- The Facts:
In Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar speech, he chose to use his influence and platform to raise awareness about our relationship with nature and how that must change. This happens to be the subject of our latest documentary on CETV.
- Reflect On:
Do you feel like you are above nature or animals? Are the choices we make reflective of a belief that their lives are worth less? Or that nature is simply here to serve us?
It’s great to see celebrities use their platform for something that truly can impact society, especially as the world continues to become less interested in the rich and the famous, and what they’re doing, and more interested in taking care of our planet and raising awareness on issues that people are still just waking up to. Human consciousness is changing rapidly, and as a result, we are collectively beginning to manifest change in many areas, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
One of the main issues on the minds of many is extreme animal cruelty, and at the 2020 Oscars, actor Joaquin Phoenix brought up the hard to swallow truth about the dairy industry and our relationship with nature as a whole in his best actor acceptance speech.
We’re talking about the fight against injustice, we’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nations, one people, one race, one gender or one species has the right to dominate, control, and use and exploit another with impunity…I think that we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world…We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth we steal her baby even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. And then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf, and we put it in our coffee and cereal.
We fear the idea of personal change, because we feel like we have to sacrifice something to give something up, but human beings at our best are so inventive and creative and ingenious and I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.
His speech touched upon a lot of important points. Firstly, I was glad that he, once again, brought up the dairy industry and its cruelty towards cows. Anti-suckling devices for example, such as nose rings or nose flaps are designed to wean calves off milk by preventing access to the cow’s udder while the cow and calf are still together. A nose ring is a metal or plastic ring with spiked extensions. The nose ring clamps onto (rather than pierces) the septum. The spikes are painful to the cow’s udder when the calf tries to suckle and causes the cow to kick or move away from the calf.
The simple act of preventing a calf from weaning so the milk can be used to sell to humans is heart-breaking, and both the mother and the calf are often separated and sent to their death.
The conditions on factory farms are also horrible and suggest our disconnection with nature. Animal grazing itself is one of the leading causes of deforestation around the globe, especially in the amazon.
But things are changing, this is evident by the fact that Dean foods, the largest milk producer in the United States has recently filed for bankruptcy, along with Borden Dairy Co., one of America’s oldest and largest dairy companies, who just became the second major milk producer to file for bankruptcy in the last two months.
There are also multiple health concerns when it comes to ingesting animal products. You can read more about that here.
Change is no doubt occurring, it’s a long process that’s been increasing in intensity for decades. At the end of the day, it boils down to human consciousness, and individuals making changes in their lives that reflect a different relationship to nature than we have today. As Phoenix said, we see some changes as sacrifices but once you make them, like giving up dairy, you realize you weren’t missing out on anything and it’s not a sacrifice at all.
Furthermore, this extends to the manufacturers of big animal agriculture and products that use plastics. One day, these products won’t even be manufactured, simply because humans will stop using it, like the milk of a cow, or that human consciousness changes so much that it also changes within these companies and/or forces them to look for alternatives.
Again, it’s our relationship with nature as a whole that is changing, and this was the focus of the latest documentary we released called Regenerate: Beyond The CO2 Narrative. The film focuses on moving beyond the common distraction of environmentalism today which is an obsession with CO2 emissions, and instead looks at the big picture of what needs to change. You can check out the trailer for Regenerate below, and watch it here.