“You can’t be an environmentalist and eat meat-based products. Period. You can kid yourself if you want.” Howard Lyman | World-Renowned Public Speaker, Author and Animal AdvocateTweet
Lyman’s fucking right, you know. And I’m a hypocrite. A meat-obsessed junkie.
It’s time to change.
I’m in the process of building a company that intends to bring insect protein bars to the world. On Sunday, at 15:32, I was preparing a sell sheet. This highlights the benefits of my bar — health, environmental and otherwise — for retailers on a single piece of paper.
It was going well.
At around 16:05, I started to think about how I will pitch my insect protein bar to retailers. The highlights. The plus points. The glitz and glam.
Why should people buy them?
Somehow, at 16:28, I started to think about a documentary I’d heard about a long time ago but had never got round to watching.
Only an hour and 30 minutes. I could illegally stream it before dinner.
So I did. I watched it all. The interviews. The beheaded ducks. The lot.
At around 18:03, it finished. And I was angry. All the way through it, the answer to our problems seemed obvious, just as it did for the show’s producer, Kip.
Animal agriculture is bad for our planet. Rainforest in the Amazon is being cleared at the rate of a football pitch a second. Wolves and bears are being shot at from helicopters to protect livestock. Our oceans are being driven to extinction.
An ocean without fish. Imagine that?
At 18:06, my anger cleared. I have to stop eating meat. I have to stop eating dairy products. I have to stop being a hypocrite.
You like animals, Scott. You like wildlife. You like trees and grass and all the other green stuff.
Don’t eat animals.
But you see, here are my problems.
Coming out as a vegan to my friends and family would be frowned upon. And although I keep telling myself that I don’t care about the opinions of others, I fucking do, at least on some level. I’m human.
The other is inconvenience.
I’m a selfish person. I try not to be. I message people on Facebook when it’s their birthday. I hold the door open for people at work. I keep my shoes on my feet on public transport.
But I’m still selfish.
How often do I think about myself on any given day? Got to be at least 70% of the time. Probably more. And that’s on a good day when I feel like a fucking god.
And because I’m selfish, this motivation to help our planet will dissipate. Probably. And when push comes to shove, will I pay £22 for bag of macadamia nuts? Or will I give in to temptation and buy a £3 Big Mac?
Then, of course, there’s the whole issue of creating a business which would actively encourage the slaughter of thousands of insects.
That makes me gag.
It’s a problem. A fucking epiphany. Do I push on? Do I despair? Do I denounce all meat as bad and give myself to Veganism?
I don’t know.
One justification for my insect protein bar is that it could act as a stepping stone from meat to plants. To ween people off their addictions. A sort of Nicorette patch for food, if you will.
And I still want to run a business.
So here it is in all its glory. Can I be vegan? Do I want it bad enough? And what would it mean for my business?
A moral person wouldn’t think twice. Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see in the world.” The problem is I’m not Gandhi.
I’m Scott from England, and like 99.99% of the population, I’m a dick. A big, fat, cock-sucking dick.
As I battle through this quarter-life crisis and consider coming out as vegan and ditching this business I’ve poured my heart into for the past 7 months, I’ll leave you with this.
Just because you can’t hear it scream, it doesn’t mean it isn’t screaming.
So I know it’s the right thing. And for the sake of our planet and all the species we share it with, I hope we — yes, myself included — hear those screams.