A vegan charity has criticized former Vice President Al Gore for omitting to mention animal agriculture in his newest environmental documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.
Rachel Krantz, lead writer for Mercy for Animals, addressed the issue in an article entitled An Inconvenient Sequel Doesn't Talk About Animal Agriculture—and That's Absurd.
According to Krantz, she bumped into actor and vegan activist James Cromwell at a pre-release screening of the movie.
He said: "Besides the damage it does to the atmosphere from methane release, and the terrible torment of the animals, it is destroying us spiritually.
"You eat one hamburger and have no idea of the process that led to that one hamburger, how many animals suffered, how much waste, what it does to us, and what it does to the planet."
Krantz says: "He’s right. We aren’t serious enough about the impact our diet has on the environment, despite overwhelming evidence. For instance, to produce one hamburger takes as much water as two months’ worth of showering. "
Speaking about the impact the livestock sector has on the planet ('it is one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions, and the single largest source of both methane and nitrous oxide'), Krantz talks about how 90 per cent of Amazon rainforest destruction is down to animal agriculture.
She writes: "An Inconvenient Truth failed to address this, and people have been wondering whether the sequel would make up for it, particularly since it again stars Al Gore, who himself went vegan after realizing the connection between animal agriculture and global warming.
"Unfortunately, as James Cromwell and I were about to find out, the sequel likewise failed. And that’s truly disappointing.
"Instead, too much of the new documentary was devoted to spotlighting former Vice President Gore as a leader, rather than informing viewers about the many concrete actions they can take to limit their carbon footprint, like adopting a plant-based diet."
At the end of the film, viewers are asked to take a pledge to 'be inconvenient' - which means demanding that institutions including schools and businesses invest in renewable energy.
According to Krantz: "This is great, but aside from a few seconds where Gore mentions that 'agriculture is another major cause' of CO2 emissions, the link between climate change and eating animals is entirely left out of the film.
"And any environmentalist worth her salt should find that outrageous.
"The link between our diet and the environment is both direct and strong. To give you an idea, if every American committed to just one meat-free day a week, the impact would be equivalent to switching all our gas-powered cars to hybrids."
Important facts about the link between animal agriculture and the environment are left out of the documentary. "Perhaps the filmmakers thought that mainstream viewers couldn’t handle the truth," writes Krantz.
She adds: "I like to think otherwise. It’s time for environmentalists to face reality, and start acknowledging the impact animal agriculture has on climate change.
"As Cromwell told me, 'you can’t consume another creature out of sloth, ignorance, and unconsciousness, and then switch that off and go with dedication and consciousness in another area of your life. You have to be conscious in the entire course of living'.
"To call yourself an environmentalist and ignore what eating animals is doing to our planet is hypocritical, and perpetuates the selfishness that got us into this mess in the first place."
So what does Krantz believe is a major part in fighting environmental issues?
"If you really care about the environment, take the film’s pledge to #BeInconvenient, and tell everyone you know that one of the biggest things they can do to fight climate change is to leave animals off their plates," she says.
"Whether or not they find your statement inconvenient, it’s the truth."