I will be the first to admit I don’t have a lot in common with Joaquin Phoenix. Case in point, I will never:
- Win an Oscar
- Star in a Hollywood blockbuster
- Wear anything made by Stella McCartney
Conversely, Joaquin Phoenix and I do have one major thing in common: we both passionately care about preserving our environment.
Last night, Joaquin Phoenix made what many believe was a moving Oscar acceptance speech about the inequalities in our world and how we should strive to treat each other equally and peacefully. I am all for improving the quality of life for all people but forgive me if I don’t join hands with the Hollywood elite and sing kumbaya in a dismal effort to save the world.
Joaquin Phoenix strives to make positive progress on the issues that “distress” him by making public speeches at movie premieres and awards shows that he travels to via airplanes. But don’t worry, he definitely is offsetting the 2-3 tons of carbon per round trip flight by unselfishly wearing the same suit to five award shows in the name of climate preservation. Bravo!
Do you know what distresses me?
- If the public schools in our state will receive enough funding to stay open for my daughter’s future quality education.
- Raising a daughter in a world that doesn’t value women as equals.
- High-profile celebrities making unfounded statements about agriculture based on propaganda they read from peta, HSUS and other animal rights extremist groups.
- Urban encroachment swallowing the rural haven my family and I work so hard to preserve.
- I worry that policy created by people who have no rural knowledge will make it impossible for my ranch to be profitable in the future.
These are the real concerns I have about our world and here are the things I do to institute change:
- Serve on local county boards in the community
- Stand up for women when I see inequality or sexism
- Talk to my state and national representatives about policy that affects my family
- Speak to grocery shoppers about how we sustainably raise beef on our ranch
More specifically, in relation to climate change, our household practices these habits to help lessen our impact on the environment:
- Lessen our use of plastics
- Meal plan and eat leftovers to reduce food waste (read more about my strive to lessen that here, here and here)
- Use reusable grocery bags when shopping
- Walk to the post office in our small town
- We don’t fly around the world on private jets – it’s a sacrifice for sure, but we are committed!
Furthermore, our cows help the environment by restoring carbon into the soil while they are grazing, providing fertilizer for crop fields and upcycling food waste and human-inedible foods into tasty and nutritious beef. Did you know that cows contribute less than 2% of GHG emissions?* Did you also know that the U.S. produces more beef than we did in 1975 using a 1/3 less cattle? If sustainability means doing more with less, then beef producers in the United States are, in fact, sustainable! Click To Tweet
I will concede that Joaquin got one thing right during his speech when he said the following:
“But human beings, at our best, are so inventive and creative and ingenious, and I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.”
I wholeheartedly agree that human beings are creative and inventive. I have great pride in the strides that farmers and ranchers have made in the past several years to make agriculture more productive, such as:
- Strategic grazing
- Cover crop use
- Development and use of GMOs
- Utilizing better genetics (crops and livestock) to increase yields using fewer resources
- Precision agriculture
I applaud Joaquin Phoenix and his fellow famous folks in their efforts to save the planet – I think all people need to make sure we are preserving our environment for future generations. But honestly, Joaquin would have much more of a positive impact on our climate if he would come help me move cows from one pasture to the next, feed DDGs (a by-product of ethanol production) to the cows in the wet winter weather or… Click To Tweet
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~
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*EPA. 2018. Inventory of U. S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2016. U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D. C.