Last night Steve and I watched Earthlings. Have you seen it? I didn’t really know too much about it other than it was intense. I like a good documentary and thought it would be informative. Well, it was. Too much so. It’s all about how humans regard animals and the ways they serve us: they feed, clothe and entertain us at ghastly expenses. I had never seen footage of slaughterhouses before and I feel like something has changed in me now that I have. The cruelty is appalling. I guess I thought that the meat I ate came from a happy cow whose time had come and he would have been quickly killed with a shot to the head. The gore that actually spills from the slaughterhouses is unbelievable. While I kind of miss my blissful ignorance, I feel like my eyes have finally been opened.
After watching the movie, Steve and I got into an hours-long conversation about everything that is wrong with this world of ours. Everything is so messed up. But how do we fix it? How can we turn the tide?
Should we join a commune where we grow our own organic cotton and sew our own clothes and harvest our own wheat to mill our own flour and get a kind cow to milk everyday and whittle our children’s toys from old apple branches? Oh, and we need to get an electric car, or better yet, we should just walk everywhere, in our pleather sandals.
How then shall we live?
We are inevitably going to leave our footprints on the earth, but I guess the goal is to tread as lightly as possible. We do some little things right now (we recycle and compost and use non-toxic cleaners in our home) but I feel the responsibility to do so much more than I ever have.
Are we going to become vegetarians? Perhaps. Vegans? Maybe. Dirty hippies on an organic commune? Who knows. I just realized how sadly disconnected I am from the sources of the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the things we consume.
I am one sad and disturbed earthling today.