A Convenient Conspiracy
The more I think about An Inconvenient Truth’s egregious omission (that the most important action an individual can take to curb global warming is to stop eating animal products), the more confident I am that the omission was intentional. I’m working on a documentary right now (the inconvenient truths about life after foster care), and there’s no way I would leave out things people might not want to hear, like that 3 out of 10 homeless people have a foster care history. Or that without help, within 2 years of being booted out of the system (at age 18), nearly half of foster care kids will still not have a GED, are likely to be substance abusers, land in our nation’s prisons, or end up homeless. Some end up dead. If I left out the reality that we’ve failed these kids while supposedly trying to parent them, I’d be dishonest.
There’s no way Al Gore doesn’t know about the connection between diet and global warming (and PETA made sure of that this week with a letter). He’s been researching this for decades, for heaven’s sake! I can’t help but think he is being dishonest by not telling what might be the most important part of the story.
Recently, Lisa Day, the vice president of social action and advocacy at Participant Productions (makers of the Oscar-winning film starring Gore) was interviewed by Grist and asked about the meat-connection omission. She said, "What it really boils down to is how much information you can get across in 90 minutes, and what is most compelling." That seals the deal for me. I simply don’t believe her. I find it excruciatingly difficult to believe that telling the world about the undeniable link between diet and global warming wouldn’t be compelling. Shocking, even. And far more shocking than anything in the film.
Day makes sure to note that the website for the film does deal with the meat issue. And it does. The site suggests action steps, and on the four-page list of 23 ways you can reduce your impact at home, the last item is "Eat less meat" and reads:
Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.
Clearly, that is not sufficient.
All competent conspiracy theorists know that there’s got to be a payoff for the offender. There must be some kind of gain that prevents the person from telling the truth. Here are two suggestions: HE OWNS A CATTLE RANCH, and he’s not a vegetarian. Which is worse: A meat-eating cattle rancher telling people to stop eating meat, or a meat-eating cattle rancher conveniently keeping quiet about the connection between his meat-eating, cattle-rancing ways and global warming?
Makes more sense now, doesn’t it?