Eight months pregnant, with her belly painted like the Earth, PETA activist Eliza Fitzgerald fearlessly took to the streets of Sydney for World Vegan Month with an important proclamation: “Vegan – for Animals, My Health, the Planet, and Future Generations”.
Killing Animals Is Killing Our Planet
Whether you’re worried about greenhouse gases, water pollution, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, or drought, animal agriculture is bad news for the environment. According to the United Nations, raising animals for food is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”.
Australia is one of the world’s worst deforestation hotspots, and a recent “State of the Environment Report” found that almost half the country is now used for grazing, feeding some 74 million sheep and 27 million cows. In addition to the obvious detrimental impact on native animals’ habitats, breeding ruminant animals contributes significantly to climate change because of the release of greenhouse gases.
An extensive study published in Nature Food in 2021 found that animal agriculture is responsible for up to 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The researchers studied 171 crops and 16 animal-derived foods in 200 countries and found that the use of animals for meat and dairy causes twice as much pollution as producing plant-based foods.
The Future Is Vegan
Scientists agree that we must urgently move away from animal agriculture to avoid disastrous climate change. Researchers at Oxford University have declared that going vegan is the “single biggest way” to reduce an individual’s environmental impact on the Earth.
In addition, you will save the lives of nearly 200 animals a year – including cows who can learn to unlock gates, pigs who sing to their babies, sheep who wag their tails when they’re happy, chickens who tuck their chicks under their wings for protection, and fish who make sand art or use tools to open shells. All of them want to live, not be slaughtered for a fleeting taste of flesh.
A compassionate plant-based diet is the obvious choice for people who want a better tomorrow.
Interest in vegan living is booming, and animal-free options abound in supermarkets and restaurants. What more are you waiting for? Join Eliza by taking the World Vegan Month challenge now: