Many times we wring our hands and feel bad because we ‘think’ that we do not have the power to change how corporations do business. But, this great article written by Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for the Humane Society of the United States informs us of one choice we can make weekly and that is meatless mondays, a day to revel in the great gifts the planet offers us in the form of plant-based food.
The evidence keeps growing towards the numerous benefits of plant-based eating and all it takes is one day a week. And, you can go from there, maybe then you’ll try 2, and then 3, who knows where this will lead to, but, it will lead to a healthier planet, healthier people and kindness toward other beings who share this beautiful planet with us.
Here is the link to the article and below is the article:
By Paul Shapiro
This year has seen much heated debate over climate change – on the campaign trail, in Washington and in newspaper headlines. But a conclusion shared by a growing number of climate experts underscores the fact that Americans can do more than just debate climate change; each and every one of us can take action to fix the problem.
In fact, every time we sit down to eat we can choose to help stop global warning, and it’s as easy as eating our fruits and vegetables.
Let’s look at the big picture. Raising enormous numbers of animals for food—tens of billions globally—causes significant emissions of three of the most important climate-changing gases — methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide – which disrupts weather, temperature and ecosystem health. This is one reason the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations calls animal agriculture one of the top causes of climate change, contributing nearly 20 percent of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, the mass production of farm animals is a main cause of deforestation, clearing land for grazing as well as to grow corn and soy to feed to billions of farm animals. I don’t think we could create a less efficient and more environmentally troublesome model to feed the world if we tried.
And, of course, the industrial scale production methods inherent to factory farming are the source of inhumane practices and large amounts of animal suffering.
With the mounting evidence of animal agriculture’s damaging toll, leading climate experts, environmental organizations and animal welfare advocates are urging people to take one simple action to yield big results for the planet: eat less meat.
Rajendra Pachauri, Ph.D., the chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with Vice President Gore, makes no bones about his stance, stating “Give up meat for one day [a week] initially, and decrease it from there…”
The European Union has come to the same conclusion. This year, a study for European Commission found that among the behavioral options studied, the continent’s greatest potential for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 was to simply reduce its meat intake.
As we start out this New Year and plan how to better ourselves and the world around us, we can start by cutting back on meat for a more sustainable and more compassionate planet.
Eating less meat is a simple solution to a big problem, which is why the Meatless Mondays campaign has gained such widespread support among climate scientists, environmental nonprofits, celebrities like Oprah and Paul McCartney, more than 2,400 hospitals, schools and restaurants and millions of Americans.
An increasing numbers of family farmers also are voicing their support for Meatless Monday as a means to achieve a more sustainable agricultural system. With the rise of industrial-style consolidation, more and more animals are being raised on fewer farms with the result being that factory farming has harmed animals, farmers, and the environment alike.
Eating less meat might be the most simple – and delicious – way to help combat global warming and factory farming in 2013. At The Humane Society of the United States, we call it implementing the Three R’s: reducing the consumption of meat and other animal-based foods; refining the diet by avoiding products from the worst production systems, like gestation crates for breeding pigs and barren battery cages for egg-laying hens; and replacing meat and other animal-based foods in the diet with plant-based foods.
While we don’t know what steps will be taken in 2013 to combat climate change by the world’s politicians and businesses, we can take action for a more sustainable planet every time we eat, and January 1 is as good a day as any to get started.
Paul Shapiro is the vice president of farm animal protection for the Humane Society of the United States. Follow him at http://twitter.com/pshapiro.