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You Can't Be a Meat-Eating Environmentalist - Celebrate Earth Day by Going Vegan

by Writers Room

posted in Food and Drink

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A November 2006 United Nations report revealed that raising animals for food generates additional greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the planet combined. Senior U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) official Henning Steinfeld said that the meat business is "one in every of the most vital contributors to these days's most serious environmental problems."

Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide along cause the vast majority of worldwide warming. The livestock sector is one in every of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide and the only largest source of each methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Of course, in keeping with the U.N., "the livestock sector accounts for 9 % of CO2 deriving from human-connected activities, however produces a much larger share of even additional harmful greenhouse gases. It generates sixty five p.c of human-connected nitrous oxide, that has 296 times the International Warming Potential of CO2. Most of this comes from manure."

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago determined that switching to a vegan (pure vegetarian) diet is more effective in countering global warming than switching from a normal Yankee automobile to a Toyota Prius. The researchers, Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin, found that Yankee meat-eaters, on average, are accountable for nearly 1.five tons additional carbon dioxide per person per year than vegans merely because of their food choices.

The FAO report, "Livestock's Long Shadow--Environmental Problems and Choices," indicates that animal agriculture is also a serious supply of land and water degradation. Livestock production accounts for seventy percent of all agricultural land and 30 p.c of the land surface of the planet. The report states that "growth of livestock production may be a key issue in deforestation, especially in Latin America where the greatest quantity of deforestation is going on--70 p.c of previous forested land in the Amazon is occupied by pastures, and feedcrops cover a giant part of the remainder."

Additional than 260 million acres of U.S. forest are cleared to form cropland to grow grain to feed farmed animals, which are fed more than 70 % of the corn, wheat, and different grains grown in the U.S.

The world's cattle alone consume a amount of food equal to the caloric needs of billion folks--a lot of than the whole human population on Earth. It'd be a lot of a lot of economical to feed this food on to hungry, malnourished people. Approximately 1.4 billion individuals may be fed with the grain and soybeans fed to U.S. cattle alone.

Eating a vegan diet saves water as well. It takes five,000 gallons of water to provide 1 pound of meat, but only twenty five gallons of water are required to grow one pound of wheat. Of course, a vegan diet needs only three hundred gallons of water per day, whereas a meat-eating diet needs a lot of than four,000 gallons of water per day. You save a lot of water by not eating a pound of beef than you do by not showering for a complete year.

Animal agriculture not only wastes water however also pollutes our waterways. The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that factory farms pollute our waterways more than all alternative industrial sources combined. Animals raised for food turn out approximately a hundred thirty times as much excrement as the whole human population--87,000 pounds per second. A Scripps Howard synopsis of a Senate Agricultural Committee report on farm pollution issued this warning about animal waste: "[I]t's untreated and unsanitary, bubbling with chemicals and diseased. ... It goes onto the soil and into the water that several people can, ultimately, bathe in and wash their clothes with and drink. It is poisoning rivers and killing fish and creating people sick. ... Catastrophic cases of pollution, sickness, and death are occurring in areas where livestock operations are concentrated. ... Every place where the animal factories have located, neighbors have complained of falling sick."

Nothing smart comes from animal agriculture. Tasty and nutritious mock meats, nondairy milks, and egg alternatives will be made without employing a single animal. And by going vegan, you'll not solely help the atmosphere however conjointly facilitate shield your health and save animals' lives. Each vegetarian saves a lot of than a hundred animals each year. Thus respect your fellow earthlings this Earth Day--please see // Meat and the Surroundings for a lot of information and a free vegetarian starter kit.

Heather Moore may be a senior author for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in Norfolk, Va. where she lives together with her rescued dog, Carly. Heather frequently writes on vegetarianism and health problems as a contract writer and for PETA. Her work has appeared in IMPACT Press, Enlightened Practice Magazine, Animal's Agenda, I Love Cats, New Mobility, Satya, Wadi, Vivid, Writer's Post Journal, and many different publications.

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Writers Room has been writing articles online for nearly 2 years now. Not only does this author specialize in Agriculture, you can also check out his latest website about:

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