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Walk the Walk


As the new millennium approaches, it's time to take a fierce ethical inventory of ourselves as individuals and as a society and see if we are really doing everything we possibly can to save the planet. Are we just talking the talk or are we truly walking the walk? Are we practicing what we preach? Or are we blaming all those other guys for the ecological devastation of our fragile home?

Each and every one of us needs to ask ourselves if our personal life style and consumption habits are consistent with our dream for a more sustainable / survivable future. Are we whining and complaining about earth's demise, yet only paying lip service ? Are we REALLY doing all we can? Are there any other ways in which we can make a stronger commitment to help the planet ?

Planting trees , donating time and to conservation and animal welfare organizations, recycling what we can, buying organics, biking instead of driving, meditating on healing, protesting, beach clean-ups, letter writing, switching to a "cleaner" electricity provider .... all these are good and necessary actions . But they are not enough.

We, as environmentalists, are grieving the progressive destruction and extinction of wildlife, oceanlife, coral reefs, deserts, forests, wetlands, prairies, tundra, jungles...We fear for the future survivability of our own species..... Yet we are so obviously ignorant, if not hypocritical , when we, as earth-loving individuals , continue to support and justify our treacherous dependence on the livestock and fishing industries.

The bottom line is: Saving the planet begins with the fork and the plate. The simplest, most effective environmental action any person can take is to evolve from a meat-inclusive diet to meat-free (vegetarian / plant-based) diet.

We who see ourselves as high spiritual beings while chowing down a tuna sandwich , we who conduct our fundraising events over a roast beef banquet or burger barbecue...we who claim to be "earth-friendly" and then go home to a chicken salad ...we who want to leave a safer, cleaner world for our children and yet still feed them pork chops... WE ARE THE PROBLEM


Every living thing on earth is suffering because of our food choices.

Even if are living ecologically correct in every other aspect of our lives, we who continue to eat flesh foods are responsible for the impending death of the planet.

We pat ourselves on the back for reducing, reusing, recycling, living more in harmony with the earth .We work towards overcoming nationalism, racism, ageism, sexism, homophobia..... and yet we EAT animals. This is speciesism. We condemn killing of humans...we deplore the rape and ravaging of the great outdoors...yet we are bloodthirsty for the massacre of cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, fish, rabbits, the expense of all animals themselves, all natural resources on the planet, all communities in distant nations who raise or catch our food, and our own personal health.

Oppression, violence , and murder extend to all that lives. All animals feel pain and suffering...not only cats or dogs. We do not need to eat murdered animals to survive. We do rituals to heal the earth yet we gobble down factory farmed animals who were raised then murdered with torture and agony. And we claim to practice "non-violence" as a lifestyle.

By freeing ourselves from meat, we immediately contribute to healing the planet... we create far less toxic waste and damage far fewer ecosystems all over the world by going vegetarian and vegan.

Enough literature is available in any bookstore anywhere in the western world for us to have easy access to the statistics on global environmental damage caused by the livestock industry. Any person who refuses to acknowledge and accept this as fact , any person who stubbornly ignores the horrors of meat production and consumption, any person who still believes that its ecologically sustainable for humans to continue to eat flesh must THINK AGAIN . The information is everywhere. The argument that our ancestors ate meat and fish is irrelevant. The human population is exploding ...we are reaching our limits of carrying capacity. There is no place on earth untouched by destruction and pollution.

If you had to wring that birds neck, throw that fish out of water and watch it suffocate, slit that cows throat or electrocute that pig, would you????



The earth is our trash can, our sewer, for the poisons caused by our addiction to meat as forests, water, and topsoil are forever ruined. Our diet, our lifestyle is responsible for unprecedented impending extinction of far too many non-human animals of all species. Primates, our closest living relatives, could vanish off the face of the earth within 50 years. The oceans are rapidly becoming depleted of all marine animals... an empty toxic wasteland. And what befalls the animals of the earth will befall the humans of the earth. If we continue to consume the planet at the current pace, the only living wildlife remaining will be in captivity in zoos and breeding programs. This will be the legacy we leave for our children. A world without tigers, dolphins, monkeys, tree frogs.

Get educated, get consistent. Claiming to care about the future of the planet and still eating meat is as inconsistent as being a cancer specialist who still smokes cigarettes or a public health worker who has unprotected sex without condoms. WALK THE WALK.

©amy lynn caplan, 1997