Today I am sharing a documentary with you again. I’ve waited way too long with sharing it, I saw this documentary in 2015 already. I love documentaries but I have to say this is a tough one again. It might make climate change seem overwhelming, like we have no power as individuals. But that’s not true and I don’t want you to feel like that. I chose to share it because we need to see the urgency of climate change, now. It is tough to see, but it’s necessary. If you have not seen this documentary, you should definitely watch it. The documentary about a horrendous effect of climate change: Racing Extinction.
Racing Extinction is one of the first documentaries I watched together with someone else, my dad. It’s a documentary that makes you ashamed of the human race. Racing Extinction tells the story of climate change and how species go extinct because of that. Species going extinct is normal, it happens in all times and it’s a normal proces because of natural selection. But the extinction rate we’re facing right now is not normal at all, it’s done by us humans. We’re threatening all life on earth.
The documentary starts with beautiful footage from the blue whale, the biggest creature to ever live (yes, bigger than dinosaurs!). And then the footage switches to a restaurant where blue whale is served as food. And them comes the footage of whale hunting. It’s so confronting to see the direct link of our behavior. I was also surprised on how normal it still is to hunt for wild animals. Undercover footage of a rooftop full with hundreds (or maybe thousands) of shark fins, the market of Hong Kong where dead sea-turtles are sold or sculptures of ivory. It makes me so sad, why haven’t we made the culture shift yet? And this is on all of us, not just specific countries. We, the whole world, let this happen. Yet, where the documentary shows the negative part of humanity, it also shows stories of heroes. And I think it’s time to see these stories. The people that do the dirty work and fight so hard. You barely ever see these stories. Activists are amazing! Fighting for the change you want to see in the world, that’s how I like it.
The Problem we Created
Maybe the examples I’ve just sketched are misleading. But I wanted to name the most tangible examples first. However, hunting is not the biggest contributor to the current extinction rates. The biggest causes are climate change and habitat loss. Those are big problems and can’t be shown in just one image or one piece of footage. Also, most people don’t know this is the problem. They think hunting is the problem. That’s by far not the biggest factor. The biggest factor is the way we as human beings live and so that’s what we should change. However, there are other things we do to make the situation even worse. That’s hunting and eating animals (which is also directly related to climate change and habitat loss). This documentary shows a lot of the problems in the ocean. Extinction of sharks, fish, corals, whales and more (I guess the oceans are some of the most beautiful places on the planet). However, what we do on land directly affects that. Dead oceans, dead planet.
‘My hope is that if you can show people the beauty of these animals, there’s a chance to save these things’ – Louie Psihoyos
Want to know what you can do?
The problem of climate change and habitat loss is huge. There are so many factors that contribute to this problem. You can see that as a negative thing (and it is), but this also means that there are multiple ways to fix it too. There is so much we can do! And all these actions affect other people too. Since I’ve personally gone vegan, a lot of people around me have cut their meat consumption quite a bit. It’s a butterfly effect, don’t ever forget that.
– Go vegan. This is such a big part of the solution. Animal agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Meat an dairy are horrendous. And if you stop eating fish we prevent the oceans from being fished entirely empty and life will be able to flourish again.
– Lower the amount of new stuff you buy. This is also one of the biggest things we can do as human beings to cut down emissions. Buy secondhand or not at all.
– Don’t fly. Aviation is destroying the planet.
– Don’t buy sketchy souvenirs. I can’t imagine people buying ivory or something like that but I guess most people don’t even know they’re buying real animals. If the price is low enough, people think it’s fake. Don’t assume anything. Always check what you’re buying.