The 2007 Dutch documentary Meat the Truth was the first of its kind. Meat the Truth took an in-depth look at the environmental impact of wide scale meat production at a time when most people still attributed greenhouse gasses to cars. Last week, it was featured at Klimaforum 09, held during the Copenhagen Climate Summit. In honor of the Summit, we spoke with the documentary’s producer, Monique van Dijk Armor.
What inspired you to undertake this project?
We hear about greenhouse gas emissions caused by cars, trucks, planes and industry, but never about one of the biggest causes: livestock farming! The information was out there, but the general public hadn’t heard about it.
How has Meat the Truth helped spread visibility and awareness about factory farming?
We wanted to stimulate people to become aware of the critical situation, and then to act on it – by eating vegetarian 1 or 2 days a week. We tried to make the information accessible for the general public. Now even children see how simple the message is!
Meat the Truth is still being screened all over the planet. We receive daily requests to screen our film at universities, film festivals, conferences and theaters. It’s working!
The film encourages viewers to go meatless one day a week. Does one day really make a difference?
Oh yes, definitely! If everyone would contribute it would make a HUGE difference! Some examples:
If everyone is the US went meatless one day a week:
The carbon savings would be the same as taking 19.2 million cars off U.S. roads for a year.
They would also save 99.6 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions, the same as 46 million round trip flights from New York to Los Angeles!
If everyone in the UK went meatless one day a week:
They would save 13 million tons of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. This would result in a bigger carbon savings than taking 5 million cars off the road in the UK!
If everyone in The Netherlands went meatless one day a week:
It would lead to the same carbon savings as taking 1 million cars off the road for a year
Carbon savings tables are available on the Meat the Truth website.
The environmental impact of meat consumption is finally being discussed seriously. Two weeks ago, Paul McCartney and Al Gore urged European Parliament to go meatless one day a week. Were you excited to be taking part in Klimaforum 09, given this new trend?
So excited! We think it’s great how Paul McCartney is doing this Meat-Free Monday campaign and how he addressed the European Parliament. It’s so important that people know the truth. We hope those in the European Parliament (and parliaments all over the world) set a good example with at least 1 meatless day a week!