Low on Cruelty, Low on Carbon

Posted by on February 11, 2013 | Permalink

“Go Green” Week starts today – a great student initiative asking people around the country to get serious about tackling climate change. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, recycling and switching over to energy-efficient light bulbs will only get you so far. But to make a lasting difference to the planet, there’s one simple lifestyle change that outweighs all others: going vegan!

Meat’s harmful environmental impacts are too many to list, but they include deforestation, water depletion, soil erosion, fertiliser run-off, methane emissions and pollution from animal transportation.

Raising animals for food is also grossly inefficient: it takes up to 16 pounds of grain fed to an animal to produce just 1 pound of meat. The world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people, more than the entire human population on Earth. If that food were used to feed people directly, rather than being inefficiently funnelled through animals, world hunger could become a thing of the past.

Environmentalism aside, treating animals like factory machines, rather than the complex, sensitive living beings they really are, will never be ethical. Nor is eating meat healthy: it is linked to a wide range of human illnesses, from obesity to cancer.

The “Go Green” organisers suggest that you sign a personal pledge to help save the climate. So why not make it our vegan pledge – a sure-fire way to help both the planet and the animals we share it with.