Last week, I got a message in my inbox: Starbucks is now selling vegan cookies!!!! Vegan revolution OMG!! And my cynical first thought was, "What? And why the hell should I patronize an organization I lovingly refer to as Starfucks?" Maybe I'm an anomaly as a vegan, or maybe I'm just an idealist, but I care about liberation for all, not just the animals. We shouldn't have to sacrifice one set of rights for another.
Ecosystems—systems, mind you—are as much interconnected and interdependent on us as we are on them. It's a simple premise, but understanding how to mitigate and undo the harm done to the planet by humans is another matter. Caroline Fraser, author of the recently released Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution, says it very simply: "Lose the animals, lose the ecosystem. Lose the ecosystems, game over."
Claire Danes is starring in a new HBO movie premiering tonight based on the life's work of animal scientist, livestock consultant, inventor, and writer Dr. Temple Grandin. In the past, I've said that Grandin's work might bring people closer to understanding animals as sentient beings, deserving of our compassion and protection. But maybe I was wrong.