Let us be Heroes – The True Cost of our Food Choices (2018) Full documentary
♪ (music) ♪
(Rebecca Cappelli) All truths
go through three stages.
First, it is mocked and ridiculed,
then it is violently opposed,
and, finally, we accept it
as being evident.
Slavery, women’s rights,
LGBTQ rights, gender equality:
all movements went through these stages.
One of the most defining truths
that will be evident
for future generations
is the answer to this question:
Is it possible that we humans,
as a species,
have been eating the wrong food?
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I was 16 when I traveled with my school
overseas for the first time.
We went to London,
and we had a great time.
We visited the city,
we had beautiful weather.
At the end of that day,
a teacher pulled me aside.
And when I saw the look on his face,
my heart stopped.
And this is how I learned
that my father died of cancer.
Whenever I speak about this,
and they share their own story
and how they, too,
have lost someone they loved–
a parent, a mentor, a friend.
And, as painful as it is,
the truth is we have become
so accustomed to this happening to us,
it has become so common
that we accept being sick and dying early
as part of life.
♪ (music) ♪
(Luke Tan) Throughout my younger years,
I was quite a sick kid,
and I spent many years
of my life in hospital,
and I was just really, really weak
with nephrotic syndrome that I had.
It required me to be
on a whole host of steroids
that really stunted my growth
and also made me obese.
And I felt really,
really unconfident in my own skin
because I always remember,
when I was younger,
I always wanted
to kind of tuck in my shirt,
but I couldn’t tuck in my shirt.
And I remember,
when I was in primary school,
my friends and my classmates
used to call me
a double scoop ice-cream
with a cherry on top.
I still remember those days
where all these guys
were playing basketball
and badminton and everything,
and there I was, this fat kid,
that just wanted to kind of fit in.
I remember watching Commando
and Rambo I, Rambo II, Rambo III
and looking at Sylvester Stallone
and Arnold Schwarzenegger
and looking at those guys,
“Man, I want to look like those guys!”
So, I think that’s how
I kind of really got,
“Alright, I want to really start
going to the gym and start to train.”
And so I went into the local gym,
just to start doing weight training.
And, of course, being a teenager,
you just wanted to grow biceps
and chest and nothing else.
So, that’s all I did.
I was always focused on protein,
just getting big,
and I was literally
having 5 to 6 kilos of meat per week.
So, we had like a chicken day,
we had a fish day,
we had a pork day, we had a beef day.
I just really didn’t know any better.
Naturally, I’ve never been
somebody who ate a lot of meat.
I would probably
eat red meat once a month.
Fish, probably once or twice a week,
a bit of chicken,
but mostly it was like beans and tofu–
that’s what I’ve always preferred.
But then, when I moved in with him,
I needed to accommodate his diet.
I’ve always loved to cook,
I had to eat the same way he did.
My digestive system was really bad.
I felt I was retaining water.
I felt like– I really didn’t feel
my best. (laughs)
I remember training in the morning,
like super early morning,
and just feeling so lethargic,
because of what I had,
like I had a steak for breakfast.
Five a.m. we heated up a strip of steak
with a knob of butter.
Because we believed that carbs were bad.
And I still remember
when we went to the cafe,
and we had our bacon and eggs,
and we saw someone across eating fruits.
We were like, “Oh, look at that person.
There’s so much sugar in there.”
We were just like, I don’t know,
we were just stuck in our own ways.
And, yeah, I just felt worse
and worse and worse.
If we look at the leading cause
of death in the world,
way more than wars,
violence and accidents,
the leading cause of death
is chronic disease–
so, diseases like cancer,
heart disease, strokes, diabetes.
And these diseases together
kill more than
30 million people every year.
That’s more than the entire population
of Shanghai and Singapore,
or half of the UK,
or more than the entire
population of Australia,
dying of these diseases every single year.
And when we look at these numbers,
actually, a really small fraction
is caused by genetic predisposition,
but more than 90%
can be attributed
to lifestyle choices, including diet.
So, here we are, running around,
desperately looking for a cure
to all these illnesses,
when the cure is in the prevention.
Recently, a few years back,
the WHO classified processed meat
as a Type 1 carcinogen.
And, in fact, it becomes worse for you
when you do things
like put it on a grill, cook it,
or have it with your deli
cold cuts in a sandwich.
In spite of this WHO classification,
very little recognition around it.
It hasn’t really moved the needle
in terms of what’s available
at your grocery store,
or what’s available on your plate
when you go to a restaurant.
(Luke) I think the way I was supplementing
was to kind of fuel a nutritionally-void
and highly acidic, inflammatory diet.
I had a lot of joint issues.
I was big– I was probably a lot bigger
than I am right now,
but I had a lot of joint issues,
I was quite lethargic.
I couldn’t really run at all.
I remember when the tram
was right over there,
and I had to run for the tram.
I just let it go because I said,
“Running is catabolic for my muscle mass,
so I’m not going to run.”
Really, in actual fact,
I just didn’t have the energy.
(Emilie) Every single meal,
I felt bloated, I felt in pain.
Just going for nice dates and nice places
that I should have enjoyed,
I was fearing going there,
I knew was going to feel bad after.
It would just kill all the romance,
all the fun that there should be
around going to a nice place to eat,
because I was just feeling so bad.
(interviewer) So, at what point
did you decide to do something about it?
So after about a year and a half of dating
I was like, “I need to do something.”
And I saw on Facebook,
there was a girl that I know…
I just saw the pictures of her food
and it was like lots of fruits.
And I couldn’t believe, I was like,
“How can somebody
just eat fruits for a meal?
This is too much sugar–
it’s not healthy!”
But she looked so good.
Her eyes were bright,
her skin was beautiful.
I was just like,
I want to do what she does.
I remember going to work
and just buying
a bunch of fruits as my lunch.
I remember having like two
or three bananas in a row
and being like, “Oh my God,
this tastes so amazing. I want that.”
And then, I would say,
within a couple days,
most of my digestive problems were gone.
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(Luke) I saw a significant shift
in her energy and just her digestion,
and I was kind of inspired,
like, “Okay, what’s going on?”
I made the switch, and I remember
that morning itself I went to my gym
with a big 800 grams of tofu.
I didn’t know what the hell
I was doing, so I was just like,
“Alright, well, I’m just gonna substitute
gram for gram protein
and see what happens.”
I was a little bit gassy,
because, of course,
it was like 800 grams of tofu and beans–
that’s going to get you gassy.
But I actually felt
like my digestion was better.
Although I was gassy, it was better.
And I was having lots of fruits as well.
And all of a sudden
I had this spike in energy.
And I think a few days
after I made that switch,
I went for my first run with Emilie–
I think we ran 5Ks.
And I was astounded
how I just ran without stopping.
I was like, “Where is this
coming from? This is crazy!
I could not run after a tram before,
and now I ran 5K without stopping!”
I had to relearn what I knew about protein
and through what I learned,
I realized we don’t actually need
that much protein.
There’s this over-emphasis on protein,
particularly animal protein.
And what I’ve learned now is that,
at the end of the day,
it’s not how much protein you consume
but how much you’re actually assimilating.
Because when you’re under
this kind of protein spell,
which was where I was,
I forgot about everything else.
I forgot about, you know,
what about my antioxidants,
what about my fiber?
I just did not think of that.
(TV static) (beep)
(young boy) What girl’s gonna go for me
with a body like this?
(older boy) Hang in there, Tom.
I’m you, two years from now,
cuz you’re drinking milk and working out.
Well, I’m not changing so far.
– (older boy) But milk works inside you.
– (younger boy) Oh, yeah?
And small difference can show
all that protein for muscle
and calcium for bones.
(younger boy) But I’m still
a skinny bench-warmer!
(adult man) Hey, if the sight of yourself
at 18 doesn’t convince you, Tom,
listen to your senior year girlfriend.
(girlfriend) Hi, Tom. I’m waiting…
(adult man) Milk. It does a body good.
Growing up in America
in the 1980s, 1990s, even the 2000s,
you had a lot of ads on TV.
Sitting there after school,
and all of a sudden you see a photo
or you see an ad, a video,
with some beautiful celebrity
that you recognize,
and they’ve got this little white mustache
across their face,
and the ad says, “Got milk?”
So, there was always this culture
of drinking milk,
and there was a lot of campaigns
around drinking milk.
The questions around the dairy industry
really started to creep in
when my parents started to get sick.
My mother went through breast cancer,
my father had a heart disease,
and my father’s a diabetic from the past.
And I started to really look at what
could be causing some of these things.
Everything I looked at,
all of the research that I read,
kept on coming back
to this idea of nutrition,
especially in the case
of people like my parents
who had never had a drink in their lives,
they had never had a cigarette,
and they were vegetarian
through and through their entire lives.
It really became, “Well,
how do we isolate potential causes
of what’s making them sick?”
Because it wasn’t also
hereditary in my family.
I started looking at things like dairy,
I started to really
then begin to understand
how products like milk and cheese
and other things
that we really rely on as vegetarians,
in places like America,
actually get to our plate
and what’s really in them.
(milking machine noise)
To me, it just really does not make sense
to drink the milk of another species.
I’m a big supporter of breastfeeding.
I’m still breastfeeding my 16-month old.
To me, it just makes sense.
My milk is made to suit a baby human.
And the milk of a cow
is made to suit a little calf,
to go from a very small calf
to become a big cow or a bull
within a very short period of time.
So, how would that
be health food for humans?
In America, 80% of the antibiotics
that are manufactured by the industry
are actually pumped into
and injected into animals,
whether that’s livestock
or that’s cows, you know,
that then are making milk.
Even if it’s coming from a cow
that’s been in your backyard, whatever,
it still contains the growth hormones,
it still contains the estrogen
because it’s coming from–
A pregnant lactating female cow.
So, it’s the highest amount
of estrogens in there,
and a high level of estrogens
actually contribute to things
like prostate and breast cancer.
By nature, our digestive tracts,
the length of our digestive tracts,
the pH in our body
and the digestive enzymes in our mouth,
we are carbohydrate-digesting organisms.
So, when we actually consume a diet
that’s natural to us, we will thrive.
I mean, not just thrive
in the sense of health,
but we will perform better,
we’ll think clearer, we’ll digest better.
There’s so much science now
and research showing
that a plant-based diet
also not just gets you healthy,
but promotes long-term health
and longevity as well.
For me, it’s about being around
for a very long time,
and to be a granddad,
maybe to be a great-granddad.
If we look at the Blue Zones,
places in the world
where people easily reach 90,
100 years old, disease-free,
one of the key factors that help them
maintain a healthy lifestyle
throughout their whole life is their diet.
And their diet
is more than 95% plant-based.
I started changing my diet 17 years ago.
I turned vegetarian.
At that time, it was a very simple reason,
just out of compassion for animals.
The one moment that shocked me
was when I read
about the United Nations reports
about climate change
and the livestock industry.
That was a huge shocker.
is actually one of the biggest factors
in terms of hurting the planet
and also severely threatening the future
of many generations
and of the whole survival of mankind.
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Recently, I read a research
that compared livestock,
all the key meat companies,
in terms of carbon footprint
versus big oil companies.
Now, we would think
that the ExxonMobils of the world
are the evil in terms of carbon footprint.
But, shockingly, when you look
at the top 5 meat companies,
their combined carbon footprint
is bigger than top
oil companies in the world.
We are like a runaway train right now,
and we are accelerating,
but the cliff is here, so…
It’s only a matter of time,
in fact, I think it’s happening already.
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We can’t ignore the fact
that animal agriculture
has a massive impact on the oceans.
We’ve got these dead zones
that are being created
because of the incredible amounts
of nitrogen being put into the oceans.
We’ve got coral reefs bleaching and dying,
and we have to acknowledge
that animal agriculture
is one of the leading causes
of global warming.
As one out of three fish
that’s being caught in the oceans
is being used to feed animals,
and overfishing is a massive problem
that we have to deal with
if we want to survive
as a species on this planet,
then we have to seriously
review our eating habits.
The whole world is obsessed today
with cutting down
plastic straw consumption.
But the reality of it
is that if you take all the straws
around the world,
and you put them all into the ocean,
that is still less than
a tenth of a percent
of the plastic that goes
into the ocean every year.
In fact, more than 40% of the plastic
that goes into the ocean
is plastic fishing nets.
When I was 14 years old
I saw a picture of a dead minke whale
being pulled up the slipway
of an 8,000-ton factory whaling ship
operating in the Antarctic.
And that image
really struck a chord with me.
It became symbolic
of this devastating relationship
that we as a species have with the oceans.
I think like most people I thought
that whaling was something
that had ended in the 70s or 80s,
that this was a victory
of the conservation movement.
So, to find out that not only
was it still happening,
but it was happening despite the fact
that there was
a global moratorium on whaling
made me feel the need to get involved
and stop that crime from taking place.
In the 1950s, there were
over 50 industrial factory whaling ships
operating in the Antarctic
at any one time.
Only one of those remain–
it’s a ship called the Nisshin Maru,
it’s 8,000 tons,
and it goes down to the Southern Ocean
every single year
and conducts illegal whaling
in a designated whale sanctuary.
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This is the vessel that I saw a picture of
when I was 14 years old,
and the vessel that had haunted
my dreams ever since.
I spent 10 years
working with Sea Shepherd,
chasing the Nisshin Maru
around the Southern Ocean.
And one of the most harrowing experiences
that my crew and I had
was when we were put in a position
to block that 8,000-ton
factory whaling ship from refueling,
knowing that if we could cut off
their fuel supply,
then we would force them
to head home early,
cutting their whaling season short.
I remember it was a very windstill day
as the Sun Laurel,
this massive oil tanker, was getting ready
to receive this 8,000-ton
factory whaling ship alongside.
My crew and I essentially
double parked the tanker,
telling this 8,000-ton
factory whaling ship
that if they wanted to refuel,
they would have to go through us to do it,
that they would have to sink us
to take on fuel.
in a five-day-long confrontation
where my vessel was sandwiched
between these two massive ships.
this 8,000-ton factory whaling ship
tried to push my vessel out of the way
to take this position.
But we stood our ground for the whales,
and we stood fast, and by doing so,
when we put the captain
of the Nisshin Maru
in the position where he would
either have to back down
or sink us,
he ultimately had to retreat.
That was a year where we saved
the lives of 932 whales,
a year where the Japanese whaling fleet
reached only 10%
of their bogus self-allocated quota.
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I think, generally, people feel
incredibly passionate about whaling.
Most people would never eat a whale.
And yet, if you look
at the industrial fishing industry,
you’ll discover that over
300,000 whales and dolphins
are being killed every single year
as bycatch of the industrial fishing gear.
(Vikas) I think, globally,
food systems are broken and challenged.
Today, we have 800 million people
around the world that are malnourished,
or hungry, or starving,
yet we feed cattle
that’s then slaughtered for food
for a much, much
smaller minority of people.
With knowledge comes power
and with power
comes responsibility as well.
And I believe that we need
to have a collective mindset.
It’s no more about competition,
because this Earth
provides sufficient for everyone,
but it’s really the greed
that creates this disparity
and this mentality of scarcity.
(Peter) I think
there’s a tendency in the West
that whenever illegal fishing
or overfishing is discussed,
that fingers are pointed at China.
Most of the tuna
that’s being taken out of West Africa
is being taken out of West Africa
by the European fishing fleet
in order to supply the demand
for tuna in the West.
What I’ve seen firsthand,
working all around Africa,
in combating illegal
unreported and unregulated fishing,
is this model that Noam Chomsky authored
in terms of this is a transfer
of so-called food
from the needy to the greedy.
And this demand that we have in the West,
in wealthy countries,
for cheap, readily available fish,
is really leading
to the seas being sucked dry
out of waters where some of the world’s
poorest people are dependent on fish
for their livelihoods.
We, as human beings today,
kill and consume a hundred billion
land-based animals every year.
That’s more animals
that we kill every year
than all humans
that have ever lived on Earth.
If you start adding up
the fish in the sea,
that we take out of the sea every year,
that’s another two,
two and a half trillion.
The United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organization, the UNFAO,
state that 90% of the world’s fisheries
are either fully exploited
And, if current trends continue,
then by 2048,
the world’s major fisheries will be gone.
♪ (music) ♪
(Rebecca) Ten years ago,
I was living in China,
and I adopted a dog, Oneida.
And I learned that
he was rescued from dog meat.
And I was really shocked to learn
that it was happening
in a city like Shanghai.
So, whenever I found strays
in the streets–
cats and dogs–
I rescued them.
I was not just rescuing them
from the streets,
but also from the violence
of what could happen to them.
I thought I was doing my best,
for the longest time,
until about three years ago,
I realized that I was saving
some animals from being eaten,
but I was eating other animals myself.
As I was going through this realization,
I could see for the first time
on my plate, not just meat,
but actually the flesh of animals
that had to live a terrible life
and suffer and die
just for a few moments of pleasure for me.
I looked at my very expensive handbag,
and it was like a spell broke,
and I could see that it was
just the skin of mutilated animals.
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I lived in China about 10 years ago,
and I remember buying a vintage fur coat.
And I showed it
to one of my Australian friends,
who just told me, “Are you aware
that this might be cat or dog fur?”
I was like, “What are you talking about?
This is impossible.”
And she was like, “No, no,
here they do eat cats and dogs,
and they do use the fur to make coats.”
And this is how
I think I made the connection,
because I was like, “Okay,
I am able to wear a fox
without caring at all,
and I could not for even a second
imagine wearing a cat or a dog coat,
because they’re my friends
and I grew up with them.”
I think that’s the turning point
where I completely
stopped fantasizing about fur.
I’ve decided to go cruelty-free
because, as a designer and influencer,
I think it’s our responsibility
to act on something meaningful.
♪ (music) ♪
Fashion can be seen
as something quite superficial,
without a meaning,
careless about these kinds of values.
I think it’s possible today
to be trendy without being bloody,
being fun without harming anyone.
We cannot massively kill
all these animals for coats, bags, shoes.
I think people need to reconnect,
and I think they forgot the connection.
They used to have it when they were kids,
but I don’t think
they can make the connection
and relate to the cute little lamb
they see on Instagram
and the lambskin bag they just bought
on a high-end brand.
As children, it is actually
part of our nature to care
and to have empathy towards each other,
but also towards animals.
But, somehow, along the way
we are conditioned not to care.
After millions of years of evolution,
nature has selected empathy
as a human trait.
And that means it’s there for a reason.
If we look at the egg industry,
where only the females are valuable
because they lay eggs,
every other chick that is born
that is not female– so the male–
are considered a waste product
because they won’t grow
fast enough to be profitable,
and they also won’t lay eggs.
The most profitable way
that the industry has found
to deal with these baby chicks
is to discard them as they hatch.
We are grinding them up alive,
putting baby chicks in gas chambers.
♪ (music) ♪
People tend to forget
something very elementary–
that a cow has to be pregnant,
it has to have a baby
in order to produce milk,
just like we humans or any other mammal.
In the dairy industry,
we want the milk to produce cheese
and yogurt and ice-cream.
We force cows to be pregnant
over and over.
We take their babies away from them,
one after the other, year after year,
because, obviously, we don’t want
the babies to have the milk.
The males are sent to slaughter for veal,
and the females are raised
to become dairy cows,
just like their mothers.
So, it doesn’t matter
if the eggs or the dairy
comes from a factory farm
or a free-range farm,
the matter of fact is all babies
are taken from their mothers
in the dairy farms,
and all the male chicks are killed
in the egg farms.
And this is happening in the US,
in Australia, in European countries,
in Asian countries.
It’s happening everywhere.
There’s a huge
social justice component to it.
It’s unfair and unreasonable for us
to kill just for our food.
We don’t need it.
But, in spite of that,
and in spite of it being very bad for you,
we continue to do it anyway.
(Emilie) Every single week
we are killing
more than a billion animals.
(Rebecca) We are destroying
our home planet,
and it’s all for foods we don’t need
and that are making us sick in return.
(Peter) I think one of the reasons
that people generally
don’t tend to care so much about fish
is that the oceans are out of sight
and out of mind for so many people.
It’s been said
that if slaughterhouses had glass walls,
then everybody would go over
to a plant-based diet.
Now, imagine that those slaughterhouses
and hundreds of miles offshore,
accessible only by boat.
Fish don’t have vocal cords,
so their screams are silent
even though they have
the same capacity to suffer as we do.
But we also have to look
at how language is used
to justify slaughter.
We go to the supermarket,
and we don’t buy cow, we buy beef;
we don’t buy pig, we buy pork.
And within the fishing industry,
the language is chosen very specifically
to make a disconnect
between people and the products
that they ultimately buy.
We don’t talk about the number
of fish killed every single year,
we talk about the number
of tons of fish that’s killed every year.
We don’t talk about fish
being killed or hooked or netted,
we talk about fish being harvested,
as if they were apples
being picked off a tree in an orchard.
And we don’t talk about fish populations,
we talk about fish stock,
as if they were simply
taken off the shelf of a warehouse.
So, in one single sentence,
you can talk about x number
of ton fish stock being harvested.
It’s no small surprise
that there is a big disconnect
and the fish they’re eating.
What the reality is if we look
at the urgency of the planet
and the urgency
of the whole macro issues–
we should be turning
our lifestyle upside down.
People have emotional connection
and relationship with food.
Food is so much more
than just filling our stomach
or nourishing our body.
It is social, it is emotional,
it is cultural.
One of the biggest challenges
that I faced my entire life
is when I go out with friends,
and there is zero
or maybe one vegetarian option.
Now it’s worse,
when it comes to vegan options.
We need to improve the experience
if the world is going
to become more sustainable.
We need to really deliver on this idea
of creating more
plant-based options everywhere.
I always say that for,
you know, ultimate health benefits,
we should all be eating
organic whole foods, every meal.
Unfortunately, we live in urban societies.
Most of us do not have time to cook.
We may not even have farms around us,
in the case of Hong Kong,
in the case of many cities
or many countries around the world.
I think the food tech space
plays a crucial role
in this food revolution
and protein revolution.
We’ve been relying so much on animals
to be the key protein
or ingredients in our meal.
If you just ask people
to switch to tofu and vegetables–
that won’t work.
You know, I think Beyond Meat
and Beyond Burger
is one of the iconic examples of that.
People were still very doubtful, you know.
What does a vegan burger–
How good could a vegan burger be?
But now, when any carnivore,
or anyone for that matter,
just gets a bite of the Beyond Burger,
the majority, if not all of them,
say, “Hey, I can eat this every day!”
We work with a lot of these ingredients–
plant-based chicken, plant-based burger,
Now, the ingredient itself
is very exciting.
We turn these ingredients into dishes
that really can fit the local palates–
steamed buns, or dumplings:
ultimate comfort food for Asian people.
To always understand
that the ingredient is one part,
but the recipe, what we do with it,
and how to close that cultural gap,
or bridge that gap,
is critical in terms
of shifting people’s behavior.
I think to meet the urban lifestyle,
also to meet the need
that we have created–
having these products
is a good intermediate step.
It certainly is an improvement
over whatever meat products
or processed meats that we eat.
It’s really our choice what kind
of world do we want to live in.
Today, I view this opportunity
for people to go plant-based,
or be more plant-based,
as probably one of the defining triumphs
that we can have
from a sustainability perspective.
♪ (music) ♪
(Rebecca) Change can be scary
because we think
about everything we give up,
we think about all the hassle,
we worry about upsetting
the people we care about.
But, actually, change is not
about becoming someone else.
So, when I changed,
I changed the way I was living.
I changed the way I was eating,
but I became who I am.
(Rime) Being an animal lover
is about putting all animals
on the same level.
It’s about considering them
as true characters
with an emotional intelligence,
feelings, and even a spiritual side.
I think putting the energy
of a suffering animal
in your own sanctuary
is something that cannot
leave you at peace.
And you cannot be connected
to the people, and to life and love,
if you have a suffering energy inside you.
♪ (music) ♪
(Rebecca) I know many people tell me,
“Well, everything in moderation,
we need to have a balance.”
Moderation, in that context,
doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Would we say that,
“Oh, it’s okay to kill in moderation.
It’s okay to destroy the planet
♪ (music) ♪
If we are in a position to choose,
it means we are privileged.
So, we need to really think
about the impact of our choices
on others and on the planet.
Sometimes I even question
whatever we do,
is that barely going to make
a difference at all?
How much difference can one person make?
That’s one type of sentiment that I have.
But on the other hand,
when I look at a lot of these people
who are working very hard,
whether they are scientists,
whether they are researchers,
whether they are academics,
whether they are entrepreneurs,
whether they’re investors,
all their resources to this cause
and doing whatever it takes
to make a difference.
And I am actually
seeing real behavior change.
On my first campaign with Sea Shepherd,
we were patrolling the Galapagos Islands
to stop the poaching of sharks
for shark fins.
I remember feeling really challenged
by the fact that here we were,
pulling up 8km of devastating
destructive fishing gear,
but at the same time
there was enough of this gear
set in the water, all over the world,
to go around the world 80 times.
And I remember thinking, “Well,
what difference is this really making?”
But, as the hooks were coming up on deck,
I remember holding
one of those hooks in my hand,
and as it gleamed under the moonlit night,
I thought, “Well, this particular hook
is not going to kill a sea turtle
or a shark or a tuna
this particular night.”
And, to think that
that doesn’t make a difference,
is incredibly human-centered.
And I remember
holding this hook in my hand
and thinking, “Okay,
maybe we can’t save the entire world,
but we can certainly save the entire world
for one particular animal.”
Being at sea is dangerous
in and of itself,
especially if you’re going down
to the Southern Ocean
where there are dangerous
ice conditions to navigate.
It’s not uncommon
to have 8, 9, 10-meter seas
in a place like the Southern Ocean.
Coupled with that is the fact
that we are going up against poachers
and trying to affect their bottom line.
My ship’s been rammed
on a number of occasions.
We’ve had all kinds
of dangerous confrontations with ships
because we are trying to get
between them and their profits.
But, ultimately, I think there is
no greater responsibility, I guess, on us
in being able to try to stop suffering
than to get on the front lines
at the scene of the crime
between the poachers
and the animals they’re trying to kill.
(Emilie) There’s a saying
that says, basically,
that we are borrowing the land
from our children.
But I really feel
that there’s a shift at the moment.
I want to believe
because if I don’t believe
it’s just such a sad life.
I just want to leave a better place
for my daughter than now.
When I was younger,
a young person coming out as gay
was seen like something really bad.
And now my daughter’s
going to grow up in a world
where it’s actually okay and normal.
With our grandparents,
mixed marriages like us
did not even exist.
And now we’re in a world
where it’s absolutely normal
and it’s even great.
My daughter’s a Eurasian
and now she’s seen as a beauty.
Decades ago, she would
have been seen as an abnormality.
So, it’s just, to me, these are all signs
– that we’re actually…
– Evolving as a species.
and the world is getting better.
I really believe that today,
becoming more plant-based
is not a compromise,
it’s not a sacrifice,
it’s simply a better way to live.
It’s going to make you feel better,
it’s going to make you sleep better,
it’s going to make
your relationships better,
not just your relationships
with animals and the Earth,
but also with people.
I think it’s a much more
sustainable way to live,
and, by doing so,
we can really raise the bar
on who we are as individuals.
♪ (music) ♪
(Rime) The difference I noticed
when I changed my diet
is that I simply got happier.
I felt more connected
to the people around me,
I loved myself more,
I judged myself
and the people around me less.
I think it’s always good to have the hope.
We need to.
♪ (music) ♪
(Peter) What Sea Shepherd
is this requirement or this necessity
for people to take individual action,
that problems don’t go away
because we simply
hope that they’ll go away.
Problems won’t go away
if we put all the responsibility
for solving these problems
on government or government agencies.
Our own personal involvement is required.
That trifecta of being able
to protect the environment,
save animals and protect people–
those are the three perfect ingredients
that give me the motivation
to keep going.
(Luke) One simple switch
has a profound effect on everything,
because it’s not just turning off lights
when you’re not using it,
brushing your teeth
and turning off the tap.
Those are a small fraction
of what actually contributes
to a greener and better world.
That simple switch of just looking
at what you have on your plate
is a vote for change,
a vote for change
for what you’d like to see in the world
and for future generations.
And it takes everyday people
to make that shift,
and that shift really starts
from what you have on your plate.
(Rebecca) Every time we eat,
we have a choice.
We can choose health over disease,
peace over violence,
protection over destruction.
Empower yourself with knowledge,
and when you do,
you can answer that question:
Is it time for a change?
♪ (music) ♪