At a Climate Reality Project gathering of over 900 people from all over the world, Al Gore said, "Eat less meat and more fruits and vegetables." That is a direct quote, provided to us by Sailesh Rao who was in attendance. Wait a minute! you say. Hasn't he already been saying this? Actually, no. All he has ever said is that animal agriculture is part of the problem, and only when asked about the subject. His phrasing has made animal agriculture sound like a benign tumor; not wanted, but not terribly important to get worked up over.
As, we have mentioned in past articles, animal agriculture is a huge problem, and not to give it equal time and importance as renewables and carbon credits is doing a great disservice to people looking to find solutions in which they can participate. After all, not everyone can afford to buy solar panels, but everyone can change what they eat.
Members of Operation Missing Link were present at the hotel where Mr. Gore was speaking, with signs and brochures to talk to conference attendees about animal agriculture's impact on climate change. If they were not aware, we wanted to make them aware. If they were aware, we wanted to start talking more openly and actively about it. These people were being trained to talk to others about the dangers of climate change and its solutions, and we feel they should be armed with all the necessary information to do their jobs effectively.
We were pleasantly surprised to meet many vegan attendees. We were disappointed to hear that they had to be quite vocal to make sure that catering had something delectable for them to eat instead of just salad and carrots sticks. It would be more appropriate that vegan foods be the norm at a climate change conference and that people would have to opt for animal-based foods.
We are very happy and thankful to hear Mr. Gore make this statement. We would like to think that it was on his own volition and not because of a few picketers. Of course, this was a closed event so it remains to be seen whether Al Gore addresses this topic in his public statements without being asked about it. Until he does, Operation Missing Link will remain active. If you haven't participated in Operation Missing Link yet, please take a look at the various ways you can help.
Thanks to Mike, Ronnie, Andrea, Sayed from Santa Clara County Activists for Animals, Priya and Marilyn from Stanford, and Eileen from Berkeley for participating, holding up signs and talking to people. To see the finer details of Operation Missing Link's presence at the event, please check out our Facebook events page.