For Immediate Release:
31 August 2020
Animal Rights Group Proposes 30-Day Programme to Help Minister Save Koalas
Sydney – After New South Wales Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean announced his ambitious commitment to doubling the state’s koala population by 2050, animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has reached out to suggest a simple way he can make a difference for the native animals and help curb climate change: taking PETA’s 30-day vegan challenge.
In its letter, the group points out that land clearing, drought, and higher temperatures as a result of climate change are among the biggest drivers of koala population decline and that eating vegan can have a positive impact on all three.
“[Animal agriculture causes] a lot of destruction for ‘products’ we simply don’t need – especially when healthy and delicious alternatives abound,” writes PETA Senior Outreach and Partnerships Manager Emily Rice. “The evidence is clear: we must make major changes to our diets in order to survive.”
The “Land Cover Change in Queensland” report revealed that approximately 93% of land cleared in that state in 2017 and 2018 was assigned to “pasture”. That’s about 400 million potential koala homes felled to make way for cows who would be slaughtered for their flesh or exploited for their milk. Another report found that land in the Sunshine State was being cleared at a rate of an area the size of the Gabba every three minutes. Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of climate change, and combined, the top five meat and dairy corporations are responsible for more greenhouse-gas emissions than Shell, ExxonMobil, or BP.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – notes that over 500 million animals are raised and slaughtered for food in Australia each year, an extremely resource-intensive practice that uses vast amounts of land, water, and crops and subjects gentle, sensitive animals to systemic abuse and painful, terrifying deaths.