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CFUV @ VFF 2017: The Islands and the Whales

Island and the whales

The Islands and the Whales inspired me to think of a new word:

 

Tradicction: the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation by being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.

 

And to write this traditionally divergent review.

 

The Faroe Perspective  

 

This is what we’ve always done, it’s tradition.  We were taught by our parents how to kill whales and seabirds, and we teach our children how to do it too.  We take our children to witness the bay filling with blood as the pilot whales’ bodies are dragged onto the shore.  We’re honest with them, we talk openly about shooting birds, or climbing over cliffs to take birds from their nests, then plucking their feathers before we eat them. They’re just animals.

 

Some doctors say the whale meat is not healthy, our mercury levels are high.  I don’t believe it.  Look at me, I feel fine.  They say it causes cognitive and developmental problems.  Maybe I should cut back on it. Why should I change?  It’s part of my culture, I shouldn’t be forced to give up my cultural traditions.

 

The Huldafolk, the little nature creatures who used to speak to us, they’ve left us now because we’re living out of balance with nature.  Our population has grown, maybe we’re taking too much.  But the increased mercury, it’s caused by the industrialized world, they’re the ones responsible, it’s their fault.  We’re not the barbarians they say we are, it’s our culture, our tradition.

 

The Omnivorous (I’ll eat anything) Perspective  

 

This is what we’ve always done, it’s tradition.  Our parents lived on small farms and were kind to their animals.  We take our children to the grocery store to buy packaged bits of what we call “meat.”  We call it pork rather than pig, beef rather than cow.  We’d rather not know about the animals’ living conditions or how they’re slaughtered.  They’re just animals.

 

Some doctors say it’s not healthy, meat and dairy contributes to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.  Maybe they’re wrong, I’ll just exercise more.  I’ve been told fish contains high levels of mercury.  Maybe I should cut back on it.  But I like the taste. Why should I change? It’s part of my culture, I shouldn’t be forced to give up my cultural traditions.

 

My conscience sometimes tells me I should do something differently.  I’ve heard that the rainforests are destroyed to graze cattle for cheap hamburgers.  But I’m just one little person, I’m not responsible for all that destruction.  I’m not a barbarian.

 

The Vegetarian Perspective  

 

I don’t eat flesh, but I do buy dairy and leather products and I don’t research ingredients or check for animal testing.  I don’t think about what happens to the baby cows whose milk I’m eating in the form of cheese or ice cream, I’d rather not know how leather is produced or whether there are ground up hooves (aka gelatin) in my marshmallows.  I wouldn’t want to deprive my children any of those things.  They’re just animals … but I don’t eat their flesh.

 

I eat milk and eggs so I can get enough protein, sometimes chicken or fish, but very occasionally.  I like the taste of it.  I’ve been a vegetarian a long time, that’s enough.  Why should I change?

 

I know there’s a climate crisis, but by being vegetarian I’m contributing much less to the environmental problems.  My conscience is clear, it’s those meat-eaters, they’re the barbarians!

 

The Vegan Perspective  

 

I don’t eat, wear, or otherwise consume animals in any form.  I read labels, share information with my friends about vegan versus non-vegan restaurants and products.  They’re animals, just like us, and they have a right to live and die naturally, without being turned into commodities for human consumption.

 

Scientists have proven that a plant based diet can not only prevent, but in some cases will actually reverse, some of the main causes of death including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.  Legumes provide the best and healthiest source of protein.  I know a lot about nutrition, because I study it to make sure I’m getting all the right vitamins and minerals.  I know which supplements to take and I’ve found trustworthy vegan doctors with websites offering up-to-date information on all the latest health science and nutrition.  I’m glad I changed.  I’m part of a new culture, with new traditions.  I’ve never felt healthier.

 

Animal agriculture is the #1 contributor to climate change, more than the entire transportation sector combined (that’s all the planes, cars, trucks, trains, etc). Whether those cows are being fed fields full of grain (grown using tons of water and huge areas of land) so they can be turned into meat, or into dairy cows (and their babies sent to the veal factory), animal agriculture is animal agriculture and it’s killing the planet.  Torturing and killing animals unnecessarily, human or non-human, is barbaric.  I wish people would change.

 

-Janine

 

For more of CFUV’s VFF coverage click here

 

 

 

 

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