Today is Blog Action Day, a day when tons of bloggers from around the world write about one single topic of global importance. The topic this year is Climate Change. If you remember last years post on the Blog Action Day topic of poverty, I wrote about how going vegan would be the single most effective way to end poverty and world hunger. This year is no different. Be sure to check out all of the other participating blogs and see what they have to say. If you participated this year, feel free to leave your link in the comments.
Today I am going to tell you the secret to reversing the effects of global warming. It includes just one step. It is not always easy, but also not devastatingly hard, and the benefits reach far beyond saving the world. Ready for it? (Drum roll please….)
Ok, so I’m getting a lot of “no duhs” right now, considering that most people who read this blog are already vegan and fully aware of the effects of their awesome choice of lifestyle. But lets do a little refresher course, shall we? For those of you that don’t know, prepare to be amazed.
“[T]hose who claim to care about the well-being of human beings and the preservation of our environment should become vegetarians for that reason alone. They would thereby increase the amount of grain available to feed people elsewhere, reduce pollution, save water and energy, and cease contributing to the clearing of forests.…
“[W]hen non-vegetarians say that ‘human problems come first’ I cannot help wondering what exactly it is that they are doing for human beings that compels them to continue to support the wasteful, ruthless exploitation of farm animals.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation, 1990
The Devastating Environmental Effects of Factory Farms
- Livestock generates 18% more greenhouse gas emissions than all vehicles in the world combined.
- More than 1/3 of all fossil fuels produced in the US are used to raise animals for food.
- It takes 16lbs of grain to produce 1lb of animal flesh.
- It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1lb of meat.
- The animals raised for food in the U.S. produce 130 times the excrement of the entire human population of this country. Their excrement is more concentrated than human excrement and is often contaminated with herbicides, pesticides, toxic chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, and so on. There is no sewer system for this waste and it is contributed to “run-off” that enters nearby bodies of water, and produce farms.
- Factory farms are the largest source of water pollution, contributing to “dead zones”, human health problems and antibiotic resistance.
- Expansion of livestock is the key factor in deforestation. 70% of land in the amazon previously occupied by forest now contain pastures for animal production.
- The production of one calorie of animal protein requires more than ten times the fossil fuel input as a calorie of plant protein. This means that ten times the amount of carbon dioxide is emitted as well.
- With the energy needed to produce a single hamburger, you could drive a small car twenty miles.
- Eating 1lb of meat emits the same greenhouse gasses as driving an SUV 40 miles.
- Nitrous oxide is about 300 times more potent as a global warming gas than carbon dioxide. According to the U.N., the meat, egg, and dairy industries account for a staggering 65 percent of worldwide nitrous oxide emissions.
- The billions of farmed animals crammed into factory farms produce enormous amounts of methane, both during digestion and from the acres of cesspools filled with feces that they excrete. Methane is more than 20 times as powerful as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere.
How Going Vegan Helps
If everyone went vegan just for one day, the U.S. would save:
● 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months;
● 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year;
● 70 million gallons of gas — enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare;
● 3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the size of Delaware;
● 33 tons of antibiotics.
If everyone went vegan just for one day, the U.S. would prevent:
● Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million tons of CO2, as much as produced by all of France;
● 3 million tons of soil erosion and $70 million in resulting economic damages;
● 4.5 million tons of animal excrement;
● Almost 7 tons of ammonia emissions, a major air pollutant.
Also: According to Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.
Keep in mind that these stats are JUST for the US and JUST for one day.
Jumping into veganism is a big task, but it is easily done if you are truly committed to making the world a better place for yourself, the animals, and mother nature. While you are attempting your transition, try to cut down your use of animal products to just one or two times a week. Make sure that the meat and dairy you do consume is from local, free range and organic livestock. This will further reduce your carbon footprint and provide healthier food.
I hope this was informative! Thanks for tuning in on this Blog Action Day! Till next year….