What Can YOU Do About The Food Crisis or Climate Change?
In response to those who have written saying, "I’m a vegan–the food crisis and climate change aren’t my fault! What else can I possibly do?" (or something like that), I pass that question back to you. Let’s come up with some ideas.
I tomorrow’s NYT Magazine, "The Green Issue," there are some good ideas and some that won’t apply to you because they’re animal based and the NYT hasn’t gotten around to taking the connection between animals for food and climate change seriously. They do have an entire section called "Eat," wherein the penultimate tip, "The High Price of Beef," states:
Trimming the amount of meat Americans eat would
not only help the planet — a mere 20 percent reduction is the equivalent
of switching from a Camry to a Prius — but would also be likely to reduce
and heart disease. Until recently, it was only animal rights groups like PETA
that were willing to ask Americans to forgo the pleasures of the flesh. That
changed in January, when Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (and a vegetarian), uttered four little words: “Please
eat less meat.” He continued: “This is something that the I.P.C.C.
was afraid to say earlier, but now we have said it.”
Other than that, unless I missed something, the "production" of food that comes from animals doesn’t appear to be a serious problem.
With regard to the food crisis, every article I’ve read has at least one sentence regarding the connection between eating animals and global hunger. But sometimes only one sentence.
So what can someone who’s already being part of the solution contribute? Here are some thoughts:
- I find many vegans to be single-issue focused. I’d like to see more discussions that connect other issues relating to nonviolence and social justice (and the environment) because I think they make going vegan an even stronger idea as it’s part of the solution to so many issues. (Part, as in: aligning actions with beliefs.) I also think that when you present veganism as necessary if you’re serious about climate change, nonviolence, etc…, it’s tough for someone to accuse you of loving animals and not people (which is ridiculous, but we all know people who do that) because your issue isn’t with the treatment of animals–it’s with promoting justice.
- Educating others about why veganism is an integral part of a plan that would ease the food crisis and climate change (not to mention create a healthier, thinner population in the ever-fattening West).
- Stop buying products made with corn. You may have already done that. I’d also add rice to the list of products not to buy. Even wheat. And here’s why: demand for corn, rice and wheat (and of course meat) are in large part what’s causing the crisis (though it really is more of a distribution crisis). And often when people learn of a supply and demand crisis, they rush out to buy as much of the product as possible, thereby exacerbating the problem. To flip that situation (and this is also true when investing–you don’t buy when prices are high and the stock is in demand–that’s when you get out!), whatever product is experiencing market stress is one to avoid as to not add to the stress. Besides, there are people who need that rice and wheat a lot more than you do. Eat more quinoa. It’s better for you, anyway.
What do you think?