Meat and the Environment
Would you ever prepare 16 plates of pasta, then toss 15 in the rubbish and eat just one? How about levelling 5 square metres of rainforest for a single meal or dumping 9,000 litres of water down the drain? Of course you wouldn’t think of doing those things. But if you’re eating chickens, fish, sheep, pigs, cows, milk, eggs or any other “farmed” animal or animal-derived food, you’re doing things that are effectively similar—wasting resources and destroying our environment.
A United Nations report concluded that a global shift towards a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change. And the UN is not alone in its analysis. According to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute, a staggering 51 per cent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture. Researchers at the University of Chicago concluded that switching from a standard Western diet to a vegan diet is more effective in the fight against climate change than switching from a standard passenger car to a hybrid. And a German study conducted in 2008 concluded that a meat-eater’s diet is responsible for more than seven times as much greenhouse-gas emission as a vegan’s diet. The verdict is in: if you care about the environment, one of the single most effective things you can do to save it is to adopt a vegan diet.
Many leading environmental organisations – including the National Audubon Society, the Worldwatch Institute, the Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists and even Al Gore’s Live Earth – have recognised that raising animals for food damages the environment more than just about anything else that we do. Whether it’s the overuse of resources, climate change, massive water and air pollution or soil erosion, raising animals for food is wreaking havoc on the Earth.
The most important step you can take to save the planet is to go vegan. Order PETA’s free vegetarian/vegan starter kit for tips and recipes to get you started on an Earth-friendly vegan diet today.