By Rod Chichinoud

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything” Albert Einstein.

Home

“Home” consists almost entirely of Aerial shots which are underlined by a strong narration. The director Yann Arthus-Bertrand begins his documentary with images of the beauty of our planet as it should be, and then slowly develops the film’s narrative to show how we are destroying it.

My personal thoughts on the film were that I did not feel it had a vegan message, but it definitely had a strong conservationist, ecological, sustainability and Human Rights message.

Yes, veganism is about compassion, empathy and respect for all life on this planet, and rejects all forms of violence and discrimination. But first & foremost I believe that when you take the environmental reasons for going vegan out of the equation, the health & nutrition reasons out of the equation, the conservation reasons out of the equation, the world poverty reasons out of the equation, the sustainability reasons out of the equation, what’s left is veganism, all the above are included by default.
Veganism is primarily about the animals themselves, and I think that sometimes this is forgotten. For example, conservation is more to do with controlling the numbers of animals in the world, rather than dealing with the rights of each individual animal to live freely, and not as property. Hence my problem with zoos and aquariums, which are in reality animal prisons.

However, as an Environmental film “Home” is absorbing from start to finish. It shows us the reality of what we are doing to our planet and all life living upon it, in a non-confrontational way, but still with the ability to shock. The images of this film stayed with me long after the film was over.

Here are some of the topics covered:

  • “The world spends 12 times more on military expenditures, than on aid to developing countries,
  • 5,000 people a day die because of dirty drinking water. 1 billion people have no access to safe drinking water,
  • Nearly 1 billion people are going hungry,
  • 40% of arable land has suffered long-term damage,
  • Every year, 13 millions hectares of forest disappear,
  • One mammal in 4, one bird in 8, one amphibian in 3 are threatened with extinction,
  • Species are dying out at a rhythm 1,000 times faster than the natural rate,
  • Three quarters of the fishing grounds are exhausted, depleted or in dangerous decline,
  • The average temperature of the last 15 years has been the highest ever recorded,
  • The Ice Cap is 40% thinner than 40 years ago,
  • There may be at least 200 million climate refugees by 2050.”

The film event included a tasty soup by Ruuts & Shuuts, delicious cakes by Viv, Aga & Miho, and a talk by Roger Yates, with a Q&A session following the film viewing.

Roger’s talk covered points such as how the term “Global Warming” is now called “Climate Change”, because people believed it to mean warmer weather. That 80% of food is used for animal feed and bio-fuels. That grain is fed to “livestock” instead of directly to the people, and that some Aid Agencies have had to compete against agricultural businesses in bidding for grain. All of which seems to suggest that our priorities are wrong. Roger told the audience of around thirty people, the film reminds us that everything happening on this planet is linked.

In the Q&A session, the main question which arose after watching the film was “what can we do now & how do we go about doing it” ? People wanted to get involved and become active, but they didn’t know where to start. They appreciated the film ending on a positive note, by it looking at some of the solutions which are in place today.

The film’s message was straight forward … There is still time to stop the destruction, but we have to act now. If we don’t, our children in the future will ask us why we didn’t, and I personally don’t want to be around to have to answer that question … Do you ?

I’ll end this review with the final quote from the film itself … “It’s up to us to write what happens next … together”.

Rod Chichignoud