For Immediate Release:
21 August 2019
Animal Protection Group Urges City of Launceston Council to Serve Only Vegan Meals at Council Premises and Events
Launceston – After the City of Launceston council declared a climate emergency, animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent a letter to Mayor Albert van Zetten suggesting a tangible action that would go a long way towards reducing emissions: introducing a policy of serving only vegan food at council premises and events.
In the letter, the group points to the overwhelming evidence that the consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy contributes to climate change, noting that whilst the council’s commitment to renewable energy targets is admirable, it’s important not to ignore findings that animal “products” account for 58% of food-related greenhouse-gas emissions and animal agriculture is responsible for 14.5% to 18% of human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions.
“Clearing land to graze farmed animals and grow feed crops is a major cause of deforestation, drought, desertification, and biodiversity loss,” writes PETA Outreach and Partnerships Manager Emily Rice. “In Australia, more than 50% of methane emissions come from farmed animals – this is terrifying when you consider that methane is roughly 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. Additionally, animal agriculture is a thirsty industry: a whopping 15,415 litres of water are required to make just 1 kilogram of beef, compared to the 287 litres of water needed to produce 1 kilogram of potatoes.”
The United Nations has stated that a global shift towards a vegan diet is necessary to prevent the worst effects of climate change. Today, no one can offer any reasonable justification for continuing to support the production of animal-based foods, and PETA is calling on those in positions of power to lead by example.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – notes that over 500 million animals are raised and slaughtered for food in Australia each year, an extremely resource-intensive practice that uses vast quantities of land, water, and crops and subjects gentle, sensitive animals to systemic abuse and painful, terrifying deaths.