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On Veganism and Earth Day

Veganism is a powerful vehicle for social, cultural and environmental change.

Today is Earth Day, and if you are interested in making Earth more habitable for all creatures, now and in the future, the single most important action you can take is to become a vegan. Sure, you should reduce, reuse and recycle (with emphasis on reducing consumption–and stop buying those boxes with dozens of individually-wrapped single servings of . . . anything! And buy loose tea rather than tea bags! And look into gDiapers for that rug rat!)

Reread commentary on The University of Chicago Study (or read the study itself
) as well as commentary on Livestock’s Long Shadow (or read the paper itself–it’s fascinating) and remember that:

  • Eating meat requires 1.5 TONS more carbon dioxide per person (annually) than eating a plant-based diet.
  • Eating meat requires over 4,000 gallons of water PER DAY, versus 300 for a vegan diet.
  • Livestock production is responsible for:
    • more climate change gases than all the motor vehicles in the world
    • 70% of the Amazon deforestation
    • 64% of the acide rain-producing ammonia.
  • Livestock use 30% of Earth’s land surface, including 33% of the global arable land.
  • 15 of the 24 vast global ecosystems that are in decline can blame livestock.

Not only is veganism the moral, ethical thing to do for the sentient beings we share the earth with, it’s the moral, ethical thing to do for Earth itself.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Right on. And this points to another key reality: free-range concepts aren't doing the planet any good. Given the state of the globe's atmosphere, deforestation, water pollution, and the decimation of free-living communities, we should view the now-popular advocacy for more space in animal agribusiness as malpractice.

    Gidon Eshel suggests that grass-fed animals not only produce methane; they emit substantially more methane than their feedlot counterparts. And if animal agribusiness is already a plague on the planet, why should we keep encroaching on the habitat of free animals — the ones who really could enjoy "animal rights" if we'd let them live?

    Rather than take up more land, veganism does precisely the reverse: reduces the space we need to feed ourselves.

    And, of course, it categorically rejects slaughter as prohibitively disrespectful.

    April 23, 2007
  2. brandi #

    I stumbled onto your site looking for information regarding vegetarian greyhounds, but wanted to say I wish everyone would read this particular post of yours. As my partner and I were walking around the food area at the St. Louis Earth Day Festival yesterday, I was a bit dismayed at the booths with meat options. While I realize I live in the meat-lovin' midwest, I think an important point was missed.

    April 23, 2007
  3. Mike Grieco #

    It's realy sad we don't get the whole picture to what we are doing to this planet,thanks Mary. And why does Mr.Gore not speak out in regards to this other "tragic" side of "Using and Abusing" animals (or did I miss something?
    A couple of months ago I went to a "conservation" gathering, their WAS some meat served! All I could think of was, would it "KILL" anyone here "NOT" to eat an animal at this gathering? At least this one time!
    Perhaps I will do my best to share your words of wisdom, thanks again Mary,


    April 26, 2007

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