02 Aug Review of “Living in the Time of Dying”
This 54 minute documentary produced by Australian Michael Shaw featuring Catherine Ingram, Dahr Jamail, Jem Bendell and Stan Rushworth presents a bleak, Western perspective on our ecological crisis. Other than Cherokee Elder, Stan Rushworth, the other principals in the documentary are well-educated, privileged Western “doomers” who are certain that the world is going to hell in a hand basket and billions of people are going to die in short order.
“Our world is trembling. It’s coming apart at the seams. The social systems, the political systems and most importantly of all, our ecological system is breaking down.
Is it a given that the human species goes extinct? No. Does it look like that’s what’s going to happen? – very, very, very likely. It’s really hard to see that it does not end that way. But we don’t know for sure… I think it’s a given that billions and billions of people are going to die.”
You get the picture and it is very bleak. The sole voice I resonated with in the documentary was that of Stan Rushworth, who points out that saying the Earth would be better off without humans is like saying a mother would be better off without her child.
Fundamentally, I have an issue with even the title of the documentary, “Living in the Time of Dying.” Let us be very clear – the planet, the animals and the climate refugees are not “dying”…
They are being murdered.
“Dying” makes it seem like this is all happening due to some unknown natural causes. But once we recognize that this is murder, then we can find out who is doing the murdering so that we can actively put an end to it.
All fingers point to us in the global industrial society. Then we must each STOP hurting the planet, STOP hurting the animals, STOP hurting ourselves and START healing our world. Eat a whole-foods plant-based Vegan diet, for starters.
And let’s get healthy, immune-boosting whole plant-based Vegan foods easily available in food deserts, where people are dying because they now have easy access to only unhealthy fast foods.
For the privileged, with each animal-based food choice you make with your fork, you are authorizing the murder of an animal. You don’t see it, but down deep you know it is happening.
Plus, when you follow the trail, you realize that you are also authorizing the use of all the resources it took to feed and house and clean and grow and transform the animal into the products you consume. And also, all the factories and packaging and transportation it took to get that burger to the drive up window. Just because you ignore these truths, does not mean that they are not happening at your request
Yes, we need to dare to look at our way of life and what we eat. We need different systems of political, social and economic organization to make this work, but who said that a capitalist colonial empire headed by a narcissistic President is the only way to organize ourselves? We can and will do better.
Just as Dahr Jamail says in the documentary that he is devoting his life to serve his 16 year old nephew, I too am devoting my life to serve my 9 year old granddaughter, Kimaya. And she has made it clear to me that she wants to see a VEGAN world as soon as possible, definitely before 2026.
You see, Kimaya can’t stand to see her animal relatives murdered, chopped up and eaten. Even by well educated doomers who lament their “dying.” Therefore, it’s time to move beyond the privileged Western perspective and look at our ecological crisis from the perspective of a less-privileged person of color from the global South. Or further yet, from the perspective of a tiger, a bear, a turkey, a chicken or a cow.
Imagine this: “I was born in a crate. I know who my mother is, but not my father. My mother was impregnated by a cold steel machine. I did not get to drink her mother’s milk because it was stolen by steel machines who milked her dry. I heard the cries of my brothers and sisters as they were led into a truck to be taken for slaughter and I felt their pain. Then they came to take me for a walk. Little did I know that I was also to be slaughtered, chopped up, packaged, frozen, shipped out, cooked and handed out of a window to someone driving by in a car to be consumed as a unhealthy meal that will land him in the hospital. Is this what life is about?”
Please weigh at least these two perspectives in your journey to understand where we find ourselves living in this time of “dying”.
If you would like to create a loving world for all beings, please join us at VeganWorld2026.org and help us fulfill Kimaya’s wish.