Saturday, September 10, 2016

How Going Vegan Addresses Each of the 17 International Sustainability Goals - My Quiz held at Electric Picnic's Global Green

This quiz was written and put together by my two pigs, therefore there is a focus on how going vegan addresses each of the 17 international sustainability goals. The push bike, cycling advocacy tent had put together an amazing document on how cycling addresses the goals as well so I started by acknowledging that.  Davie Phillips of Cultivate – at Cloughjordan Ecovilllage – in his introduction said how difficult it was to bring these goals to life, maybe especially as a quiz as no one had heard of them. They include goals like no hunger, no poverty, gender equality, good health, sustainable cities, looking after life on land and life under the sea and peace. I settled for a ‘best of three’ format.

Goal: Good partnerships
1.  Do we need a partnership with
a)    Animals b) People c) Nature

Answer: All three
Anyone who participated came up and got a vegan biscuit ( a chance for me to show which ordinary  products are harmless – Ginger Nuts, Oaties and Bourbon)

Goal: Clean Water
2. If you have 1kg of beef and 1kg of vegetable protein, which takes
15,000 litres  of fresh water to produce?
200 litres        of fresh water to produce?  

Answer:          15,000 litres (or more)        1kg animal protein
                        200 litres                               1kg plant protein.

Goal: Decent work/employment

3. How many pig farms in Ireland?
a)    100 b)  200 c) 400?

Answer: 400

4. What percentage of pigs are kept confined and without daylight?

Answer: 98%

5. How many new Pig Farm Management certificates were offered; even subsidized in  Ireland in 2015

Answer: 500

Who considers intensive farming, abbatoirs, pharmaceutical testing facilities, food production facilities or computer chip production decent work?

a) The government   b) Corporations         c) Enterprise offices     d) Nobody

Answer: All of the above
How many people in the audience have heard about the idea to pay everyone a living wage and then each person applies themselves to what they do best?

Answer: Everyone in the room and this sparked a great debate as they were mainly motivated independent people who would make the most of the opportunity to create community led projects and provide local food.

Goal: Gender Equality
6. When we think in terms of gender equality, which is the most fair of the following 3?
a) Women not being paid the same wage for the same work in any country (including 1st and 3rd world)?
b) Female pigs being kept in crates, unable to turn around and produce several litters of piglets a year?
c) Cow are taken from their calves and calves are taken from their cows, within days of birth in the dairy industry for human consumption – of their milk and the male calves to death or fattened to become meat.

Answer: None of them are very fair at all.

Goal: Health
7. What percentage of farms in Ireland are organic?
a)    2%      b) 10%           c) 15%

Answer: 2% but the writer of the research was in the audience and refined the answer to 1.9%

8. How many times are potatoes sprayed with glysophate/Round Up on average?
a) 0-10           b) 10-20        c) 20-30

Answer: 20-30 times (Most people in the audience thought it could be no more that 3 times, especially as they are only in the ground for 6 months but every not marked organic potato you buy has the residue of nearly 30 applications of carcinogenic round up)

9. How do we know that the chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides that we use are unhealthy?
a) 80% of Ireland’s bees are dead             b) glysophate is found in tumour tissue c) It originated as a chemical weapon in the Vietnam war?

Answer: All of the above

Goal: No Hunger
Why are nearly 1 billion of us 7 billion humans starving?
a) There is not enough food                        b) The food is fed to animals instead

Answer: b ; There is enough grain grown already to feed a population of 13 billion people. More than half of it is fed to animals to then produce meat.

What percentage of food produced is wasted?
a) A Quarter b) A Half         c) A Third

Answer: A third. It is not bought from the farmer and so he ploughs it back in
It is lost during production. For example, one production facility in Ireland, a tonne of pasta is lost every single lunchtime, as people take their break and the line is left running. It goes straight into the landfill.
Fruit and vegetables are rejected by the supermarkets, for imperfections in appearance. Consumers buy more than they need and end up throwing away a great deal of food – It is thought that every individual could save 450 euro a year, if they used what they had binned or not bought it in the first place.

Why are hungry people not fed?
a) Transportation     b) Poverty      c) Entitlement

Answer: Entitlement
I asked if anyone understood this as I didn’t! One parallel was suggested with the CEO of Nestle, who by the way holds the keys to countless fresh water aquifers and wells in deserts and drought-ridden countries. He has explicitly stated that people do not have a right to water.

 Another said that governments have made 'basic needs' a social and charitable concern when food security should be governed by law and provision to all: written in to legislation.
Goal: Justice and Peace
How can we have justice and peace if we are glossing over the death of so many people and animals? 7 trillion animals a year – I represented the cows, Day One of the festival, pigs on day two (the whole world might go vegan en masse… and pigs might fly so adopted wings in the evening) and then all our feathered and other winged friends on the Sunday – the chickens, ducks, bees and the butterflies in particular.
Are we a) anaesthetized to suffering b) superior to other life c) allowed to do what we want?

Answer: This sparked a response that the catholic church has us all conditioned. I suggested, what about Buddhist ideas? They understand that we are all one and connected? Another participant was just back from a Buddhist country and said that the way animals and people in fact are treated there is horrific, even worse. So I said, let’s not go down that road either!

Goal: Education
How do we teach adults to care about something? To take responsibility for their own actions? To value their environment, appreciate the resources we have, experience compassion for people and wildlife they don’t know and can’t see and motivate them to protect the environment?

a) teach the children            b) hit adults in the pocket    c) make laws 
Answer: Trick answer, that none of the above really work as it suits the government to make money from our consumption and ill health (as in answer c), it suits adults to blame their hard hit finances for ignorant choices – eg. buying cheap imported food (as in answer b) and children are just being filled with all this information and have no actual power or say so to do anything about it because their parents and all society are just carrying on regardless (as in answer a).

I asked everyone to think about how love and compassion had kicked off in their lives so we can spread the experience of it around to more and more people, before we trash the place.

In terms of education, the conversation turned to replacing competition in schools with cooperation and collaborations.

Goal: Responsible Consumption
Some people say that consumers are the greatest activists. This is because if we retract our support for cruel and/or harmfully produced goods, we break the chain of supply and demand.

Goal: Wellbeing
What are the things that weigh us down and make our own lives unsustainable?  
a)    Physical pain b) Mental pain c) Emotional pain d) Grief e) Poverty
f) Unavailability (closed down-ness) g) Loneliness h) Absence i) Anger k) loss and l) a range of fears

Answer: All of the above.
I gave a brief intro to self mastery, a complete redefinition of our reason d’etre, mentioned that we all have a divine spark and suggested…going vegan!... as a means to ease the conscience, release the depressing energies in our systems and systematically cultivate more promising ones; self regard, hope, joy, creativity, problem solving and feeling connected and supported by that that bond between all living things. Most of this work was done during two ‘Inner Sustainability' workshops I did in the Mindfulness Tent – thanks Katriona for your beautiful artwork and creating such a wonderful space.

Goal: End Pollution
I was going to ask how many in the audience knew about chem trailing – dropping chemicals out of planes – yes, including ryan air. Some say it is a toxic waste from coal mining. Some say it is a deliberate shield created to reduce the global warming, everyone agrees that it is a willful contamination of soil and water. You will see the lines in the sky now I’ve mentioned it.

Goal: Safety
I was going to ask why are infant and teenage vaccines still promoted and sometimes forced when they have such toxic ingredients and can lead to paralysis and pain worse than paralysis?

I didn’t as we were all enjoying ourselves at a music festival and everyone knows the answer anyway!

Goal: Sanitation
If sanitation refers to the removal of sewage and trash and maintaining conditions that do not promote disease?
What do you think happens to animal waste?

Answer: It runs off, untreated into the waterways and sea and soil.
This led to some good discussion later about how to properly use ‘organic matter’ for the improvement of the land, rather than contamination.
A brilliant talk, later in the festival, was a panel proposing ways to ‘Green The Festival’. I raised this problem with toilets being super clean but no water had been used, just gallons and gallons of chemical. There were just disinfectant gels for people’s hands after too. This stuff is so toxic, it is being banned I heard yesterday. There is no way that any of that waste could biodegrade. I passed on the question, could energy be generated by all the human waste? Could it be biodigested perhaps?!

One great speaker Anya, from Eco Eye, I think, said that they had had compost loos for an 8-day festival of 35,000 people and they had been spotless and smell-less and worked brilliantly. It was asked if people were ready to manage themselves here in Ireland. I’m sure everyone would soon get the hang of it! In case you don’t know, you have to not wee in a compost loo as it interrupts the speedy bacterial breakdown of the crap.

These are things we all need to know and that was the vibe I kept going for the quiz.

Many people there knew a lot more than I. Also the serious discussions about What is TTIP? – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – were yet to come.

But I was able to round up with some rhetorical questions like

What percentage of people like the invitation of corporations to Ireland with no tax and no EPA governance?!

Goal: Clean Energy:
I didn’t ask a question about this even though it is my favourite absurd observation that Shell were allowed to seismic blast and map and drill to high heaven in the nature conservation area in Mayo but boat operators were refused an extension of two weeks to their license to bring holiday makers and Star Wars fans out to the Skelligs. Oh yes, the damage they could do taking those snap shots! Really?!

Goal: Good Industries
My attempt at clean energy was to try and get my Mazda converted to electric. I found lots about it (There is a national goal to have 40,000 electric cars on Irish Roads as we speak). I rang the SEAI – sustainability board as I saw they offered a grant.
"All the grants for electric cars are only available to corporations."
Not even just businesses, only corporations…the only group who do not need a grant.

Goal: Good Infrastructure
What is environmental infrastructure?
Would everyone like to see the revival of the rural train tracks that go to all four corners of Ireland?

Answer: Yes but it’s pretty unlikely.

Goal: Good Institutions
Decided this was a contradiction in terms and so we're now going for community led collaborations instead! 
Goal: Sustainable Cities
I heard that we should abandon trying to improve Dublin and build a new sustainable city, with the very best of sustainable design outside Limerick. Not pour good money after bad.

The answer that won the biscuit was: what happens to the abandoned places, just a rotting ghost town? Then there was more evidence of that from all the buildings on outside of towns where businesses have moved to bigger premises and are not obliged to take down and tidy up their old one.

Goal: Protect life under the sea
This led to a laugh as I announced that 90 million fish are caught each year and then changed it to 90 million tonnes of fish. It was funny because we all had to agree it was flipping loads and an insane amount that could not be replenished. I will write again about this as we watched the film Atlantic on the last night which I really recommend.

Goal: Protect life on land

If we replace meat with soya, how much does it reduce land clearance by, per kg of protein?

a) 47%           b) 97%           c) 77%

Answer: 97% - That is epic!

The whole world might go vegan and also pigs might fly...let us show how it is done in style!!

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