuff I learned... plus I'm healthier this way. There are so many terrifying documentaries you can watch, but it's good to be aware. It's some seriously scary shit.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I watched Food, Inc, then read Skinny Bitch and I've been a vegetarian since. 4 years running. I realize that isn't that long of a time period, but when I think about my consumption in those 4 years, it means something. A professor in college once brought up the point of "Are you willing to go out and kill your food? (I answered no, c'mon, gross) Then why are you willing to eat it?" She wasn't even advocating for vegetarianism, just to put more thought into why we eat and make the choices that we do. If you do go vegetarian, it will be hard at first, but it is so worth it!

    ReplyDelete