• News from the AKADEMIA Forum 26 May SDGs event


News from the AKADEMIA Forum 26 May SDGs event

    The AKADEMIA Forum is a faculty-student collaborative project in the Department of Humanities that seeks to ask the bigger philosophical questions, seeks to understand contemporary human realities through an anthropological lens while bringing people together to think about ways to create cultures of peace, justice, and egalitarian relations for a common, sustainable future as part of Soka University support for the SDGs.


    On 26 May AKADEMIA CineForum held an event titled: “Do we need to rethink our relationships? How our lifestyle competes with planet earth and wildlife.” We watched part of the groundbreaking documentary “Eating Our Way to Extinction” (2021) (which is available also with Japanese subtitles) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaPge01NQTQ This documentary draws on the latest scientific findings that show how industrial agriculture and our contemporary consumption of beef and other meat is now the biggest causes of climate change, and link directly to the rainforest in Brazil being cut down to grow soy to feed animals (less than 6% of soy production goes directly to feed humans, the rest to feed animals that we eat).


    We learned how our demand for meat has transformed our planet into a vast global plantation; we also learned that the huge demand for fish have created dead zones that destroy the ocean, and its ability to produce what we depend upon for survival, oxygen. As humans have colonized the planet they have also destroyed wildlife habitat. Recent studies find that by weight, wild land animals have been reduced to a total of 22 million tons. Humans now weigh 390 million tons, while their domesticated animals for food consumption total 630 million tons. These roughly 8 billion livestock, particularly cows produce an enormous amount of methane. Methane is 25 times as destructive as Co2 gasses. This is why the documentary was titled – Eating our Way to Extinction.


    Amidst this dire situation, the good news is that changing our eating habits can have immediate impact: decreasing our demand for meat and fish by switching to more plant-based diets is now the most positive impact you can do to save our home, the planet for future life, for your children. In our discussion the question then became an ethical one, ‘if avoiding meat, dairy and fish is the single biggest way to positively impact Earth and save our planet – how far are you willing to change?’ After understanding the facts and impact of a meat-based diet many became willing to reduce their meat and fish intake. Moving towards a more plant-based diet is not only healthier but significantly support the SDGs and a sustainable future.