Well, word’s finally gotten out that you can’t go around calling yourself an environmentalist if you’re not a vegan. Even if you drive a Prius and unplug things when you go out. That means anyone who eats meat or animal products is contributing to global warming and the destruction of the earth at a higher rate of those who do not.
It’s great if you drive an energy-efficient car, you insulate your home, unplug appliances and turn off lights, use items with less packaging and recycle, etc. But once you pick up that burger 0r chicken patty, you’re wrecking your record. Cows emit tons of methane. And that’s not just it. Their waste destroys land and and overuses and pollutes our water. They are eating many times the amount of grain that could be fed directly to people, wasting so many resources in the process. Livestock also contributes about 2/3 of ammonia emissions, which acidify the environment, causing acid rain and much other damage. Chemicals and antibiotics that the animals are loaded up with don’t just go away. They are found all over the environment, such as in the water supply. Forests of all kinds, including rainforests, are cleared to make room for animals to pasture. Recent analysis by Goodland and Anhang finds that “livestock and their byproducts actually account for at least 32.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions.”
From PETA (goveg.com):
“More than half of the water used in the United States today goes to animal agriculture, and since farmed animals produce 130 times more excrement than the human population, the run-off from their waste is fouling our waterways. Animal excrement emits gases, such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, that poison the air around farms, as well as methane and nitrous oxide, which are major contributors to global warming. Forests are being bulldozed to make more room for factory farms and feed crops to feed farmed animals, and this destruction causes soil erosion and contributes to species extinction and habitat loss. Raising animals for food also requires massive amounts of food and raw materials: Farmed animals consume 70 percent of the corn, wheat, and other grains that we grow, and one-third of all the raw materials and fossil fuels used in the U.S. go to raising animals for food.”
It’s really impossible to be an environmentalist if you use animal products.
For some more really fascinating related facts from “Diet for a New America” by John Robbins, see http://www.soystache.com/environm.htm