World Environment Day: Green Means Vegan!
Sadly there are still “environmentalists” out there who like to talk the talk but not walk the walk when it comes to their diet. To mark World Environment Day on 5 June, here a few nuggets of information to put to any meat-, dairy- and egg-eating “environmentalists” you happen to know:
- The bacteria, pesticides and antibiotics that are concentrated in animal flesh are also found in their faeces, and these chemicals can have catastrophic effects on the ecosystems surrounding large farms. In the US, animals raised for food produce 130 times the excrement of the humans who live there. Much of the waste from factory farms and abattoirs flows into streams and rivers, contaminating water sources.
- Scientists estimate that animals must be fed up to 10 kilograms of grain to produce just 1 kilogram 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.
- In the past 50 years, the fishing industry has exterminated 90 per cent of large fish populations. Fishing nets capture all the animals in their path, and for every fish who ends up on a plate, many other animals were caught in nets and killed. During one year alone, an average of 16 kilograms of fish were sold per person worldwide – in the same year, 200 kilograms of marine animals per person were hauled up and discarded as “by-catch”.
- It takes 20,940 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of meat but only 503 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of wheat. A vegan diet requires only 1,137 litres of water per day, while a meat-based diet requires more than 15,160 litres of water per day.
- Feeding our appetite for flesh requires fuel to produce fertiliser for crops to feed animals, oil to run the trucks that take them to slaughter and electricity to freeze their carcasses. In some countries, more than one-third of the fuel and raw materials used each year goes towards raising animals for food.
And you don’t need to take our word for it – a recent United Nations report found that the meat industry alone is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”. This World Environment Day, why not help PETA spread the word that in order to be green, you have to eat green, by forwarding our vegan starter kit to family, friends and colleagues?